The Street Photography Bubble

Street photography has exploded within the last decade or so due to social media, Instagram to be specific. Every person is a photographer, you see the same styles and photographs done in different countries. Whether it’s your own idea or inspired by another photographer you admire, sooner or later the street photography bubble is going to pop. The popularity of street photography is at its peak but in my opinion, it will eventually trend down as the genre gets more saturated. Maybe we’ll discover that there are more people staging shots or photo-shopping their photos to get the perfect shot. Many people that start off in street photography end up getting burnt out and quit shooting after three years or so. If boosting your Instagram and other social media following is your main motive, you will soon lose interest. You must do it for the love of the art!

You might think you’ve shot an amazing photo or innovative style, then come to find you see someone online with a similar if not better shot. That’s the good and bad of social media. It’s great because we all have this community and we can see what other people are doing around the world, but at the same time nothing is new. Classic street photography has more of a documentary approach. But now days it seems a lot of photos surfacing are almost like fine art photography due to everyone wanting to be like Alex Webb.

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I feel to be the best “modern day” street photographer you need to find that sweet spot that captures a documentary style, like Garry Winogrand, along with Alex Webb that’s more fine art street style. If you can find that middle ground your work will truly stand the test of time. Ultimately, I do believe the street photography bubble will soon burst. Just like how the housing market crashed in 2011, as supply increased, demand decreased. Although the popularity of street photography has increased, the demand for street photography is not there. It’s still a niche genre and many galleries don’t recognize it as an art-form like other genres of photography. After a while though I do believe street photography will emerge again and the classic documentary style will be the more popular way to go.

Thoughts?

How More Female Street Photographers Can Be Recognized

The lack of visibility and recognition of females in many professions still hold true today in 2018!!! I mean it hasn’t been 100 years yet that women in our country had the right to vote. Even in the world of street photography, women photographers tend to be underrepresented.

For example I’ve been looking at Melissa Breyer’s photographs and for a while I hadn’t known if the photographer was male or female. When I scroll through Instagram or websites of photo competitions, I just appreciate the photos and never bother looking at the names of the photographer. Before, I used to stereotype and think that women would only photograph children, make the photograph on a wider scale including more in the frame, and a photograph by a man would be up close and personal but that can’t be so accurate today with the amount of photographs online. But now there’s really nothing specific that can pinpoint whether a picture was taken by a man vs a woman.

Back to my main question, how can female street photographers get more recognition in the industry? Two things come to mind: the two affiliates with the most reach in the genre of street photography (Eric Kim and iN-Public). Both have significant reach and a strong influence in the genre. So much so that if they say a photograph or a photographer is good, most people will listen or at least check out their work.

To my knowledge, Eric Kim has never interviewed a female street photographer. What’s incredible about Eric Kim is that he has a solid following from the average street photographer nerd to anyone new or curious about the genre. He reaches more of the general consumer. I mean his stuff is all over google.

The same goes with iN-Public. They have the reach and influence to bring more attention to female street photographers. Besides Magnum, they are the longest reigning collective. For crying out loud, of their twenty five active members only two are females and one of them is Trent Parke’s wife. I don’t know what iN-Public’s criteria is in selecting and accepting new members, but seeing an unbalanced number of men to women under this list of photographers on their site has me scratching my head. Even Burn My Eye, out of 19 members only two are female.

I also think the legacy of street photography plays a role in keeping the women photographers in the dark. When we think of the gold standards in street photography or photographers that helped propel the genre forward, a few names that come to mind are Henri Cartier Bresson, Garry Winogrand, and Alex Webb. All of them men. I do think men take things a little too seriously, partly because men have more of an ego than women do, not saying there aren’t females that don’t have egos but generally speaking us men have bigger egos. Ken Walton of StreetFoto did a great thing by having a majority of female judges for his competitions, but that’s seasonal and clearly not enough.

The difficult part in seeking recognition, regardless of being male or female, is that “you’re only as good as your last photo”. And with many good and bad photographs floating online today it’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle. It can be very hard to stand out for longer than 24 hours. People who say they photograph for themselves, well yeah with street you do have to photograph for yourself, but they also want people to see their work. Street photography is a visual medium, it’s self expression and you should want people to see how YOU see the world.

I feel there are many women street photographers who produce great work and we need to do a better job at recognizing them. I’m glad to find that female street photographers have taken initiative to create online groups that are dedicated exclusively to female street photographers. To see more visit Women in Street and Double X Street.

Another good read here “Street Photography”s a Man Problem” 

Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

Interview With Hawaii Street Photographer Anthony Consillio

Hi Anthony thanks for doing this. where do you live and how does this influence your photography?

