PetaPixel Article — 9 Myths About Street Photography

photograph of a woman in a face mask framed in between yellow and red construction scaffolding and barriers with title of 9 myths about street photography above

After a well received post on Instagram dispelling some myths about street photography, I pitched an article based on my Instagram carousel to PetaPixel, one of the top photography websites on the wild wild web, and they commissioned me to write it! Check out the headlines and summaries as the appeared on Instagram below, and head to PetaPixel for the full length version.

Let’s punch some myths in the face!


1. You need an ‘proper’ camera

Nope, all you need is something to capture an image! Use your phone or buy a disposable camera. If you only have a few mega pixels who cares? — Make it your style! Lean into the grain and the roughness of this pictures. Look at the work of Daido Moriyama, William Klein, and Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’.

2. You need to understand the technical side

Nah, today’s camera tech does the heavy lifting for you. And you can always learn about the pesky exposure triangle and what the nobs and buttons do on your camera as you go along. Perfect exposure is over-rated anyway. Focus on the creative side of photography first. The rest will follow.

3. You need permission to take photos of strangers

No, but check the privacy laws in your country. And you can always create anonymous photos of people… But regardless of the law, make sure you don’t disturb or upset anyone’s day! If you are asked to delete a photo then do it. No picture is worth ruining someone else’s day.

4. Photographing strangers is scary

Yes it can be, but with practice it doesn’t have to be! There are ways to be invisible (without hiding in a bush and using a telephoto lens) and not interrupting anyone.

5. Street photography is creepy

Only if you are!

6. You need somewhere interesting to take photos

Nope. It’s not where you are, it’s how creative you are. There’s always something to photograph. The most mundane things can be made interesting with finely tuned observation and creative composition.

7. There’s not enough time to do street photography

Nah. It’s not how much time you have it’s how focussed you are. If you’ve got a bunch of ideas to draw on then you’ll be able to use your lunchtimes or the walk from the tube to your office to take pictures. It could even be the start of a project…

8. It’s too difficult

Your mindset is both your biggest tool and your biggest obstacle. Your choice! Everything is learnable… And with practice you’ll have ideas that trigger you to take photos, and you’ll start to develop intuitive compositional skills.

Read all about it on PetaPixel!

Are there any more myths that need busting?


Words + Pictures © Polly Rusyn

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