Documentary photography is a deliberate and narrative-driven form of photography, with a focus on storytelling. Street photography, on the other hand, is characterized by spontaneity and a focus on capturing the essence of everyday life in public spaces, often with an emphasis on aesthetics and candid moments. While these distinctions exist, some photographers incorporate elements of both genres in their work, creating a blend of documentary and street photography. Both types of photography focus on an observational approach, an emphasis on real life, and a focus on the human experience.
Many documentary and street photographers choose Sony cameras and lenses for their reliability, versatility and exceptional image quality, making them well-suited for capturing one-time moments and authentic scenes in a wide range of lighting conditions. Sony's mirrorless camera systems offer compact and discreet options that are ideal for photographers seeking to blend into their surroundings while maintaining the capability to capture high-quality images. Take a look at these photographers who use Sony systems to create raw and authentic images. And for more inspirational images, be sure to follow @SonyAlpha on Instagram.
Nino Rakichevich – @nino_rakichevich
Nino Rakichevich is a portrait, fashion and street photographer and Sony Artisan. His blend of different styles gives his work a unique perspective. His street photography, where he places himself right in the moment, transports you into these chance happenings that are playful and will often bring a smile to your face—reminding us that life is not always so serious. The photo below was made with the Sony Alpha 7R V and Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. We love the repetition of hats throughout the frame. Read more about his use of high-resolution cameras HERE.
Steven John Irby – @stevesweatpants
Sony Alpha Ambassador Steven John Irby, also known as Steve Sweatpants is known for his street photography. His Instagram feed is filled with stunning black and white documentary-style street photography. We love the storytelling in this image, the eyes in the rearview mirror along with the motion blur of the street out of the window gives a strong sense of narrative. Check out what gear he uses when he’s out shooting for the day HERE.
Dan Joyce – @danjoyce
Dan Joyce is a Houston-based lifestyle and editorial photographer who specializes in social content creation, landscape, tourism and aerial photography. He’s also a Sony Alpha Ambassador. We love this sweet moment Dan captured on the streets of NewYork. We also love that he went for a wider angle, rather than a tight shot which we often see with intimate images. For this image, Dan used the Sony Alpha 1 and Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.
Peter Kalnbach – @street.nomad_
Peter Kalnbach is a visual storyteller who likes to travel and photograph life in big cities like New York, Chicago, or London in a distinctly muted and moody style. With his Sony Alpha 7 IV and his trinity of Sony primes, Peter creates images based around his neo-noir inspired style. The image below is a great example – Peter has captured a fleeting moment, in dark and moody tones. Take a look in Peter’s camera bag HERE.
Paola Franqui – @monaris_
Paola Franqui, also known as Monaris, is a street photographer and Sony Alpha Ambassador. Her street photography can almost be described as still images from the movie of life. The moody and cinematic style of her imagery often looks like it’s from a film and tells an entire story within a frame. Follow her Instagram for more moody and mysterious street photography like in the post below and see more of her work in her debut book Momentos. See of her latest works with the taken with the new Sony Alpha 7CR HERE.
Natascia Mercurio – @natybtw
Natascia Mercurio, also known as Naty, is an art director, photographer, and filmmaker born in Italy. She has created a unique orange and blue color pallet in her imagery that makes them easily identifiable. She uses color, expression, and composition to express a sense of emotion to her audience. In this image, Natascia uses the warmer orange light to draw attention to her subject, letting the rest of the acne fall to blue. This is a great example of how photographers can use color and light to direct the viewer's eye. Naty’s primary camera is the Sony Alpha 7R III.
Sanmi Krueger – @capital.shutter
Sanmi Krueger is a photographer from Berlin. His aim is to capture moments rather than places, meaning he looks to tell stories and convey emotions through his imagery. He says that “I became very passionate about the art of photography as it allows me to archive the reality, to share the beauty of our planet with my ever growing community and to rediscover the ordinary.” The emotive images below were taken with the Sony Alpha 1.
Thomas Kakareko – @thomas_k
Thomas Kakareko is a Sony photographer based in Berlin. His account boasts a great variety of street photography and artistic portraits. He bounces back and forth between using his Sony Alpha 7S II and his Sony Alpha 7R III for both personal and professional work. The image below was taken in Berlin, and the lighting is exquisite. The way the man is walking towards the morning light, creates a cinematic vibe for a seemingly ordinary moment.
Moshe S. – @moshe_s_photography
Moshe is a photographer based in both New York City and Israel who specializes in street, portrait and event photography. Using the Sony Alpha 7 III, he captures moody and cinematic-style street photography that he posts on his Instagram. His imagery has a beautiful calming tone to it that captures everyday moments of people in the city.