A. Hello! Thank you for having me! My name is Anthony Consillio and I live in Mililani on the island of Oahu just about 20 miles from Honolulu. Living in Hawaii has been great for me as a photographer. We have good weather year round so I can get out there more often and such a diverse landscape that you don’t really find in many places. Surf, sunsets and city settings…a little something for everyone. For me living out in Mililani (considered out in the country over here) I gravitate towards the city streets and where masses gather. Brick buildings, long shadows and busy people are what I look for.



When and how did you get into photography (and then street photography)?
A.  I picked up a camera back in 2005 when my son was born and other than taking photos of him and a year and a half  later his sister I was taking a lot of landscape and seascape photos…very Hawaiiana. Around that time I had a few friends who were all getting married so I was asked to shoot their weddings and after a few of those I found out that I had a knack for it and started my photography business. I  had been doing wedding and events for about 6 years when I was asked to take a staff position at a local paper here in Honolulu called MidWeek and I’ve been here ever since. After getting more active on social media posting my work images on Facebook and Instagram I started stumbling across street photography sites and images which I found very interesting. I decided to start wandering the streets around my office to give it a shot and found that I really enjoyed it. I liked capturing the moments rather than staging the shots as I did at work. I used street photography as a way to hone my skills and get a little exercise.



If you had to explain your work to a senior citizen how would you describe it ?

A.  I love colors and dark shadows, a lot of contrast. I don’t stage any shots but will wait a while if I see a strip of light I like and just wait for someone to walk through it. I like gritty, grungy streets and just try and capture things as they happen. If I had to describe it to someone the simple answer would be I shoot people and chase lights and shadows.



What frustrates you about photography?

A. One of my biggest frustrations happens everyday. I have a really hard time figuring out which lens to take. I try to do the “one lens and one body” thing so I will spend about 10 minutes going back and forth between my 23, 35 and 50mm lenses before I actually head out the door. Other frustrations I have are that I see so many great crosswalk shots but I just can’t seem to get one.


What’s your thoughts on today’s street photography landscape?

A. More people are shooting street, some more relevant than other but hey they are still getting out there. There are so many interpretations of what street photography is and so many great images coming from it. I think it’s great!


What is one street photo you never get tired of?

A. I like so many photos from so many different photographers but to pick just one I would probably go with Saul Leiter’s ‘Harlem or even “Man with the straw hat” I used to look at those two images a lot when I was younger. I can’t even remember where I first saw them but they stuck with me.


What are you most proud of in terms of your work?

A. My growth as a street photographer. Over time I got better and more confident in bringing my camera up and getting the shot. There were times when I was gun shy and missed shots because they caught me taking their photo. Another area I feel I grew is that I got better in identifying potential shots and I always have an eye out for light and shadows. I’m able to capture better photos now than I was just a year ago and I think I’ve found a particular style that I’m currently happy with.
Do you foresee Hawaii being a major location for street photography?

A. I would love to see Hawaii have a bigger role as a street photography destination and I feel we have all the pieces to be a major player. We have a very diverse population and cultures, great weather, a good mix of old & new and magnificent views and landscapes all in a relatively small package. Photographers already flock to Hawaii for the landscapes and seascapes I don’t know why more don’t come here for street photography.

Which street photographer inspires you and why?
A. I really like the work of Saul Leiter and his use of colors and shadows. I also like the fact that he used longer focal lengths than most other street photographers who were shooting with 24, 28 and 35mm lenses.
Name three contemporary photographers you really admire?
A. I really like the works of Craig Whitehead, David Sark and Brandon Wong. I love their use of color and shadows. I always look forward to seeing their new posts on Instagram.
If you can have dinner with one street photographer past or present who would it be? 

A. I think I’d like to have dinner with Bruce Gilden. Not my particular style of street photography but still he has made a major impact in the genre. I have at times tried to just walk up and snap a shot of someone but never had the same results but was fun trying. Besides I think it would either be a very funny conversation or he would just piss me off.


When you aren’t making pictures you are doing what?

A. I’m usually spending time with my family and friends. I like hiking so You can find me at times on trails, ridges and pillboxes around the island but I normally have a camera with me then too so I’m always shooting.

 

When or what was the most fun you had photographing?


A. It’s not street related but I had the opportunity to cover a story on a helicopter tour company and they offered to take us on a round the island flight so I was able to spend an hour and a half to 2 hours flying around snapping away. Crossed something off my bucket list as well as got a few good shots.
I ask everyone this question. If you could have one street photographer shoot your wedding who would it be?  

A. Great question! I would probably have wanted Weegee (Arthur Fellig) to shoot my wedding if it was possible. I would like to see how someone who shot violence, crime and freaky subcultures would do shooting a wedding. My wife may not like what she got back but I’m sure it would have been very interesting.

 

Any personal street photography tips or advice you have to those out there?

