You’re in Control…
Mid-way through the first month of the new year, I reflected back on my street photography. The true joy of shooting the streets is being able to recognize a moment whether, surreal, comical, interesting, strange and to anticipate the moment and act upon. There’s a feeling of ownership when you’re able to photograph a moment or a scene and call it your own.
We have the fullest control over our lives but realistically it doesn’t always feel that way. Yes, we can choose where we want to work or what career we’d like to go into…but once we’re slaving ourselves to someone’s company we don’t have full creative freedom of how we’d like to direct the company towards. We give our time, energy, and resources making someone else’s vision to life or someone’s company prosperous.
With my street photography, it’s simply by choice. I don’t work for anyone, I don’t sell prints or books (hopefully some day), I do it because there’s an excitement and liberating feeling when I’m out and about. I don’t have to shoot a certain way or capture a special moment to please a client or anyone for that matter…Other than myself.
Da Human Connection…
Occasionally, I’ll interact with my subjects if I’m making a street-portrait. It’s always nice to talk to people out of your comfort level….such as people at work, friends from school, childhood friends, people you meet in non-profit clubs, etc. I find joy by having real conversations with a strangers that I don’t know. Instead of talking to co-workers and hearing their frustrations about their bosses, or with old friends who only like to reminisce on old times, or sport friends only talking about…well sports!
I think that’s one of the most important skills to have as a street photographer…being sociable…being comfortable around others and having the confidence to talk to strangers on a personal level. Especially in this day and age where we all are focused in on our phones…it’s nice to look up, create small talk, smile at someone, and see what else is going around within your surrounding.
I’ve always made the analogy that street photography is like fishing…you go out for hours, waiting to find that special moment or person or thing and once you recognize it, you just want to quickly make a photo of it. Like in fishing you go out, put your bait on your fishing rods and you see what you can get. Once you get a bite and a big one that is, you want to reel it in and not let it go. It can take hours to reel something that you’d actually like but that’s what makes all that waiting much more satisfying.
In this fast pace crazy world we all live in…street photography allows us to take a step back, observe our surroundings with the intent to make it a better place.