“All the world’s a stage”
—William Shakespeare, As You Like It


The Possibilities of Street Photography


Photographers have played with and explored street photography since the beginning of photography itself — capturing anonymous moments of beauty, grace, absurdity, sorrow, delight, outrage, and more.

Cities and towns and even small rural villages can feel like movie sets, with something always happening, always changing and with new characters walking onto the stage and interacting with each other at any moment. From simple, everyday occurrences to news events that ripple out and touch people continents apart — great street photography often brings it all together in a memorable way.

“We’ve all walked down a crowded street but we don’t all notice the same details or patterns or stories unfolding. A good street photograph connects you to the world but also has the power to disconnect you at the same time. And this is what makes it so special.”

—Caroline Hunter, Picture Editor, Guardian Weekend Magazine, London, UK

At LensCulture, we love all kinds of photography, but we have a special appreciation for street photography. When we launched our first international street photography awards in 2015, we had a slight apprehension that nothing would feel fresh or new—we feared that street photography in the 21st century might have a sense of déjà vu. However, we were delighted to discover that street photography is actually alive and thriving all over the world, and that there is lots out there to appreciate and celebrate.

Our international jury selected the official winners and finalists for the competition—a truly remarkable group of photographs that you should also see in their entirety. But, as a member of the jury and as editor-in-chief of LensCulture, I was thrilled to discover many more excellent examples of contemporary street photography and I want to share these 250 additional street photographs with you as sources of inspiration, information and delight.

As well, I wanted to acknowledge the great accomplishments of all these photographers whose work was highly rated by the jury but by nature of the democratic vote, did not make it to the top of the top in the jury’s ratings.

The definition of “Street Photography” is wide open and continues to change and is often debated. Put simply, we believe it’s a way of seeing and appreciating complexities with energized eyes — celebrating diverse global street cultures and street fashion; documenting activism; showing juxtapositions of sleek and funky architecture; sharing unique and new quirky points of view; staging elaborate scenes; capturing shadows, light, reflections; celebrating the young and old, locals, strangers, oddballs, characters, gangs and lovers and more…

Street photography connects us with humanity in all its forms, and in turn allows us to be and feel more human in our day to day lives.

Enjoy!

—Jim Casper