A. Always have your camera with you and just get out there and shoot. I believe the more you shoot the more you will learn.
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Keep up with Anthony Consillio’s work below!

Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

13 Street Photography Techniques To Try

These 13 Street Photography Techniques To Try are from my own experiences. My opinion and I try to give as much valuable advice as I possible can using examples of my photographs and how I went about in making them. If you’re new to street photography, let me tell you I know how you feel. It’s no easy task. You’re afraid to photograph out in public. You’re paranoid about looking like a creep or possibly getting yelled at. Or maybe you just don’t know what to look for. If you’re an experienced shooter but currently are having a photographer’s block then this article may still pertain to you.

I truly believe that the only way we can become better photographers is if we study the work of other artists and experiment with different styles and philosophies. Here are 13 tips to either get your feet wet in street photography or to re-inspire your photography. Enjoy!

1. Embrace the Mundane

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The mundane approach to street photography is a very zen like approach and is a reminder that there are no rules in street photography. Shooting the mundane makes you appreciate life and lessens the stress of hoping to encounter interesting characters on the street or relying on something dramatic to happen in public. William Eggleston was the first photographer to really open my eyes that street photography can be really anything, it doesn’t need to have a physical person in the photo but clearly just about documenting one’s surrounding. If it wasn’t for Mr. Eggleston I probably wouldn’t have taken the photo above or better yet pay any attention to it.

2. Work the Scene

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If you come across an interesting character, situation, scene, backdrop…or anything that catches your eye really…and if time allows, keep photographing…continue to click that shutter button until the scene dissolves and you can no longer take any photos. Try different angles. Get close. Go further away. That way you’ll have more options and perspectives to look and choose from. The more you photograph and work the scene you increase your chances of making a good photo (Read My Blog On Laws of Averages).

3. Fishing Technique & Juxtaposition

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Patience is a virtue…This is by far my weakest technique, I am not much of a patient person. My max on waiting around a corner or in front of an interesting wall art or billboard is about 10 minutes. Then I move on. The fishing technique is a classic street photography approach. Simply find or identify an interesting background and wait for the perfect subject to enter the frame to create juxtaposition or evoke an emotion that’s commonly seen in the street photography world such as humor. You could even follow an interesting character and wait till they walk past an interesting background. Obviously, the number one skill to have in this technique is patience.

4. Street Portraits

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I call this technique the ice breaker. If you are new to street photography perhaps you may want to start off with this approach. Street photography can be intimidating and taking photos of strangers while trying to look invisible can be a lot to ask for in a beginner. So in that case in order to ease yourself into the process, start by identifying interesting people, faces, their attire. Anyways, something about them or what’s on them resonates with you. Simply go up and ask if you can make a portrait of them. Remember you going up to your high school sweetheart and asking him or her to go with you to prom. Nerve racking wasn’t it. But what’s the worse that can happen. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Okay okay I’m getting all preachy back to reality, so yes give them a compliment and if you are feeling pretty good then tell the person you can email them the photo you just made the following day. Many people will either turn you down or they will simply feel flattered and accept. If the person is not in much of a rush, work the scene, shoot from different angles. High. Low. Direct your subject. Have fun!

Now if you don’t want to waste your time asking for permission then just identity a face you find interesting and take the photo as you walk past them and continue on. The person won’t even notice you making a photograph of them and if they do you’ll be power walking into the crowd (photo above is an example).

5. Don’t Make Eye Contact

Just shoot in their direction and don’t even look their way. Look past them as if you were photographing something or someone that’s behind them. Fiddle with your camera as if something is wrong with it or you don’t know how to operate the camera. Get your acting skills ready, yes improv is useful while on the streets!

6. Compliment & Smile

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If you happen to make eye contact then simply compliment, smile, and move on. Better yet, just don’t say anything and continue walking. However, you’d be surprise at the power of compliments. I could use some myself.

7. Try Using Flash

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If lighting or weather is an issue in your location or if you’re just lazy to shoot in good light then use flash. I have been using flash lately to mix things up and help me get over my photographer’s block (You can view my vlog episode on that here).

I am having a lot of fun using flash, I like how it makes my image pop and much more vibrant. It also forces me to get closer to my subjects in order for the flash to be in full effect. I set my camera in M-Mode or Manual, set the iso to auto and have my f-stop around f/5 -f/8, adjust the shutter accordingly depending on what I’m photographing and whether or not I am able to execute the slow shutter look effectively.

Yes, flash is more noticeable but again I have not come across any issues yet (knock on wood).

8. Shoot at Night

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Shooting at night can be a challenge. First I recommend using flash to get decent lighting. Shooting at night with flash is more noticeable than in the day. From my experience night shooting is more about the people that are out and their behaviors. You’re more likely to come across some interesting situations depending what environment you’re at.

