Usually, street photographs tell a little story about people in an urban setting—but always with a twist or surprise, and always with a feeling of spontaneity. I’m not sure how many of my photos meet the latter two criteria; I’m still learning. I drew these photos from hundreds I took in Waltham during the period, 2018–2020, before I had any idea what street photography was all about.
Wikipedia has a good discussion of street photography, defining it broadly as: "...photography conducted for art or enquiry that presents unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public spaces."
Despite those words, "unmediated chance encounters," most practitioners will tell you that street photographs do not have to be anaymous, that is, taken without the subject’s knowledge or permission. There can be interaction between the photographer and subject, as, for example, when a photographer asks permission to take pictures—producing what some call, "cooperating candids." For photographers worried about privacy, I suggest asking permission—with a smile. You may be surprised how often you get a "Yes," either verbally or by a nod of the head.
As a bonus, you have an opening for further interaction with the subject, if you wish. Some of the best and most famous street photographs resulted from just such interaction. And they were achieved with the subject remaining "unmediated," that is, without loss of spontaneity. A good example is the cover photo of this post.
Many of these photos I first published here in color, but I converted them to black-and-white for this project. Why? Color has such power over our senses, that it can overwhelm the story in the picture, and the story gets lost. There is a long tradition of black-and-white street photos, from the early days of photography, with Henri Cartier-Bresson, to our present era.
There’s been a great deal written about street photography, much of it posted on the internet, along with the work of famous street photographers. It’s all just a few clicks away for those who want to learn more about this fascinating subject. A good place to start, I suggest, is this blog post by Eric Kim, What Is Street Photography?