Being a London based street photographer I find it hard to explain exactly how street photography makes me feel and why I practice it.
My personal approach to street photography is as non intrusive as possible, the ultimate aim always being to not be noticed.
There are two reasons for this:
- I simply don’t enjoy annoying people
- I believe when your subject is unaware, you capture their real self and that makes for much more interesting street photography.
Do I succeed? Frankly, not always as in many of my London street photos you will see my subject making eye contact. But that’s ok, if it’s that exact split second they look at you/notice you, there’s just that instant where you’re still ahead of a reaction.
"No Estoy Un Space Invader"
I try and respect people’s personal space, I’m not one to be right in people’s faces and I’m a little careful with what I shoot. For example I don’t feel much need to photograph the homeless. I feel a certain amount of shame in doing that.
What I discovered through street photography is that I wasn’t even aware of my own tendency to be curious and fascinated by people, I actually thought I was quite the opposite. It’s become like a mirror held in front of me and has helped me know some part of my personality better but maybe also show a little more empathy towards others through observation. After all we all have our story.
All (street) photographers are different. The best way to make great and honest photographs is to let your personality shine through your shots, that way you develop a truly unique style as individual as you are. I tend to look for a little humour in everyday scenes yet always wary there is a fine line between humour and mockery. I try not to fall into the latter.
I also love the aesthetics and my natural attention to details shows in my shots which will very often be carefully composed. When it comes to lines, I try to find an equilibrium, the geometry in photography is a very important element to me and so is symmetry to a certain extent. I look for a good balance of light and dark areas, of contrast, if people are silhouetted my preference will usually be for a black and white shot. Colours that compliment each other are also something I am attracted to. I like the difficulty of capturing great street photography in colour, in my opinion, it’s so much more challenging than black and white. Don’t get me wrong I do love black and white street photography (as you can see through this post) but haven’t we all noticed the ability it has to make everything seem naturally a little bit better looking (even a very average shot)?
Of course we all know that "a photograph speaks a thousand words" but we usually refer to what's captured.
I believe a photograph can reveal a lot, personality-wise, about the person who shot it through all of the above: Composition, distance to subject, use of colour or monochrome, situation captured, etc…
We want to hear your comments! What does your photography say about you?