9. Shoot During SunSet

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Shoot during sunset cause that’s when the light is perfect! It’s not harsh as the afternoon sun, the tricky part though is finding the light. Where is the light hitting. Once you find the area or street and if there’s a lot of foot traffic walking by I would say just plant yourself there until you lose the sun.

10. Shoot When It’s Raining

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Before you go out with your camera in the rain make sure to cover it up. You can easily do that by wrapping your camera up with a plastic bag. Shooting in the rain makes for interesting moments, people hopping over puddles, rushing to get out of the rain, umbrellas, and just pure chaos! I like the roads being wet, to me it makes it look more dramatic and ultimately adds to the mood in your image.

11. Hunter Mentality

Just shoot and move on. Click and go. Read my blog post here on Clicking vs Seeing.

12. Smooth Criminal

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Be like Aaron Berger who is the smoothest guy when shooting the streets. The ideal scenario is to shoot and blend in with the crowd, your surroundings. And not be noticed. Be confident with each shot, have your camera already near or at least by your chest area. That way when you do find something you can bring the camera’s viewfinder to your eye very quickly rather than having your camera dangling by your waist and creating a big motion that will ultimately attract unneeded attention.

13. Follow Follow Follow!!!

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When you find something interesting but haven’t pieced together anything interesting whether that be in the foreground or background then follow your subject. For example the photo above, I seen them from behind on the sidewalk. I really liked the vibrant aloha shirt the man was wearing and the plastic coverings (it was raining that day). I followed them for about thirty seconds or so maybe even less. As soon as I noticed they were walking towards the sand I got a little overly excited. The beach was empty for obvious reasons having pretty heavy showers throughout the day. Soon after the couple just paused to take in the overcast view and I took a few snaps. I really like this photo because I can create my own narrative in my head. I can ask more questions than receive answers. I also really like in the far right that there’s the surfboard with “Rescue” on it.

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Conclusion

Again these are practical tips to list and techniques that I have used or experimented with in the past. Take it with a grain of salt. Remember, always experiment and continue to learn, you never know what may come out of it. My advice is to try to focus on one or two of these tips/techniques for a few weeks and see what you walk away with. If nothing clicks then simply move onto the next. I hope this was a fun, inspiring, and informative read. Now go out and shoot!

About The Author

Tim Huynh is a photographer born, raised, and based in Honolulu. This article was created out of Tim’s passion for street photography.

He was a 2017 finalist in Streetfoto San Francisco International Festival and his photography have exhibited in Paris, France, as well as publications such as Honolulu Civil Beat. Tim’s objective is to create images of the raw, comical, interesting, surreal, and candid moments of life in through street photography.

Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

Interview with Wedding Street Photographer Wayne La

Can you start off by telling us a (brief) story on your background and how you first picked up a camera?

My interest started when my first child was born and I had a sudden desire to start documenting the day to day.  The interest steadily grew into something all-consuming over a period of years.  My point and click grew into huge SLR rigs and wireless triggers.  I’m largely self-taught but did a couple of photography courses at the local college, and I also got trained by studio in Texas.

So you shoot weddings and commercial work…how are you able to add your street photography approach to weddings? Were you shooting the wedding both traditionally and with a street style or just depends on what the couples want? Did it start off with a couple/client that wanted their wedding to have that raw candid feel to it?

I spent two years shooting for a wedding studio in Texas.  They taught me a hell of a lot about the customer service side – managing expectations, managing a crowd, managing time.  From a photography standpoint, they were very traditional.  Getting the perfect posed shots were the priority, whilst providing a good experience a close second.  My training was geared towards achieving those goals.

Broadly speaking, there’s a big cultural difference between the UK and US in terms of what is classified as documentary wedding photography and the value that is placed on the candid frame.  In America, I struggled to find couples who brought in to my approach fully, whereas here in the UK, one of the first things couples tell me is how they don’t want any posed photos, bar a few group shots for the parents.

In terms of shooting weddings ‘street style’, that’s not really how I would describe what I do, or how I represent my work.  Sure, a lot of street has a certain aesthetic: wider angles, close in, dynamic and busy in composition, and I bring those influences into my wedding work.  Not because it’s edgy or different, but because it’s the truest representation of how I see the world.

I would imagine shooting an event or wedding with a street photography mindset keeps things fresh and fun. Do you foresee more couples wanting this type of documentation on their special day?

There’s a lot of education out there for couples already, most of it is industry driven, but people generally know the difference between documentary and the more traditional approach.  I’d like to think they’d know the difference between bad photography and photography but sometimes I’m not so sure.

 

What’s one photograph you never get tired of looking at?

Favourite

Changing gears to your street photos, describe your style and how you approach making photographs when wandering the streets.

