Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.
Although there is a difference between street and candid photography, it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature but not all candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.
The street photographer can be seen as an extension of the flâneur, an observer of the streets (who was often a writer or artist). Framing and timing can be key aspects of the craft with the aim of some street photography being to create images at a decisive or poignant moment.
Street photography can focus on people and their behaviour in public, thereby also recording people’s history. This motivation entails having also to navigate or negotiate changing expectations and laws of privacy, security and property. In this respect the street photographer is similar to social documentary photographers or photojournalists who also work in public places, but with the aim of capturing newsworthy events; any of these photographers’ images may capture people and property visible within or from public places. The existence of services like Google Street View, recording public space at a massive scale, and the burgeoning trend of self-photography (selfies), further complicate ethical issues reflected in attitudes to street photography.