To create our “Essential Resource Guide to Street Photography,” we asked our network of photography industry professionals to name some of the most inspiring street photography books, workshops and online resources they know.
Over two dozen experts contributed to this jam-packed guide. We hope this information helps photographers of all levels get better at making street photography and to also move forward both creatively and professionally.
To give you an idea of what’s inside, we have excerpted the guide’s inspirational introduction, written by one of our favorite street photographers (and a Magnum Photos nominee) Matt Stuart. Enjoy!
For the past 20 years, street photography has meant everything to me: from the moment I wake up, to the moment my head hits the pillow. It has been an overwhelming obsession and a way of life. I just love being out in the world, observing people, trying to make some sense of it all.
I always find myself inspired by what might be going on right now, what I might be missing. Street photography seems to offer me endless opportunities—every day is different and I love that.
Over the years, I have learned a few things that any street photographer should keep in mind. First, perseverance: one should always be striving to get better. Never be happy with the shots you have—be your own harshest critic. Get some comfortable shoes and put in the miles.
But also try to enjoy the practice of it, even when it’s not coming easily. Be patient, optimistic; remember to smile, both for others, and for yourself. Don’t get depressed when you miss the shot; there’s just another around the corner if you keep your eyes open.
Keep in mind that you are looking for a single, brilliant moment and 99% of the time, you won’t get it. That’s what makes street photography so difficult but also so exciting.
Meanwhile, try to find some work (any work) that keeps you out on the streets, shooting for as long as possible. When you’re out there, be amazed every single day—that will help you find better shots and a brighter way of seeing the world.
And finally, remember this: when at last you get that shot you’ve been looking for, in a thousandth of a second, all those frustrations and near-misses will have paid off. So get out there and keep shooting!