I don’t know.  I walk until I see a potential of a scene, take a few shots and if it doesn’t work out, I’m gone.  The potential could be quality of light, a strong graphical element, or the possibility of characters interacting

 

Who are some of your favorite street photographers?

Alex Webb, Harry Gruyaert, Martin Parr, Eggleston, Trent Parke, Garry Winogrand to name but a few

In your opinion what makes a good photograph?

A human connection.  Winogrand was a master at it.

 

If you could have dinner with one street photographer past or present who would it be?

Joel Meyerowitz.  The man makes a great photo but the stories he can weave are even greater.

You can shoot with one street photographer for a day who would it be and why?

Joel, for the above reason.

I ask this with everyone. If you can have one street photographer shoot your wedding who would it be?

Alex Webb.

What are your short term goals (1-3 years) and what are your long term goals (5-10 years) if you have any with photography? And what are you currently doing in trying to achieve those goals? If any, what struggles are you currently facing?

To carry on evolving.  The photos I take now are different to what I took 5 years ago, and I hope they’d be different in 5 years from now.

Any personal tips or advice on wedding street photography?

Learn as many aspects of wedding photography as you can.  Posing, lighting, candid storytelling.  Good wedding photography is just good photography.

What frustrates you about photography?

Many wedding photographers are driven by trends, not by what is personal to them.  It’s also frustrating to see some of the more established street photographers shooting the same old:  Yet another staircase with a shadowy figure isn’t a signature, it’s just lazy.

What are you most proud of in terms of your work?

That I’m getting paid to take photos.

What are you doing when you aren’t making pictures?

Keeping my kids alive.

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To keep up with Wayne’s work:

Website: waynela.com

Instagram @wayne_la_photo

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/waynelaphotography

Interview with Vietnamese Street photographer Minh Pham

My street & documentary photography friend Minh Pham is doing an awesome job documenting and capturing the changes to his city Thanh Da, Vietnam. This is an ongoing project until the new city within Thanh Da is fully developed. Minh does a great job capturing moments that highlight globalization and the rapid changes that’s currently happening in Vietnam and how it’s effecting the everyday citizens.

Can you start off by telling us a (brief) story on your background and how you first picked up a camera?
I was born and raised up in Saigon, located in the South of Vietnam. Since I was a kid, I had always been curious of everything around me. I guess you can say that I like to observe people and my surroundings. In addition, my parents usually showed me their pictures when they were children & pictures they took of me growing up. I always appreciated looking at old family photos and how it moved me or taken me back into time.

In the summer of 2009, my parents and I were on a trip to the center of Vietnam, Da Nang to Hue. My dad gave me a Nokia 6500 Slide on my birthday about a week before the trip. I was so excited because the cell phone had a camera. I spent time to explore all the camera functions & captured every single moment during the trip.

In the tourist group, there was a guy who owned a DSLR saw me captures photos with high concentration. He approached me and we had a small conversation. Few minutes later, I had a chance to experience his DSLR. Having the DSLR in my hands for the first time was quite an experience that I still cannot explain till this day.

A year later, my very first camera was a Canon Rebel T2i. First photographs were focused on the local people who live and work around my residence, Thanh Da.

Tell us about Thanh Da? What was it like? What’s currently happening?

[There’s no place like home] Thanh Da, a place where I was born and raised up for 19 years. It can be compared to a banyan tree which contains most of my old but gold memories since I was kid.

It was a stable upbringing by both my parents, surrounded with good neighbors, and living environment. I would say I was very fortunate to have spent a bulk of my life in Thanh Da. No matter how hard or stressful life could be at that time, I knew everything would be alright because of Thanh Da.

In the summer 2014, news was announced that the city of Thanh Da would be demolished due to the blocks where I lived were bathetic. I thought to myself, It would take long time to get a confirm from the government. However that September, my family moved out from Thanh Da after 19 years living there.
Currently, those blocks were demolished and leave there a huge empty space full of dirt. It’s quite difficult to think about.

Obviously your from Thanh Da but what about that area that inspires you to make photographs of it?

I have been thinking for a long time whenever I come back to Thanh Da and shoot. Sometimes, I just don’t want to face the truth about moving on from Thanh Da.
I don’t want Thanh Da to become a faded memories of my childhood. I come back and shoot Thanh Da with my regret from deep inside my guts.

How do you feel about all these changes in Vietnam?

My family was compensated with two small apartments for the resettlement policy from the Vietnam government. The current circumstance in Vietnam, there are a lot bathetic apartments/residences; however, some places are not receiving full care of the government. Citizens who live in those residence/apartment are not receive high quality compensated resettlement. Some of them are just given a small amount of money as a compensation. Luckily, my family have a roof!

