Photography and the Anxiety of Photographing People on the Streets!

Mark Jansen

Mark Jansen

Owner / Operator at Jansen Photo Expeditions
Mark’s interest in photography and love for landscapes constantly draws him into some amazing places. He researches his subjects extensively, sometimes making many trips to selected areas waiting for the perfect light, an interesting approach to the subject, and just the right moment.His goal of "freezing time for others to enjoy" is what drives him to create his visions.

Mark has a passion for landscape and classic creative aviation photography as well as providing large scale commercial installations of his fine art photographic murals and print works throughout California.

He has over 25 years of professional fine art and photographic experience. 

He works with both small and large corporate businesses in helping them project a powerful impact through his images. Mark offers photographic workshops in various U.S. and International locations.

Mark is an expert and personable instructor, expedition leader & award winning, visionary photographer. 

He is also a photography educator with the "Manfrotto School of Excellence" online educational network. 

"This is gorgeous work!", says Christopher Robinson, editor of Outdoor Photographer Magazine.
Mark Jansen

When hitting the city streets for the first time, many newcomers to street photography feel a certain anxiety about photographing people on the streets.  There’s something they should know up front, that might help a bit. Anyone visible in a public space in the United States can be photographed with no consequence to the photographer.

That said, one must learn to gauge a stranger’s acceptance of being photographed and not step beyond acceptable social bounds. Remember, a smile and a brief positive comment goes a long way with any stranger you might like to photograph!  But first, take note of your subject’s socioeconomic state of being beforehand. You don’t want to be that person that invades another’s personal moment of great stress or crisis.

I always tell my students to seek uniquely odd moments on the streets. There are many occassions where you’ll find members of our human race of clear mind to be visually interesting. They might be engaged in some daily activity, or dressed and behaving in a odd fashion that stands out from the crowd.  These people are normally quite aware of their unique look and the attraction they might draw.

There’s nothing wrong with approaching anyone and engaging anyone for a photo, or you just taking a quick “fly by” impression with your photographic device. If you’re still not comfortable with the the idea of photographing strangers, remember, all forms of street photography are great, be it environmental landscapes or architecture. Join us on our next street photography workshop in San Francisco or Ventura, CA!

All the best,

Mark Jansen