SP101 #1: So Who Am I To Guide You About Street Photography?

A self portrait of London street photographer Darren Lehane

Welcome to my new and ongoing Street Photography 101 blog series.

So What Is a Street Photography 101?

Candid street photography of shoppers with Mickey Mouse balloons on Oxford Street in London. Taken by London street photographer Darren Lehane.
Oxford Street, London (2013)

In this new and ongoing Street Photography 101 series I’m going to discuss, provide advice and tips and give examples to help new and aspiring street photographers get started with the medium, over a series of 101 posts.  In time I hope this will become a helpful resource, not just for new street photographers but any street photographer.

So Why Do I Feel Qualified To Undertake Such a Series?

Candid street photography of a couple kissing and a man leaping onto the beach in Brighton, East Sussex. Taken by London street photographer Darren Lehane.
Brighton, East Sussex (2016)

I’ve been shooting candid street photography for over a decade now, and am passionate about it – both as a photographer and a viewer.  I’ve even been attempting it for longer than that, but if I’m honest, my early attempts weren’t even really what I’d now call street photography, and even if it was it wasn’t particularly good street photography.

So I’ve been in your shoes and in many ways I’ve learnt the hard (and long) way by trial and error.  Yes, many errors. But I firmly believe street photography is all about learning from your own errors.  It can take a lot of time and definitely a lot of practice.  But in the last decade I think I’ve slowly got to grips with this medium that attracts and confuses a hell of a lot of photographers in equal measure.

Along the way I’ve been fortunate enough – and yes lucky enough – to have my street photography work published extensively online and in print, been exhibited in an exhibition here and there (from London to Los Angeles) and picked up the odd award or two.

My proudest moment came when I was selected at as a winning finalist in the PDN Street Photography 2016 competition, picked by the renowned photography historian and co-publisher of the seminal “Bystander: A History of Street Photography” Colin Westerbeck.

So I think I’ve learnt a bit or two about street photography over the years and I believe passionately in passing this back and help others discover and pursue this most wonderful of photography genres.  I genuinely believe that street photography’s unique appeal is its accessibility for all,

An Honest Caveat

Candid street photography of a businessman standing foot-up o his briefcase, in Charing Cross train station, London. Taken by London street photographer Darren Lehane.
Charing Cross Rail Terminus, London (2014)

But also, let me be clear at the outset, I certainly don’t know everything (and doubt I ever will) about street photography.  I’m still learning and always will be.  If any of us every reach the point where we think we know it all, or claim ourselves to be an expert or  feel we have nothing else to learn on the subject then we may as well hang up our cameras and give up photography altogether.

I firmly believe that photography helps us to learn much about ourselves, the world about us and even our place in it – and street photography certainly does all of that.  So if I ever reach a point where it stops doing that, well, it’s time to drift off this mortal coil.

So I’m definitely not a world renowned street photographer but I’m passionate about it, both as a practitioner and a scholar, so I do genuinely believe I have something of value to give back to you.

What Else Do I Shoot?

An elderly wedding guest dancing, shot in a candid street photography style
I adopt a candid approach to most of my wedding photography work.

When not shooting street photography as a passion in my spare time, I’m a successful and award winning documentary wedding photographer and a freelance photographer providing work to the likes of Getty Images and Alamy.  My work has been licensed all around the world, appeared in print and even on TV and is used by some major blue chip companies.

Of course, all of this means diddly-squat when it comes to street photography as, as you will learn over the next 100 blog posts, street photography is a concept you have to get you mind around as much as it is a craft you have to learn.  But, if nothing else, I hope my background demonstrates I at least have a professional working knowledge of photography in general – something I’ve been doing seriously since I picked up my first SLR camera in 1986 as an 18 year old (yes, I now have a few years of life experience under my belt too!)

So, What Next?

Candid street photography of a woman pushing a boy up onto a lion at Trafalgar Square, London. Taken by London street photographer Darren Lehane.
Trafalgar Square, London (2013)

Right that’s enough about me!  Lets start taking a proper look at this thing called street photography.  So in the next blog installment I’ll take a look at what street photography is and why on earth you might want to shoot.

So I hope you join me on this journey and hopefully together we can explore and learn more about street photography.  To stay up to date and get blog post notifications just click below:

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Cheers and see you next time!

| Visit my Street Photography Portfolio | Visit my Street Photography Instagram |

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