See, Snap, Run!
August 13, 2020
“It’s just a photo!”, you yell back towards the protestors who have been chasing you down West San Carlos Street after you decided to snap a non-consensual image of them to add to your street photography portfolio. Although it may come as a surprise, spontaneously photographing strangers does not infringe on the law, but it might possibly infringe on implicit boundaries of respect. As candidness is one of the most paramount pieces of street photography, street photographers go by any means, invasive or not, to capture the perfect image. But how can street photography be accomplished while still ensuring the dignity of others? Digital Photography teacher Mrs. Cathy Leather asserts that “it is important when capturing the lives of people on the streets that we remember to respect their integrity.” Speaking from personal experience with Downtown Streets Team San Jose, Mrs. Leather recommends that street photographers get involved within a photographic community before making it the sole focus of their individual photography. So how do you create your own original and ethical form of street photography? One method is to start by practicing within your own neighborhood. By immersing yourself in an environment that you know well, you can most effectively create an image that expresses the community’s true humanity and culture. Thus, this photo won’t be “just a photo” anymore but rather an indelible preservation of a fleeting memory.