A Lot of Street Photography Is Just Bad and Exploitative

Street photography is a particularly tough genre to achieve success in: it takes a combination of a quick eye, good instincts, and a dose of bravery, and even then, a little luck certainly helps. Personally, I think that even with that taken into account, a lot of street photography is simply bad photography and exploitative of the subjects.Before I jump into this, let me be clear that there are absolutely some street photographers whose work I adore and have nothing but the highest artistic respect for. There is the underappreciated work of Helen Levitt, which is a gorgeous, instantly nostalgic look at life in New York City in the middle of the 20th century with a particular penchant for humanizing its subjects. There is Elliott Erwitt’s work, which often takes a refreshingly lighthearted approach to the genre.

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