PE STREET AND NEIGHBORHOOD
So let's try to set some "limits" to street photography, even knowing that the edges between street photography and other neighbors genres of photography will ALWAYS be thin, vague, and often subjective.
ENVIROMENTAL PORTRAIT, SPONTANEOUS PORTRAIT OR STREET?
What is the difference between enviromental portrait or spontaneous portrait and street photography?
A street photograph is not posed. If the portrait is posed it is not street (whoa I made a syllogism).
A street photograph usually needs a background. A NOT vague or accidental background, but a significant background. In a street photograph usually the background adds significant elements that enrich and enhance with meanings and impact the human subject. If the portrait has a vague or accidental background, most of the times it is not street, but a spontaneous portrait. And no, a nice bokeh is not usually a significant background.
URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY OR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?
What is the difference between urban scenes and street photography?
If the human presence has only a compositive role, if the human presence is not the centre of interest, if the human presence is accidental, casual, not significant, we have a urban scene and not a street photo. People in the street don't make by definition a street photo.
STREET WITHOUT PEOPLE: CONCEPTUAL OR STREET?
Is the human presence always necessary? Well, we can take street photos also without humans in there, simply with animals, or objects. "All good street photographers have an eye for detail, they are often able to pick out a simple object and frame it in a way that imbues it with new significance" (from Street Photography Now).
Though, to be street the image has to suggest, evoke, indirectly represent humanity, through human symbols or artifacts (mannequins, street signs, adverts, graffiti), through animals or objects that play the role of the humans, through the things humans buy, produce, fetishize, consume or discard.
This kind of street photography often plays on the slippage between fantasy and reality.
PHOTOJOURNALISM OR STREET?
What is the difference between street and a pure documentary photojournalistic photo?
In a photojournalism photo the subject is relevant, significant, peculiar, unusual IN ITSELF and it is not made unusual or surprising by frame, composition, technique or eye of the photographer.
Also the approach to the subjects is different: " While the photojournalist is working on answering questions of Who, What, When, Where and Why, I am interested in creating more questions" (Gus Powell).