Lift. Click. Walk away. Post the perfect shot. Wouldn’t that be nice? When it comes to street photography, absolutely!

The reality is that many street photographers spend hours and hours (and several shutter clicks) to get only a few post-worthy shots.

In his latest video, Sean Tucker talks about this process, noting that this is a “process I have to engage in to get the good shots I’m willing to post.” We often see the final result, but contact sheets allow us to see the process—how the photographer’s mind, body, and creativity work together to get that one perfect image.

Sean Tucker Visually Scrapbooking Through Images

As Tucker shares his contact sheets, the vision behind the shots starts to develop. His street photography process comes into focus as he walks you through the day, image by image. There are images of him “visually scrapbooking”, allowing him to remember locations and light as he continues to look for opportunities and potential in the world around him. You can see his patience level, of which he admits he has very little, as well as how he takes his notes visually as he walks through the day.

Street Photographers: The Hunter and the Fisherman

Tucker takes a break from his sheets to talk about the different types of street photographers. The Hunter, who is quick, tracks people down, wants to find interesting people on the street, and hunts for actions that are happening. In contrast, the Fisherman, and the type of street photographer Tucker categorizes himself in, will find a good composition in a location, and wait for subjects to move within that space.

His contact sheets showcase this “Fisherman” mindset. Tucker talks about “camping” and “waiting”, well until a little glimpse of interesting light catches his eye and then he’s off to a new location.

Individually, most of the images in these contact sheets would be considered boring or amateur. However, together they breathe life into a process that is rich with thought, talent, and focus. They tell more than just a story of one man’s walk through a city with a camera, they tell a tale of highs and lows, successes and failures, and determination to get that one perfect shot.

Tucker ends by saying “I take about 18,000 shots a year to show you 365, but I know that’s what it takes to get those good images and I don’t feel ashamed about that at all.”

Check out Sean’s video above to gain more of an insight into Sean Tucker’s method. Let us know what you think in the comments below!