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Exploring the power of portraits in street photography

By Editor Marius Cinteză 
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 12th of May 2023

Street photography can be considered one of the most captivating genres of photography, reflecting the everyday life on the streets and the essence of the human experience in urban environments.

One of the most powerful and engaging aspects of street photography is the ability to convey emotions through the portraits of people. Street portraits can tell stories, deliver messages or capture emotions-evoking moments. Unlike traditional portrait photography, street portraits are taken in public places, often featuring candid shots of people going about their daily lives. These photographs are impactful because they express the raw sensations in a way that is intimate, authentic and difficult to replicate in a studio setup.

Street portraits can convey a wide range of emotions, from joy and happiness to sadness and despair.

In a single image, a photographer can capture the complex feelings of a person in a moment of time, their range varying widely depending on the subject and the context. Street portraits can transmit a sense of peace, serenity, sadness, melancholy, loneliness, isolation, distress and can also be used to deliver a social message. By capturing the struggles and triumphs of everyday people, these photographs can shed the light on public issues, promote empathy and understanding, challenge stereotypes and preconceptions by showcasing the diversity and complexity of the human experiences.


One of the most dominant aspects of the portrait photography on street is its ability to depict the essence of a place.
By photographing people in a specific location, the photographer can seize the mood and atmosphere of that environment and make a clear statement. A single portrait can reveal in the viewer’s mind the whole surroundings, thus ensuring an unique and timeless perspective and creating a special sense of intimacy and connection with the subject.


Street is a powerful medium for expressing emotions and telling stories through portraits. Whether evoking joy or sorrow, hope or despair, these photographs offer a sole and intimate window into the human experience, thus providing a different perspective on the beauty and complexity of the world around us.


's-t' by Carlos Lopes Franco



n/t by Ömer Ates Kızıltuğ



A Friend Like You' by Richard Bland



'Love' by Pablo Martinez



n/t by Tatsuo Suzuki



n/t by Tatsuo Suzuki



'Street Seller' by nebula



'GHasem and Pigeons' Masumeh Asakereh 



'heavy rain' by TORU MATSUNAGA



'Madame Carpentier, 94' by Marc Apers



'street portrait' by Go Muroiwa



'Alone at home' by Fernando Alves



'Difficult day' by Igor N.



n/t by Tatsuo Suzuki



'Street portrait' by Michal Szydlowski



'smoking' by  TORU MATSUNAGA



Untitled' by Zyfeller



'Man on the Street' by Kieron Long



'HOPE' by Dipankar Paul


Beautiful works!
Excellent expressive portraits! my best compliments.
Many thanks, Arnon! All the best!
gorgeous work!
Thank you, Lynn!
Nice portraits
Many thanks, Eduardo!!
Pretty good selection, surprisingly. I'm disappointed not to see any of my photographs in it.
Thank you! This is not exhaustive, only a street portraits selection. Keep doing your great work and tag your photos accordingly! More materials on street will come.
Wonderful introduction and excellent street portraits selection.
Thank you so much, Miro!!
Thank you very much
My pleasure to share your amazing work!
A very interesting and admirable article on behalf of street photography. Also very pertinent and useful because this "art" is not considered as such by many photographers...and it is Art!
Thank you so much, Jorge! Indeed, Art could be what we consider Art!
A spontaneous street portrait can reveal immense emotions. Here are many examples of that same photography, what I call pure and hard photography. Many congratulations on the article, Marius and also to the other colleagues.
Thank you so much, Fernando! I really appreciate your comment!
Enchanting gallery and great article! So many stories told here in these photos!
Many, many thanks, Ludmila!
Wonderful article.
Thank you, Ray!
nebula PRO
Thank you so much
My pleasure!!
All your photos are very interesting, because they express their own emotions... They have a soul. I congratulate you and I am glad to meet you, even if only through your photos.
Thank you so much, Asuncion! The credits go to all the photographers contributing with their works!
glad to read something about street photography here! strong portraits selected!
Many thanks, Rainer!!
Estupendo y apasionante.
Thanks, Eduardo!!
Excellent article, lovely images.
Thank you, Anita!!
Thank you very much.
Many thanks, Ömer!!
Interesting article. Street Photography in public locations of vibrancy is always interesting that to portraits bringing out the emotions.
Thank you so much!!
An interesting article with some very suggestive images. Thanks so much!
Thank YOU, Montserrat!!
Thank you! It is an honour to be featured!
My pleasure, Kieron, to share your work!!
Well written article!!! The perfect follow-up for Weegee's article in a contemporary 'jacket'. Strong portraits, congrats to the authors and big thanks to you, Marius. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you, Yvette! A big thank to all the photographers contributing with their amazing works to this material!! :-)