How We Can Appreciate Street Photographs

In today’s digital world with a flux of photographs swimming online it’s hard to appreciate any of them. We spend a good portion of our day scrolling through our Instagram feeds going on liking sprees, but it’s rare to find a photo that really resonates with us. Only when we do, do we actually take time to analyze the photo. .

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Hawaii Street Photography 2018 – Tim Huynh

WHO CARES WHO MADE THE PHOTO

We should focus less on who took the photograph and more on the composition of the photo to really appreciate it for what it is. I think once we associate the photographer with the photo then we subconsciously create a bias opinion.

For example, Alex Webb, one of the gold standards in street photography, in my opinion isn’t producing as great of photographs as in the past.. I think however, if I were to view his current work without knowing he took the picture I probably would appreciate it more. By knowing upfront that a certain photograph was taken by him, I look at it with higher standards. And if it doesn’t compare to his past work, I already dismiss the picture as not being good.

PRINTS ARE BETTER THAN THE SCREEN

Looking at photos in printed form also helps us to appreciate the photography as an art. There’s something tangible there. There is something real when you have a physical print or a book in your hands. It feels real, the photos come to life, and in the end a better appreciation of the photos or the artist. Finding photographs that you like and resonate with you, and not basing your judgement off of what’s been getting a lot of recognition from competition or online. It’s hard to absorb all a photo has to offer by viewing it on your computer or iphone, the print has a special way of taking you on the photographic journey almost leaving you mesmerized. Just the other month, I walked into a local camera store and saw film prints on their wall. I loved it and when I took a closer look to who the photographer was I thought to myself these photos don’t look as good when I’m scrolling through my instagram feed. The prints were 8 by 10’s much larger than a phone screen but also the sequence of the photos had a fluidity to them that maybe the photographers instagram page wasn’t in. Perhaps it was just the air in the store. I don’t know.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS ALL B.S

There are so many good photographers with no following and average photographers with huge followings. Try not to focus on the number of followers! I recently read an article that most people will look at the amount of Instagram followers someone has before even scrolling through their work. I think the number of followers does influence the viewer in determining if the photographer is good or not. That’s what our society has become, everything is so superficial and most people can’t even digest a good photo. The average viewer likes one and done type photos or humor street photographs, which is the reason that theme of street photography has risen in popularity. 

BE IN THE MOMENT

I also feel that we need to be in the moment. With social media and having our hands and eyes glued to our phones each day we become less in touch with the present. That’s why I feel looking at old photos from the 50s and 60s even 70s makes us appreciate that current era because there’s that nostalgia feel…or some of us having not lived in those era’s are curious on what it was like. Whereas in the present we know what it is like.

CONCLUSION

So there you have it. Ways to better appreciate either your own photos or photos made by others. If you have any other ways you appreciate photos please leave a comment!

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

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

Things to Stop In Street Photography

Stop shooting from the hip

Shooting from the hip becomes a guessing game that you will fail 9.5 out of 10. You also look like a creep walking around aiming your camera from the hip, looks like you’re trying to shoot up a ladies skirt. I recommend everyone to try everything once just to experiment so you can judge for yourself first hand.

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Havana Cuba 2017

Stop judging the quality of a photo based on “likes”

Social media is very superficial and the quality of a photo is very subjective. However, don’t let the number of likes influence you whether or not the photo is good. You will know when a photo is good to you not by the lighting, framing, post processing of the photo…the photo resonates with you…it evokes an emotion and perhaps plays with multiple emotions within you….the photo has more questions than they do answers…the photo is open ended, keeping the narrative on going unlike many one and done humor photos we see today.

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Hawaiian Wedding 2018

Stop trying to be like Bruce Gilden

Are you ultra aggressive on the streets with your flash gun  due to an imbalance of testosterone levels or are trying to shoot like Bruce Gilden….Just stop, there is only one Bruce Gilden. Plus if you shoot the way he does, your photos will only remind people of well Bruce Gilden….Find your own style and voice in street photography and create your own legacy…just shoot to get away from the daily stresses and to be more in touch with your surroundings.

