Mark’s Quick Tip: Anxiety of Photographing People on the Streets.

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 occasions 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 an 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 idea of photographing strangers, remember, all forms of street photography are great, be it environmental landscapes or architecture. Join us for our next street photography workshop in San Francisco.

All the best,

Mark Jansen

Posted in

Mark’s interest in photography and love for landscape photography draws him into some amazing places and he freely shares this knowledge on his photography workshops. He researches his subjects extensively, 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 and teach workshops.

Mark offers photographic workshops in numerous U.S. and International locations with his business, Jansen Photo Expeditions. He is an expert and personable instructor, expedition leader and award winning, visionary photographer. 

Mark has over 25 years of professional fine art and photographic experience. He has a passion for landscape and classic aviation photography and provides large scale commercial installations of his fine art photographic murals and print works throughout California. He works with both small and large corporate businesses in helping them project a powerful impact through his images.


About Mark and Holly
Mark and Holly Jansen
Jansen Photo Expeditions
(805) 701-8807 or


Email Sign Up
Scroll to Top