Street Photography: Expectations vs. Reality

There’s quite a gap between expectations and reality when it comes to street photography. Every day more and more photographers set off on their journey to street photography nirvana. Unfortunately, a majority of these photographers find their dreams shattered because of the sheer difference in what they expect and what they get once out on the streets. This video from DigitalRev TV is a light hearted jab at the realities of street photography:

Manual Focus

Ah! The proverbial manual focus. Masters love it and connoisseurs love pretending they know how to work with it. Budding street photographers start off on the right note, with manual focus, until they figure out there’s a whole lot more to it than just pretending to look cool. Auto-focus all of a sudden seems like such a brilliant idea.

Banes of street photography

Manual Focusing

People Skills

Do you ever wonder how some street photographers always manage to make it appear so easy to work with complete strangers? Real street photography masters are people people. There is apparently more to street photography than just the camera and the lens. Unfortunately, budding street photographers realize this the hard way.


Street photography is a confidence thing. More often than not it depends on the level confidence that an individual possesses. Master street photographers seem to be consistently able to pull off seemingly impossible images. It comes from experience—and, of course, confidence.

photographing strangers

It’s a confidence thing!

Unfortunately, this is the greatest bane for photographers who start off in street photography. They simply cannot conjure up enough confidence to aim their camera toward a stranger. They can’t stop thinking about the probable implications of their actions.


Master street photographers always seem to get the best out of any situation. They never seem to run out of subjects when trolling the streets. Beginners, on the other hand, seem hapless and luckless when it comes to suitable subjects for photographing.

subject of street photography

Beginner street photographers always seem to struggle with the lack of subjects.

The Decisive Moment

The overbearing pressure to capture the decisive moment can be, well, too overbearing for a beginner. In situations where a master photographer may seem to make everything look silky smooth, a beginner struggles like a hatchling out of its nest.

street photography mistakes

Mistakes like forgetting to put a memory card in can be catastrophic.

Mistakes have the potential to ruin your day.


street photography do's and don'ts

Stealthy? Naah!

Stealthiness can be counter-intuitive if you do a hash of things. Trying to overdo the stealthiness can make you the butt of all jokes.

Can you relate? Tell us about your experiences with beginning street photography.

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