PetaPixel

How Not to Do Street Photography

If you want to do street photography, attacking people with cameras like Fabio Pires does in London probably isn’t the way you should go about doing it — unless you’re trying to give photography a bad name. Does anyone know of any good behind-the-scenes videos of good (and candid) street photography being done in a respectable way?

(via Reddit)


 
  • MIchaelinitaly

    he blocke comments on yourtube. Wonder why? I posted that I thought he was a dirt bag who is giving photographers a bad name. If he stuck a camera in my face I would most likely shove the camera back in his face. I hope someone does and gives him a black eye like the one he is giving other photographers.

  • JIWC

    Just like Eric Kim; Just look him up on youtube too. These guys will destroy photographer’s rights when they cross the line one day.

  • http://twitter.com/YouDidntDidYou YouDidntDidYou

    Your subjects generally shouldn’t realise you  are doing street photography, the way Fabio Pires and Bruce Gilden do it is lazy and intrusive.
    They forget so much they could bring to their composition like aspect ratio, white balance, thoughtful framing, relevant subject placement,colour, cropping on camera, metering etc etc
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/

  • phace

    i wanna punch that guy in the face. This has got to be a joke right?

  • spinthma

    It’s mad, but I like it!
    /K

  • http://blog.dafyddowen.com/ Daf

    Video removed :-/

  • http://twitter.com/Myrddon Henning Nilsen

     I did warn about that. Still, can’t argue with the results their approach gives.

  • David Ritchie

    It now says that the user has removed the video.
    Does anyone have a backup of the video I can watch somewhere?

  • Charlie Kirk

    A few thoughts.

    1. The sartorialist is not street.
    2. He can use those images in his site. If not Magnum would be closed down.
    3. Whoever mentioned white balance and Gilden in the same sentence should be shot.
    4. Shooting from the hip is pathetic, cowardly and results in the photographer having no control over his results.
    5. Chris Weeks is a truly awful photographer.
    6. Most people on this thread show zero understanding if street.
    7. Fabio is going much further than Gilden. Gilden doesn’t intend to shock. That is sometimes incidental. Gilden also uses the viewfinder.

  • Charlie Kirk

    A few thoughts.

    1. The sartorialist is not street.
    2. He can use those images in his site. If not Magnum would be closed down.
    3. Whoever mentioned white balance and Gilden in the same sentence should be shot.
    4. Shooting from the hip is pathetic, cowardly and results in the photographer having no control over his results.
    5. Chris Weeks is a truly awful photographer.
    6. Most people on this thread show zero understanding if street.
    7. Fabio is going much further than Gilden. Gilden doesn’t intend to shock. That is sometimes incidental. Gilden also uses the viewfinder.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    This is not street photography.  He hasn’t managed a simple juxtaposition of fleeting moment.  Just people doing normal things.  Check out HCSP on flickr for the real stuff that takes skill and an eye.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    You don’t need a model release!  Only if you are going to trade on their likeness.  It has nothing to do with selling a photo for money or not.

    If I shoot you and sell it – fine.  If your image is used to say promote coke or pepsi – then not fine and a model release is needed.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    You’re both wrong.  Selling a photo is fine.  Advertising a web site is fine.  Trading on a likeness is not.  He can sell photos on his site as much as he wants.

    I have had two exhibitions and sold shots – I didn’t and don’t need a model release as I sold a picture – not the person – or their likeness.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    Nice shots.  But hardly an example of street photography.  HCSP group on flicker.  Q.E.D.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    +1

    Indeed – many people don’t get it or can do it well.  They just take photos of people  maybe people doing strange things.  But hardly any get the skill to capture the decisive moment or a neat juxtaposition or other setup.

    This clown is a classic example.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    +1

    Indeed – many people don’t get it or can do it well.  They just take photos of people  maybe people doing strange things.  But hardly any get the skill to capture the decisive moment or a neat juxtaposition or other setup.

    This clown is a classic example.

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford

    1. Tick
    2. Tick
    3. Tick
    4. Tick
    5. Tick, tick, tick, tick, bloody tick
    6. About a thousand ticks
    7. Tickety tick, tick.

  • Nhoe

    I’ve missed the vid, THE idiot removed it. short description of how he attacks people please?

  • Rick Bennett

    The reason for bashing the D90 isn’t because it is a D90, but because the video made a big deal out of it. I don’t think anyone would have cared about the camera model if the video hadn’t opened by focusing on the camera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=642227422 Bhautik Joshi

    Thanks for the clarification! I figured that this would be a fairly complex issue so I’m glad I asked :)

  • Anonymous

    Richard what exactly did you look at? Granted ‘Who We Are’ isn’t exactly conforming to the kind of street photography you were immediately thinking of. It’s just photography on the street and needs to conform to the documentary it’s party to but it still is ‘street photography’.