What exactly are you trying to show through your series through Thanh Da?

Thanh Da will be a long term project so I divide it into 3 phases:

+ Phase 1: The Remnant: To depict my regret, what left and slowly disappear in Thanh Da.

+ Phase 2: Transformation: To depict the changes in people life and/or living standard in Thanh Da.

+ Phase 3: Development: Eventually, Thanh Da is going to be a place where buildings and super-malls exist. This phase will show the fast pace of development in Thanh Da and how it effects the citizens of Vietnam. Old things go, new things come.

What’s your overall goal with this project? A book?

A private book also a good idea to collect all the process 🙂

 

I’ve noticed most images of yours are in black and white but others in color. How do you determine what’s left in black and white and what’s left in color?

In my perspective, in street & documentary photography, shooting is to satisfy myself so I usually not intentionally edit the pictures to fit at that moment. I do it based on my feelings.

 

What keeps you motivated?

Simple, photography now is part of my life. I want to contemplate how it change to not have that feeling of regret again. That’s my main motivation.

 

Who are some of your favorite street photographers?

Noppadol Maitreechit (Thailand)

Liu Tao (China)

Werner Bischof (Switzerland)

Aleksey Myakishev (Russia)

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To Follow Minh’s work:

Instagram @phamvietanhminh

The Laws of Averages

The Laws of AveragesThe principle that supposes most future events are likely to balance any past deviation from a presumed average

According to American entreprenuer and motivational speaker Jim Rohn, the law of averages says that if you do something often enough, a ratio will begin to appear. For example, you talk and direct sell to ten people with one saying yes, you are at a 1:10. Supposedly once it starts, it’ll continue. Talk to ten more and you’ll get one more. As you improve your skills and get more experience in talking with people, your ratio should improve. More importantly, in the beginning you will make up in numbers what you lack in skills. Your ratio may be 1:20 but as your skills improve, so will your numbers.

Having a deep understanding of your ratio will tell you how many people you will need to talk to in order to hit the number you are aiming for. Knowing that you will fail more often then you will succeed is the first step, and by knowing that, immediately takes away any pressure off yourself. Rohn’s advice in less words is that if you want success and easy conversations with people, then you are going to have to do what successful people do, and that is get off your ass, go out there and talk to people. Step out of your comfort zone.

I believe the “Laws of Averages” applies well with street photography. How so? Basically in a nutshell, if you go out for an hour or two daily, sooner or later, you’ll come across a good moment worth photographing. Now can I promise it’ll be that one photo that’ll put you on the map…no…or get a hundred Facebook “likes”, no…but it may be a photograph you’re satisfied enough with. You produce ten street photographs, you have one satisfying photograph…or in my case produce two thousand photographs and to one. 2000:1 ratio.

For instance, the more you do something, whether it’s street photography, any sporting activity, learning a new language, talking to girls as a unconfident teenager….the more you do, the more you’ll make mistakes or fail (which is expected), and the more you are giving yourself an opportunity to improve and learn from your own experiences.

So if you keep going out, photographing the street, and afterwards have an honest reflection on what you could have done better as well as feedback from other friends, continue to strive or look for ways to improve, statistically you should get better. Your photos should be better. Or at the very least, you feel comfortable with a camera in hand out in the public setting.

For me personally, if I don’t go out for a few weeks with a camera in my hand, it may take me a few moments to get situated out in the streets. However, sometimes being away from photographing the streets is sort of like hitting the refresh button as well, like I’m learning how to shoot again and I just start snapping away not caring about if the photo is worth taking.

Conclusion

I do believe there are so many elements in being a great street photographer or capturing “the moment”. You need good awareness, being able to anticipate what’s to come or how something will align itself, being able to blend in out in the streets, and being able to make something out of nothing. All of that comes with time, experience, as well as learning from others (workshops, studying how other street photographers go about shooting). But if you keep swinging that bat, eventually you’ll hit the baseball, and as you increase your hits, you will increase your chances of hitting a home-run.

President Donald Trump Street Photography Workshop

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I just recently took a one day street photography workshop from President Donald Trump. Here’s what I learned, let’s make street photography great again!

