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An unorthodox form of therapy? W/ Detroit Street Photography Club

There are few things in life more therapeutic than taking a walk outside in a vibrant city in the middle of a rapid resurgence. The only things that come to mind are creating art for others to enjoy, or getting to meet new and interesting people. In this Hobby Hospitality post we talk about how The Detroit Street Photography Club combines the best elements of all of these into an enjoyable experience.

Meet The founder

@DunkKid23 Explaining why He started the club

Danan Thomas, the founder of the @DET SPC, a photographer with over 10 years of experience, hailing from Pontiac MI. He originally started the club to address the lack of a sense of community in the local photography scene. The community is historically one where those with experience tend to look down on newcomers and acquiring new business leads can be tricky, due to the cutthroat nature of customer acquisition in the space.  

Danan however, had an “everybody eats” mentality in which he wanted to create a space that was not just for traditional photographers, but a space that was welcome to anyone with even the slightest interest in using a camera to capture moments. This includes everyone from those that enjoy using their phones to capture images, to short video/tik tok creators, to entry level DSLR users, to advanced hobbyists,  to professionals. It’s safe to say that this space was a genuine experience welcome to people of all backgrounds. His intentions for the club are to “Create a collective where everyone thinks together, collaborates, and shares their passions, and at the same time, creates their own separate art.”

In the end, The charisma of @DunkKid23 as the host and his wife @bebexo308 are what made the experience fun and something that is not easily to replicate. The two of them made sure everyone was comfortable, and helped out the crew with any questions they had. You could tell from start to finish that they just wanted the event to be a success and for everyone to have a good time.  

Det SPC Working Hard
@shankarsphotos & @Haoyan.npu working hard

The Shooting

Without giving away too much of what made this experience special,  the overall premise was extremely simple. Assemble a team of interesting, like minded creatives and curate an experience that unlocks what makes each member special, in an effort to deliver an enjoyable space to simply create. DET SPC absolutely delivered on that. 

Now onto the actual hobby under discussion for this post,  Street Photography. Street Photography is a subgenre of traditional photography that focuses mainly on candid shots of humanity, landscapes, or wildlife in their natural environments.  

The cost for entry can be relatively low. At the very minimum all you will need is a cell phone  to get started. Don’t worry about the folks that say you need a super expensive camera to get started because that is just not the case. Eventually, however, you may want to invest in a DSLR camera or a quality point and shoot to unlock your full potential. 

Art Therapy

Like we mentioned earlier, street photography is extremely therapeutic. The simple act of getting outside and walking to explore the city is therapeutic enough. Now when you add the complexity of perfecting an art form, and getting out to meet people(if that’s something that you’re interested in), you have the formula for an enjoyable therapy experience. It is an excellent way to get a quick morale boost, and turning it into a long term hobby can lead to personal growth, clarity, and lead to a deeper connection to the environment. 

I was able to be fully present in the moment and knew that the only thing that mattered was the camera lens and the subjects that I was trying to shoot. To be honest, this was such a refreshing experience, we felt we could have been out here for hours to enjoy the benefits that this experience provided. 

The People

Most people choose populous urban areas to shoot. The heavy concentration of people and mix of contemporary and classical architecture create the perfect storm to capture humanity at its finest. It is an excellent way to meet people around the city. From our interactions with the DET SPC, the vast majority of people did not have an issue with having us snapping candid photos of them, however be aware that this might not always be the case. Street photography can potentially be a privacy concern for some and they may not always be as receptive. 

One of the main unexpected aspects of street photography was the random people that we met during the process. There were people that asked to have their pictures taken, people that had a wide array of questions and an overall interest in what we were doing, and we actually met two photographers along the way that asked to join in, which was the strongest indicator that we were a part of something unique. 

Lighting Matters

Lighting is also something that beginners may also want to be aware of. Make sure to go in with a lighting plan for the day. Make the decision of whether or not you would like to shoot in the daylight or night time.  If choosing the daylight, check the weather for rain, snow, clouds and other things that can potentially hinder optimal lighting conditions. Also pay attention to the time of day that your shots will be. Night Time shots will require the usage of street & building lights and will require a bit more strategy than the natural light provided by the sunlight. 

You will also want to learn the basics of photography, which can essentially be broken down into three main categories: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. These are three fancy terms that dictate how much light enters into a camera sensor. Of course there is a lot more to it, but that is essentially where you will want to start your  journey. Here is a video that explains a little bit more about how the three work in tandem to Control light exposure.

The Photographers

As we mentioned earlier, we had people from all different backgrounds that joined this experience. We had a mix of engineers, programmers, AV Experts, videographers, medical workers, and the only thing that mattered to everyone present was capturing moments. Below are some of the featured photographers.


 An experienced and technically sound photographer that has chosen mobile as his medium of choice.  He is “Always searching for beauty where beauty is overlooked” and he just flatout excels at capturing candid moments. 


A photographer with a background in engineering, that is great at capturing moments of people in their natural element.  He has experience shooting weddings, graduation portraits, corporate work, lifestyle and more.  

Check out his website at 



Another photographer with a background in engineering. We talked briefly, but just from our brief conversation you can tell that he is 100% passionate about this as a hobby. He has some dope shots on his instagram feed, go check it out! 


An expert with anything that has to do with cameras, that just flat out excels at capturing all different kinds of cool moments. It doesn’t take long to notice someone that appreciates the ins and outs of a hobby/profession and with spending just a few moments talking to Jake it was 100% apparent. 


Has been around the photography scene for years, but didn’t get into street photography until recently. She also took the cover photo at the end of the team which turned out to be an excellent shot. 


A videographer that has a phone first mentality.  He definitely stood out from the crew by being the only one with a gimbal stabilizer, which is absolutely perfect for capturing those on the go street videography moments.  


A photographer/videographer that is a jack of all trades behind the camera lens. Funny enough. We actually ran into & met him on the street as he was walking out from a video shoot for one of his clients. @bvlltoamaze liked what we were doing and decided to pull his camera out and walk a couple blocks with us. He was 100% about his hustle. He made it his intention to introduce himself to everyone, and network / get to know the crew in the quick amount of time he spent with us. 


A cool, high fashion enthusiast who also happens to be a photographer that knows his gear. Didn’t get to talk much photography with him. However overhearing all the conversations he had with  @killjakekehrer you could tell that he knew his stuff and was well versed at his craft. 


A software engineer that randomly saw us walking during the shoot and asked if he could join. He hasn’t been doing photography for very long but had a very nice camera/lens combination. He is originally from china and if I recall correctly, he had never experienced anything like this, so he had a lot of questions.  You could easily tell that he appreciated the opportunity to connect with other like minded creatives.

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