The CSUN street photography course (Journalism 455: Documentary Photography) allows students to challenge themselves as photographers, whether they’re novices or advanced. Students as photographers are required to become more aware of their surroundings and the environment in order to capture the “decisive moment” as the potential images on the streets are an abundance of fleeting moments. In addition to being hypersensitive to your surroundings, students are challenged to step out of their comfort zone in order to control the visual narrative of their images; approach with more aggressiveness, get involved with your subjects (for portraits or photo stories), patience, more awareness of your backgrounds, varying compositions and angles in a ever so fluid environment, avoiding ‘snapshots,’ getting close to your subjects, and all while being aware of the technicalities and settings of your camera.
In the words of National Geographic, “Street photography is a harsh name for a beautiful pursuit. To tame the chaos. To frame the cacophony of modern life. To capture what it means to be alive.”