  1. Grab the ladies by the ass better yet by the p****! They’ll give off some type of reaction…snap away. USE FLASH ON ITS HIGHEST POWER. If you don’t get a reaction, grab harder!
  2. Stop photographing homeless people, poverty, all that crap…FAKE NEWS SHIT. Trump mentions they are not worth anyone’s time and make for bad photos. He wanted me to trust him, no one will be liking any homeless photos on facebook and/or instagram. A good start would be to Photograph Trump or images of those associated with Trump…it starts with the letter B…Billionaire(s).
  3. If any person questions you on what you’re doing, simply slap the son of a bitch!
  4. Your photos are not good enough not because you aren’t close enough…but rather it’s because your camera sucks, it’s cheap! Buy the most expensive camera on the market, hire someone (but in the end don’t pay them) to drive you around, have a second person to frame the shot for you, and all you need to do is press the shutter button. According to Trump, street photography is easy…
  5. You will never be as good of a street photographer as Trump. You can try…it will take a lot of time and energy. He reiterated this over and over during the workshop.
  6. Always overshoot. The more the better.
  7. Part of Donald Trump’s street photography success is that he’s very rich…so in that case some of us won’t ever experience what it means to be a successful street photographer.
  8. He often quoted “The harder you work, the luckier you get. When you have the momentum, play the momentum”
  9. Another saying he drilled into my mind is to “Always make your camera work for you. At all times!”
  10. He echoed this during the workshop…”People are tired of all these street photographers being all talk and no action….photograph the shit out of everyone (except homeless & mexicans).”
  11. As you can tell during the workshop, he talked a lot about himself. “Take more street photography workshops from Donald Trump. It doesn’t hurt to get more education”

 

I hope you can apply these lessons to your own street photography, it is the only way you can get to the next level.

30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30

Real adulthood begins at 30…right? Here are some things I’d like to do before I turn 30…which is a year and a half away. Check out the list below, the numeric order has nothing to do with it being a higher or lesser priority.

  1. Experience the Holi Festival
  2. Produce one short film on a street photographer
  3. Be financially stable
  4. Travel with the family and mom to New York
  5. Teach a street photography workshop in Hawaii
  6. Get a promotion
  7. See the Northern Lights
  8. Learn Spanish
  9. Take my boys to Wrestlemania
  10. Publish a book
  11. Take a painting class
  12. Learn how to use Lightroom
  13. Reduce body fat by 7%
  14. Make new friends
  15. Cash in on one of my Stocks
  16. Go on a hot air balloon
  17. Have a big debate why wrestling is better than MMA
  18. Read more
  19. Volunteer for a non-profit
  20. Finish my documentary on my mom
  21. Know more of my family history
  22. Do a fundraiser that supports a cause I’m passionate about
  23. Be my own boss
  24. spend more time than I do now with my family
  25. win a big bet
  26. Travel to Cuba (again)
  27. Own a piece of property in Hawaii
  28. Learn to dance
  29. Eliminate soda completely
  30. Grow up but not old

Interview with Street Photographer Jill Maguire

Jill! How are you? Thanks for doing this. Can you start off by telling us a (brief) story on your background and how you first picked up a camera?

I’ve always liked taking pictures but wasn’t serious about it until well into adulthood. In 2009, I bought a DSLR to take pictures of my dog. From there it was a lot of experimentation until I finally landed on street photography in 2014. When I made the switch, I never looked back.

What is it about Street photography that keeps interested?

I am happiest in urban areas and at events, so even if I don’t shoot well, I try to enjoy wherever I am and eat well in the process. I’m all about the experience. I like to try new places, and those I like, I revisit.

How would you describe your street style or photographs?

I would call it a work in progress. I like color and light, but there’s often a shortage of both in Seattle. I’m still looking for a good project to do in the dead of winter that gets me out of the house consistently.

How has your style or approach changed or evolved since you started shooting?

If anything, my bar is higher, and some days I feel like deleting everything I come home with. Maybe that’s ultimately a good thing, but it does make for a pretty slow Instagram feed. On the other hand, I’ve learned to cut myself some slack, knowing just how hard street photography is.

I know you’re an avid (Dog or animal) lover. Do you try to include animals in your photographs? something that easily catches your eye?

 I love animals–both real and unreal–in street photography. I have an ongoing zoo project, but it’s on hiatus for the summer. I’ll go back in the fall when the clouds return.

The animal theme is intentional or unintentional?

Intentional, for sure. Far from mastered, though. Lots of other photographers are better at it. My Flickr (whatjillsaw) favorites are filled with animals in street photography.

 I notice you shoot a lot at the seattle state fairs or the local Zoo. How does that compare to when you’re shooting out in the street?

At the zoo, I’m looking for similarity between people, animals, and the landscape, so in a way, I know exactly what to look for. My Washington State Fair work evolves each year. I’ve tossed several years of fair shots because as I’ve gotten more experienced, I don’t like my older work. I consider all “out on the street” shooting to be practice for the fair. Occasionally I’ll get a shot that fits into some of the other loose themes that I’ve created semi-formal projects for (like my shots from California), but the OK/random shots don’t tend to do it for me.

This is all complicated by the fact that I am loyal and sentimental about these locations. I’m not interested in traveling to other fairs or zoos. I tried that and it didn’t work for me.

What makes Seattle unique for street photography?

