10 Reasons to quit Street Photography in 2014

10 Reasons to quit Street Photography in 2014


With the advent of the New Year and resolutions being made I thought it useful for those teetering on the edge of the abyss of yea or nay of Street Photography to maybe compound and help them make the decision to quit.

1. My photographs aren’t good enough

Critique and evaluation are all part of development, whether from yourself, or from trusted sources.If the sources keep repeating the same aspect of your photography is in need of improvement, and this is just impossible to accomplish, then you must quit

2. I don’t get likes or +’s

The be all and end all in modern photography is how quickly you can reach the top of the tree in social media. Should you only receive a few likes per day, and heaven forbid none, then it is probably that time in your life to hang up your Nikon strap and pass the torch of creativity to the Instagrammers.

3. My equipment is out of date


The camera maketh the shot. If you read through bio’s of the greats then medium format Hassleblads and  35mm Leicas are the only tool for the job. If you’re not willing or can’t afford to mimic these wonders, then you don’t really have a hope in hell of achieving greatness, and maybe should focus on just taking shots of the family at Christmas

4. I don’t have time

You will find with proper research that the super photographers had it given to them on a plate.They were born, as we say in the UK, ‘with a silver spoon in their mouth’ ; meaning they had the time because their parents were rich and they didn’t have to work for a living. If this isn’t you and you find you haven’t 8-12hrs a day to give to photography, then you shouldn’t even try.

5. I don’t make enough money

The end result of any creative endeavor is to earn dollar at the end of the day. Messing about fulfilling something just for pleasure in a market dominated economy is a pointless task and you would be better off doing some overtime.

6. Everybody is a photographer

Smartphones and digital have broadened the field to such an extent that any Tom, Dick or Harry is capable of taking a photo, and the real essence of art has been lost in the morass of images. For gods sake CNN even use photos from Twitter! This isn’t photography, this is something dirty and unpleasant.If you find you can’t join in, or feel this is below the art then yes it is time to retire as it is only going to get worse.

7. My personal circumstances have changed (I’ve had a baby)

A change in your life does reveal the true nature of being and yes if you have just had a baby, a divorce, a death and this has thrown your creative centre off too far, it’s time to write a will and pass the equipment down the line – it was only a hobby anyway.

8. My fitness levels are poor

We do struggle, each of us bombarded with selfies and hell I know my gut pokes out where it shouldn’t. That subscription to the gym will make me love myself more than photography ever could. It’s cheap unlike the subscription to these photo journals which I’ll probably throw away anyway. My body is for life!

9. Everybody is shooting in colour and I only shoot black and white


As stated above things have changed so much recently, in a few years! HCB is the rock and foundation of Street Photography and to shoot outside that realm is defacing the art. Them kids in America sure know how to ruin a good thing. I’ve tried shooting in colour myself but it’s not so nostalgic or erotic and I really feel that’s where true Street Photography lies. I won’t change my opinion.

10. Charlie Kirk says I should

charlie kirk

Well respected and maybe a little outspoken but admirable. He has a huge following, knows his stuff and well if he says I shouldn’t be doing Street then he’s probably right.

Have a great year without your camera 🙂


  1. Do you consider yourself a photographer or not? I’m not trying to be funny. If you’re reflecting because of economic/life reasons (starting a family is a damn good reason), then grafting a living out of street photography could be rough. But then even established street photographers take a break/move on; see recent International Street Photographer article on Bruce Gilden, who is venturing into landscape projects — sorry can’t find digital version of article: http://ispmag.com/articles.php?id=13

    Whatever you do to put food on the table, if you have a passion for photography, never give it up. I found your list of reasons (excuses) unconvincing (except the family one).

    In 2012 I did a 366-photo-a-day self-imposed project. Sometimes annoying, the discipline presented opportunities that I’d otherwise have missed. I just carried my camera with me and let my subconscious scream at me upon visual cues. Point is — you can keep on living and let your creative mind work away.

    I say, you keep shooting!

  2. Thanks for you comment Allen. My list of ‘excuses’ to quit was a bit ‘tongue-in-cheek’ because you are absolutely right in what your saying. It is important to keep shooting, keep working, keep ‘seeing’ the world around you and to keep bringing it in front of your audience. For me there is never a good reason to quit shooting 😀

  3. I thought I was reading someone’s suicide note or something, good grief a depressing read….and then I saw the “funny” tag. But still…

    There really is no excuse to stop shooting. Just because you had a kid are busy with some family stuff is no real excuse, just keep shooting. It’s easy to have a camera in your pocket. I do it everyday.

    Do most street photographers actually care what other people think of their photos? I don’t understand why they would.

    I’m glad it’s a joke. But you won’t ever quit, seriously. Let’s agree, you can’t. Because if you already shoot in the street you won’t ever stop. It’s addicting. Why would you ever stop? It’s literally a video game that NEVER ENDS. The variables and permutations and combinations are infinite. The planet itself is like a Disneyland for a street shooter. I walk out my front door, out to the main street: bam it’s muh-fuh-ing showtime. You have so much to choose from, Paris, Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York. Shit, you could literally spend a decade of your life in each, dedicated to one city.

    You could be a dirt poor dude, slummin it in Paris, eatin bread and hummus, shootin 1 roll of Tri-X a month on a $35 Olympus XA2. Gluestickin 4×6 drugstore prints to the back of old flyers, stapled together. Hand packets out in front of metro stations and churches. Sell your books for $1. Make enough money after a year or so, and you open a coffee shop with the girl who used to hand out the flyers that would get thrown on the ground. Have a baby, name it Henri. Shoot street photos on your way to the coffee shop. Kiss your family goodbye one last time. Leave Paris and never return. Travel to China. Use an alias name and create a good back story, and start all over again.

    And remember to keep shooting.

    • Ha! Travis , brilliant and so true. The game of Street is as addictive as any video game, a real life shoot ’em up.Thanks for you comment it made me laugh and cry as I recall the trail of weeping wives and brokenhearted kinder, I’ve left in the wake of image hunting across the globe. Most especially Giselle and Fabrice. Although I’ve always wondered how such a raven haired mother could have borne a golden locked child…go figure 🙂

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