    But Youth Culture Part One and Car Culture certainly REALLY is Street Photography. Not sure how it isn’t unless you care to explain.

    I’m a member of HCSP on Flickr, I feel insulted you would cite that as your example of street photography, sure in that 1% there are some good stuff but the rest lacks depth and doesn’t really set out to say anything, the remaining 99% are just snapshots, some being better than others.

    Now I do have to state that I am a documentary photography working on the street with cultures that exist in those spaces, so there is a difference, but ‘hardly an example of street photography’. Please my stuff is so much more considered and intimate.

  • Anonymous

    Richard what exactly did you look at? Granted ‘Who We Are’ isn’t exactly conforming to the kind of street photography you were immediately thinking of. It’s just photography on the street and needs to conform to the documentary it’s party to but it still is ‘street photography’.

    But Youth Culture Part One and Car Culture certainly REALLY is Street Photography. Not sure how it isn’t unless you care to explain.

    I’m a member of HCSP on Flickr, I feel insulted you would cite that as your example of street photography, sure in that 1% there are some good stuff but the rest lacks depth and doesn’t really set out to say anything, the remaining 99% are just snapshots, some being better than others.

    Now I do have to state that I am a documentary photography working on the street with cultures that exist in those spaces, so there is a difference, but ‘hardly an example of street photography’. Please my stuff is so much more considered and intimate.

  • Anonymous

    He walked around while literally throwing a D90 in people’s faces, or stepping  out from behind phone boxes almost hitting people with his camera.

  • http://twitter.com/pete_boyd Pete Boyd

    As the competition gets stronger from sheer numbers of people trying to be street photographers and all able to display their work on the web, and the number of young people coming in to it feel they need to be good at it without a decade of practice, their techniques to get exclusive images will get more extreme.

  • http://twitter.com/pete_boyd Pete Boyd

    Yeah but you would have to have brass balls to do _any_ kind of street photography in Moss Side. I’ve tried it, there are places where gangs hang and unless you know the area very well it’s just too risky and scary. So it doesn’t help to compare this guy to that.

  • http://twitter.com/pete_boyd Pete Boyd

    Yeah but you would have to have brass balls to do _any_ kind of street photography in Moss Side. I’ve tried it, there are places where gangs hang and unless you know the area very well it’s just too risky and scary. So it doesn’t help to compare this guy to that.

  • Guest

    I’ve missed the vid. :(

  • Guest

    I’ve missed the vid. :(

  • Asdf

    Why fucking remove it?
    God that pisses me off…………

  • Asdf

    Why fucking remove it?
    God that pisses me off…………

  • Sickat

    agreed!  be discreet, but find the shot anyway.  you can always show it to the person you shot afterwards if they notice and ask if they mind – still candid, and if they do mind, erase it from the mem card and show them.  It’s really that simple…  no reason to terrorize people by sticking a camera in their face – literally, like this bozo does!

  • http://www.jillyansawyerphotography.com/ Harrisburg Photographers

    Very unprofessional. 

  • http://www.jillyansawyerphotography.com/ Harrisburg Photographers

    Very unprofessional. 

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s incredibly rude to be jamming things into people’s faces.  Not as bad as a guy putting a camera and flash into people’s faces, but still, it’s risky to do.  I’d be curious if it triggered someone’s fight-or-flight response into fighting, and which way the courts ruled on that.  I know courts have sided against actors deliberately doing harm to paparazzi and their equipment, but if you suddenly invade people’s personal space with a large-ish object, I wonder what the level of culpability is on the part of the person that’s doing a reflex response.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s incredibly rude to be jamming things into people’s faces.  Not as bad as a guy putting a camera and flash into people’s faces, but still, it’s risky to do.  I’d be curious if it triggered someone’s fight-or-flight response into fighting, and which way the courts ruled on that.  I know courts have sided against actors deliberately doing harm to paparazzi and their equipment, but if you suddenly invade people’s personal space with a large-ish object, I wonder what the level of culpability is on the part of the person that’s doing a reflex response.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    Exactly!
    It’d be SO cool to throw his camera in the middle of the street :) Hopefully a truck will pass by.
    He seems like the kind of guy that wouldn’t learn a thing if you punched him in the face… he’d actually shoot it and call it “his best photo”. But if you ruin his camera, he might stop disturbing people (at least until he can buy a new one).

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    Exactly!
    It’d be SO cool to throw his camera in the middle of the street :) Hopefully a truck will pass by.
    He seems like the kind of guy that wouldn’t learn a thing if you punched him in the face… he’d actually shoot it and call it “his best photo”. But if you ruin his camera, he might stop disturbing people (at least until he can buy a new one).

