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  • Writer's pictureAbhishek Deb

Jens F. kruse

Street Photography by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Jens F. Kruse

A German street photographer based in Spain, who finds bliss in the flow of life.

Immediately rings a bell about how distinct the cultures of these two nations are. There is a saying: “In Spain, life happens outdoors.” Well, Jens F. Kruse comes with the joy of having witnessed life from two distinct human cultures of these European nations.

Street photography is a fascinating art form that captures the essence of urban life. In this series of interviews, we’ll be talking to some of the world’s most talented street photographers, who will share their insights, techniques, and experiences in capturing the beauty and complexity of the streets.

In our 5th installment of this interview series, Jens expressed himself candidly enough to give a fascinating insight to his version of street photography!

Why and when did street photography become your THE thing? What exactly inspired you?

Jens F. Kruse: In 2018, a man ran through my picture and I pressed the shutter anyway. I had total adrenaline and heart palpitations and didn’t know what was happening. When I looked at the picture I realised I hadn’t photographed what I was seeing but what I was thinking! I am always fascinated by what people think while traveling, what they look at, where they come from, and where they are going; I make up stories in my head. I am a storyteller and I get to step into other people’s lives for 1/500th of a second … and I am already aware that these are my stories…

How would you define your style of street photography?

Jens F. Kruse: I am clearly the hunter on the road. Very rarely, for example, a light situation fascinates me and I wait a long time for a fish to swim by … I am fascinated by the certainty that the next story that comes my way can never be repeated. And sometimes I manage to get it in the frame of my camera and that’s a great feeling.

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

What is more important to you, the people or the surroundings?

Jens F. Kruse: Without the surroundings, the people would not be there. The environment shapes people when they go to work, eat a hot dog or take their children to school. At the same time, people leave energy in the public space. Through their presence, their smell, their sound, and their being. One is not possible without the other.

Jens, what would be your top list of tricks to succeed as a street photographer? Share some tips for people who are starting out on street photography..

Jens F. Kruse: You can’t skip the line! Besides real studies of street photography literature and the great masters, it’s also an affinity for art, film, and culture. Then you have to know your camera inside out so that you are ready for your picture in a second, which you have had in your head for 2 seconds. But then there are the three most important points of all. First, go out and photograph. secondly, take the picture and thirdly very importantly, take the picture! No one sees the world the way you do. So no one else can tell the stories the way you have to tell them, the way you have to tell them! And don’t listen to Instagram

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Jens, when you look deep within, did street photography change you?

Jens F. Kruse: A wonderful question! Absolutely! I mean I have always been interested in people and their stories. I could sit in cafes or bars for hours, looking at people and making up stories about them. Now I still hold on to these stories. I am in the absolute now. I completely forget what I am doing, but I am very aware of what is happening!

The past and the future exist in the here & now.

There is nothing better than this flow in life!

Urban space never exists in and of itself, because its appearance changes with every moment.

This is also transferred to other areas of life: You become more attentive, more relaxed, and more attentive to the moment. You take it seriously, no matter how small it is.

Jens, what do you think, for a street photographer, what is beyond that camera?

Jens F. Kruse: Changing one’s own view of life and oneself, and thus giving one’s own thoughts a completely new direction. Look, listen, and feel. Form your own picture! True life design takes place when you start to be really interested in the details and moments. In this way, your view of the details and moments in your life also becomes sharper and you are involved. Consciously and clearly! The camera is only the key to this door.

Is street photography your primary source of bread & butter?

Jens F. Kruse: Yes, it is indeed. Through Covid, I sold my former business in 2020 and have been setting up my life all over again as a street photographer since 2021. It’s hard, but I knew that … I’m working on making it easier.

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Out of your own work, pick the top three. Tell us the story behind those shots.

Jens F. Kruse : I always have my camera with me, even when I take the rubbish out. We had visitors and really went to the beach to relax and swim. While we were building our camp in the sand, I noticed two elderly people on the steps of the wall. They were already worth a picture, but it was to get even better: the young man sat down next to them, and a little later the young woman too. The line caught my eye immediately and I took a few shots. then I thought: now someone else would have to come down the stairs and go through the gap!!!! I only had one click!

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Jens F. Kruse : I always thought that I really knew everything in my hometown, that I have seen everything and there is nothing more to come. And then I encountered this moment on my way to the bus stop to go to Palma de Mallorca to take pictures. Just genius!

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Jens F. Kruse : I encountered this almost unreal scene in Palma and I’m very proud of it. Because my wish was granted that the baby should please stretch its feet up: click!

Any shot you think that you may have missed and you must have taken?

Jens F. Kruse : There are quite a few. Namely, all the ones I fucked up because I was slow, incompetent, or simply too stupid!

Which camera(s) do you use? And what about your lenses and other accessories?

Jens F. Kruse: I use the Fujifilm X100V … nothing more.

Which other street photographers’ work inspires you the most?

Jens F. Kruse: Henri Cartier Bresson, Vivian Maier, Garry Winogrand, and Tony Ray-Jones for their incredible presence. Bruce Gilden for his cheekiness, Alex Webb for his lighting compositions, Matt Stuart for his hunting instinct … oh, there really are many incredibly good ones. Harry Gruyaert’s work embodies for me this fantastic fusion of narrative and poetry.

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

Well, Jens, what is your word of caution to amateur street photographers?

Jens F. Kruse: Get out of your comfort zone and take photos. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

What NOT TO DO in street photography?

Jens F. Kruse: Never go into confrontation if someone approaches you and they don’t want that (to be photographed)! Be friendly, and explain what you are doing and why. And if you want the picture deleted, delete it, apologise, and give your business card.

Do you believe that street photographers are travel photographers too?

Jens F. Kruse: Travel photography focuses on a specific subject or motif, while street photography often takes a peripheral, random angle – leaving the viewer wondering who the subject of the scene is. Street photography shows the accidental moment, and documentary photography the fateful moment. But in principle, we always capture a small journey with a picture.

Street Photography image by Jens F. Kruse for the Street Photography Gallery.
Photo-Jen F Kruse

What is your perspective on the relationship between Street Photography and Street documentary?

Jens F. Kruse: From my point of view, there is a very fine line. Street photography always has a documentary character, but documentary (almost) never has a street character.

Do you follow any composition techniques by the books?

Jens F. Kruse: No! But in order not to follow them, you have to know which ones they are! It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play! But you have to know all the notes!

Any location that you dream to cover next? Or any place that you would want to revisit?

Jens F. Kruse: UUUhhh, the list is long. I hope I still have some time left to work through it.

What makes you say “Wow!” when you see some other street photographers’ work? (and the reverse)

Jens F. Kruse: My soul must be touched. Nothing else.

Can we disagree with that as a parting thought? No! That is Jens F. Kruse for you guys, as candid as it can be.

Street Photographer | Jens F. Kruse

You can connect with Jens F. Kruse on Instagram | Facebook

If you are a street photographer and own a credible body of work, you can be featured in The Street Photography Gallery’s Feature section. You only have to hit the button below or email us on

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