“The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world “picturesque”. – Susan Sontag, 1977
One interpretation of ‘Life on the Streets’ could be that we are simply looking for submissions that fall into the genre of street photography. Sometimes called candid photography, street photography is recognised for focussing on unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.
Try becoming a voyeuristic stroller or a flâneur, as Susan Sonntag so eloquently puts it. Saunter around observing society and documenting your findings through photography. Record everyday life as it happens, those decisive moments that often go unnoticed. Focus on your framing and your timing, explore new angles and experiment with composition to capture shots that depict ‘Life on the Streets’.
Alternatively you could take a deeper interpretation of this theme and approach it more from a photojournalism, reportage or social documentary point of view to raise awareness around the issue of homelessness.
According to a global survey conducted by the United Nations in 2005, an estimated 100 million people were homeless worldwide and as many as 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing. This figure is sure to have risen since then. Can you capture photographs that tell the story of those people who live on the streets or who reside in inadequate settlements such as slums, or who are squatting in structures not intended for housing?
Perhaps you’ve captured images of homeless people and their animal companions in your local area. Maybe you have been on holiday and walked through the slums of a city. Have you captured homeless children playing in the streets or people begging for change? Can you tell their stories through your images? Can you ask those difficult questions that make us feel uncomfortable? Can you make those who often feel invisible step into the spotlight?
Let these two contrasting approaches be your inspiration for capturing ‘Life on the Streets’.