People who were once considered a nuisance are now being praised for capturing a slice of history, with their work being sought for a new Wollongong project.
Street photographers were similar to buskers, and made their money from "split second" meetings with people passing by from the 1930s to the 1960s, though they were often regarded as "pests".
Anne Zahalka is seeking out these images, as she said they capture precious moments in history - from streetscapes, to clothing, to people.
"It could be seen now as this total invasion of privacy 'who are you to take my picture'," she said.
"It was a unique way of capturing people - people were in motion, they were going somewhere when the photographer engages with them for a split second, takes their photo and gives them a card.
"They would then take the card the following week where they had the photo booths, and see the proof sheets ... then look through and order their prints."
As personal camera's weren't too accessible and affordable until the 1950's, these photographs were often some of the only portraits people had, Ms Zahalka said.
Patricia Hamilton has already submitted a family image for the project, of her late parents Winston Hamilton and Bessie Irvine.
They were walking along Crown Street on a Saturday morning in 1939 when a street photographer jumped out and took their picture.
"They had met not long before at a local dance," Ms Hamilton said. "My mother was 16 and my father 24. They married in 1942 and settled in Corrimal where they lived the rest of their lives."
Ms Zahalka is appealing to more families to look through family albums, biscuit tins and shoeboxes for these type of images - either from Wollongong and surrounds, or worldwide.
The photographs are usually no bigger than the size of one's palm, and usually have a number on the back.
Woonona resident John Reay submitted an image of he and his late wife Faylande which was snapped on the street in 1948.
His wife used to process the films for the street photographers of the time, and worked in the field from 1945 to 1955.
"In 1946 Faylande ... worked for a beach photographer on Coledale Beach in a van developing the snaps taken on the beach," Mr Reay said.
"In 1949 had her own business developing and printing Thirroul to Port Kembla. Kodak gave a week service whereas Faylande gave eight hours."
Ms Zahalka will collate submissions into an exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery in December.
"It was an incredible phenomenon," she said. "We're very fortunate they existed, at a time some people didn't have [cameras] and couldn't afford to have studio photos taken."
If you do find these type of images in the archives, upload them and their story to: www.zahalkaworld.com.au/snapped-submissions/
Scanned photographs should be in full colour mode (not greyscale) with the border included at 300 - 800dpi and saved as a tiff or jpeg. People are also asked to scan the back of the photo if possible to submit.