I have a love/hate relationship with Seattle. I’ve finally started to embrace some locations here, but I hate the rain, and traffic is terrible. On the plus side, the summer days are long and chock full of events. In addition, everyone is extremely polite. I’ve never had any problems shooting here.

Whose work do you admire?

I admire photographers who can make Anytown USA look interesting. Besides Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, I’m really into Don Hudson and Sixft Whiterabbit right now.

If you can have one street photographer shoot your wedding who would it be?

Martin Parr, no question. We got married in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and Parr would’ve been the perfect Vegas photographer.

If you could shoot a particular style of a street photographer who would it be?

My photographic fantasy is to take a summer road trip, Stephen Shore style. I want to stay in cheesy hotels and eat at greasy spoons. I can’t explain why this appeals to me, but it does, much more than traveling somewhere foreign or exotic.

My favorite photo of your is the lucha libre kid with the silver mask. I remember seeing it in our flicker group from our workshop with Jack Simon and was like “WOW”. Could you tell us the story behind that photo?

Why, thanks, Tim! This was shot last year during one of my favorite workshops–a Magnum workshop hosted by Constantine Manos in Los Angeles. I made two wonderful friends that week, and we spent an evening on Olvera street. I saw this boy running around in the mask and couldn’t resist following him. He finally sat still in a sunbeam, but only long enough for one shot. I think being a woman helped me here, since his dad was there and didn’t object.

In your opinion, what makes a photograph work or interesting?

Light, color, and something unexpected. Sometimes 2 out of 3 works.

What goals do you have with your street photography?

My ultimate goal is to have enough shots in a project to make a high-quality book. In the meantime, I have this dream of eventually finding a type of street photography that I’m really good at and that comes easily. I’m convinced this will happen any day now. I just have to keep shooting, and the projects will find me.

Whose workshop do you want to take next?

There are so many great workshops outside the US right now, but logistically the West coast is easiest for me. Coney Island is on my workshop bucket list. I also plan to host a one-person workshop (me) in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire next summer. This is another locale that appeals to me deeply, but my husband thinks I’m crazy.

What have you learned about yourself and/or society from shooting street photography?

Before street photography, I never realized how drawn I was to the hustle and bustle of crowds and urban areas. I’ve also learned how fun and exhilarating it can be to travel alone to workshops. Street photography gives me a way to indulge in both of these.

Currently, is there something you’re having difficulty with in your street photography?

I’m starting to feel like the keepers are like prime numbers–the more you shoot, the less keepers you find over time. This interview caught me at a crossroads. I’m thinking of trying something different (still in the street photography realm). I need to get off my butt and go do it.

I’ll list a few street photographers and describe them or their work in one sentence.

1. Alex Webb

Supernaturally good. Take his and his wife’s workshop if you can. You’ll learn a lot of about sequencing and bookmaking (bring your book collection and they’ll sign them). You’ll be on your own for shooting, though.

2. Martin Parr

My first exposure to flash. I like his sense of humor.

3. Bruce Gilden

Not my style. Too harsh.

 

4. Eric Kim

Nicest person you’ll ever meet. I know he’s polarizing but I’ve learned a lot from him and consider him a good friend. His workshops are as much about connecting with people as they are about photography.

5. Jack Simon

Tied with Eric Kim for nicest person you’ll ever meet. Love his quirky eye, and he’s a great instructor. Highly recommend his workshop in San Francisco. Jack is proof that the best workshops are hosted by locals.

6. Constantine Manos

I’m a huge fan of his color photography and keep a copy of American Color II at work. His workshop in Hollywood last year is one of my favorites. He’ll teach you a lot of rules that you may or may not agree with. I still refer back to my notes from him so he definitely made an impression on me. He’s VERY opinionated about what makes a good photograph. Only take his workshops if you have a similar style.

7. Jesse Marlow  and 8. Aaron Berger

I grouped Jesse and Aaron together because I took a workshop with them both this year and learned a lot from their vastly different shooting styles. They put a lot of effort into giving everyone equal time when shooting. Very approachable, supportive, down-to-earth guys.

9. Henri Cartier Bresson

Required reading, but not a daily inspiration for me. Untouchable.

10. Vivian Maier

Fascinating story. Didn’t we all go through a B&W phase after seeing her work?? She was extremely talented, but I’m also drawn to that era. No wonder it’s impossible to duplicate her style now.

Any personal tips or advice on street photography?

Travel to workshops and make new friends. This has been the best part about street photography for me, more so than any pictures I’ve come home with. Nothing beats going to a new workshop and running into familiar faces (like Tim!)

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Follow and Keep Up with Jill Maguire’s work!

Website: www.whatjillsaw.com

FlickR: www.flickr.com/photos/jillmaguire/

Instagram @whatjillsaw