One of the great things about TikTok is that it’s a host for a wide variety of communities, all in the same space. Artists, chefs, botanists – pretty much any field you can think of is represented on the app. And occasionally, those communities overlap. Here’s how the photography side of TikTok and the comedy side of TikTok intersected for one of the biggest trends of the year.
What is the street photographer trend?
The street photographer trend (although it doesn’t have a specific name) began with a simple format of video that grew in popularity. A photographer would approach someone on the street that they viewed as inspiring or remarkable, usually because of their style choices. They would first ask if the person spoke English, usually give them a compliment or two, and then ask if they could take the person’s photo. The impromptu model would agree, and then pose for the photographs, which the photographer included as a slideshow at the end of the video.
It’s a pretty straightforward type of video, but it held massive appeal. The audio that the majority of these videos used has a staggering 423.5k videos under it. There was something captivating about seeing how the person responded to being complimented by a stranger, and then watching how they held themselves for the pose. It showed that even a seemingly ordinary person could transform into a model at the drop of a hat. This is why street photography has been popular as a medium: it’s about finding the beauty in everyday life.
But not all of this hype was borne out of an appreciation for the art of photography. The trend was popularised in part by the subsequent parodies that borrowed the format of the original videos. They flipped the trend on its head by featuring models who purposefully posed in un-photogenic ways, in unappealing locations or in comedic scenarios. These videos also feature photographers who take pixelated, blurry or strangely framed photos. These videos seem for the most part to poke fun more at themselves than the photographers who originally started the trend.