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    Oops, sorry, I meant to reply to Paul Conrad…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    Oops, sorry, I meant to reply to Paul Conrad…

  • http://twitter.com/richardford Richard Ford
  • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com bob cooley

    Richard, sorry but no. 

    Posting a photo on your site when you are a commercial photographer is a form of commercial advertising.  it is, by legal definition “promoting or soliciting a product or service.” You MUST have consent to publish someone’s likeness (in most states – and since your website will not be blocked in states where it is an issue, its best to err on the side of caution, particularly if you ever intend to business in that state).

    Some states uphold that putting a shot up in your studio does not require a release, as long as that image is not sold.  But putting it in advertising (print brochures, postcards, websites, etc.) is explicitly advertising, and a commercial use.

    Courts have long held that news reporting and social, political and
    economic commentary — the things the First Amendment was designed to
    protect — are more valuable to society than an individual’s right to be
    let alone.  

    However, most photographer’s websites (and the one in question in particular) is a vehicle of advertising.  If it were a strictly editorial website, it might warrant an exclusion, but the one in question (and most photographer’s promotional sites) do not fall under that exclusion.

    In your case of selling photos from a gallery – you still should have a release (if it is sold in a US gallery).  You may have gotten away with it, and your subject may not have minded (or known), but that doesn’t make it legal. 

    I’ve been a professional shooter since 1986, primarily in print (editorial and corporate) and advertising; but also have done a fair amount of fine-art work over the years. 

    IANAL, buy my lawyer is :) and since photographic and entertainment law are his area of specialty, I’ve taken his council on these issues for many years.

    Bottom line here folks – don’t take the word of anyone on the internet; if you want to get the facts on complex issues like Copyright, use of likeness and privacy; check with a specializing LAWYER, or with an organization like the ASMP, who keeps on top of these complex issues. 

  • Fabio Pires

    FABIO PIRES – The Interview fabiopiresphotography.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-interv…

  • http://twitter.com/d7e7r7 David Ritchie

    Thanks for this link… I can finally see what the fuss is about… 

  • http://twitter.com/d7e7r7 David Ritchie

    If this is the real Fabio Pires… Why did you remove the original YouTube video?

  • Dave

    No photographic skill here!

  • Anonymous

    It’s here on a chinese site. – http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzAyMDYzNTY4.html

    His arrogance is further illustrated here in this interview – fabiopiresphotography.wordpres…

  • Anonymous

    No you didn’t – It’s here on a chinese site. – http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzAyMDYzNTY4.html

  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/ZayasPhotos ZayasPhotography.com

    No, not illegal just annoying. No need for model release unless you plan on using it for commercial purposes. There are no expectations of privacy in public spaces. you dont ask people permission for a photograph if its candid, but the Bruce Gilden in your face approach is a style and is more like street portraits. Some people ask for posed or contrived images by asking. For street photography, the main idea is photographing discreetly your subject or subjects using ever evolving and adjusting approaches. Most people are just to afraid to take a photo of a stranger and i can understand that, thats why its not for everyone. This is Part of what gives this form of photography a distinctive style and feel. When I go out and photograph in the street, I use different approaches. I am NYC based and photograph people, buildings, subways, a mix, etc. If you want a portrait that isn’t candid ask for permission, you want it candid, don’t. Another thing is shoot first ask questions later, you might miss the most “iconic” photo of all time. No you dont need model releases unless your planning on selling a product or making it appear as if the person is endorsing you or a product. I mean you dont see press or photojournalist handing out hundreds of releases to the public while they shoot news. I sometimes will take a photo of a person and they may notice that im pointing the camera towards them, so if they approach me and say why did i take a photo of them, i will just smile and no i didnt and point to something in the general direction and say i was taking a picture of that. Another technique if seen pointing the camera at a person is to take the shot then quickly take 2 or 3 of something near them if you feel that they may insist on seeing your picture. still with a smile and friendly voice say ” oh no here look i took this.” This helps when taking pictures of gang members or drug dealers or the local drunk. Like i said its not for everyone but safety first for the level of photography you do. You can go do weddings if this isn’t for you. I think war photography is a bit more dangerous, but sometimes i question myself when coming out of a questionable area here in NYC. 
    Zayasphotography.com 
    Digitalstorypress.com

  • http://twitter.com/ZayasPhotos ZayasPhotography.com

    Again, not saying that this isn’t a nicer way to take photos but it isn’t Street photography if you pose them and ask them to sign releases. Thats street portraiture. its like getting free models to promote services on your site when you ask them to sign a release or you might want to use it as stock photography on Getty. That isn’t true to candid street photography. Nothing wrong with this approach but Cartier Bresson’s decisive moment didnt include a legal form and release when out photographing his famous candid shot (Behind the Gare St. Lazare)