Stop thinking about how you’re going to monetize your street photography

Stop thinking too far out on how you’re going to sell prints and make money off your street photography. Stop lusting over the awards and recognition. Remember why you’re shooting street and let me remind you there is no money in being a street photographer. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, shoot street because it temporarily removes you from the daily grind. Shoot street to appreciate the current moment. Shoot street because you enjoy the challenge in creating something out of nothing. Shoot street because you enjoy walking and love the feeling of having all your senses working together…reminding yourself you’re currently here…alive. Shoot street to leave a legacy not for an easy dollar. The moment you try to monetize your passion, you’ll go back to your old miserable self. Don’t fall into this trap.

 

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

20 Female Street Photographers to Follow in 2018

The women’s revolution for street photography is here! Below are 20 female street photographers to follow and be inspired from in 2018. These are current shooters and not of the past, so you won’t be seeing names like Vivian Maier or Mary Ellen Mark. The order is also not from worst to best or best to worst.

Also I am aware that there are a lot more female street photographer’s to follow but this is my list and I just so happen to not know every female shooter on earth. So please if you have a good recommendation please share with me. Another thing to mention, I am excluding female street photographers that are part of any renowned collectives (for example…Magnum, inPublic, Burn My Eye). In any event, enjoy!

Michelle Groskopf

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Julia Gillard

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Melissa O’Shaughnessy

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Michelle Rick

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Lauren Welles

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Alison Adcock

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Michelle Chan

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Poupay Jutharat

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Suzanne Stein

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Cat Byrnes

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Suan Lin

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Tatum Wulff

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Agnes Lanteri

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Julia Coddington

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Elizabeth Char

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Maria Moldes

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Simone De Peak

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Rebecca Wiltshire

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Jill Maguire

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Julie Hrudova

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

Are Street Photography Workshops Worth Paying For?

Are street photography workshops worth it? Well yeah of course…Wait a minute I spoke to soon, it’s not worth….Actually it’s really up to you. I have taken a few street photography workshops myself, which I found to be overall positive experiences.

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Me with Jack Simon – San Francisco 2016

Research The Photographer

The photographer teaching the workshop should have a good body of work. Most importantly, you must appreciate their photos to even consider taking their workshops. For example, my first street photography workshop I attended was with Burn My Eye member Jack Simon. In fact, I did not know too many contemporary photographers, I only studied or looked at the works of Magnum elites.

Streetfoto had a few workshops available and out of all the photographers, Jack’s work stood out and resonated with me the most. Jack has a keen eye and seems to be at the right places at the right time. His humor shows through his photos as well, which were immediate attention grabbers. Viewing his photos made me want to learn how he captured some of his iconic images and find out more about his approaches to photographing the streets. Best of all Jack is a very nice person!

Now let me remind you, the best photographers aren’t always the best teachers. For example, many would say Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time! But I think those same people would also agree and say that he is probably the worst general manager and owner of an NBA team….of all time! Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990’s and Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000’s, was an average player. Phil came off the bench as an energy type of guy, rebounded, and hustled hard. Not much offense though. Phil fouled a lot. He wasn’t THE guy but was just A guy. Nothing too spectacular. However, his coaching resume is very much different. And yes I know his teams were stacked. Anyway I hope you get my point, back to our main topic.

The more you research the photographer the better. Look to see if there are any testimonials on the photographer’s workshop. Similar to making a big investment on anything really…you’ll want to do your due diligence in researching the product, reading reviews, see if it’s within your budget, and make your purchase or find something else. Same strategy applies to choosing your street photography workshop.

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inPublic member Aaron Berger working with student Kevin Hooks – 2017 Los Angeles, CA

Benefits From a Workshop

From my experience the benefit of attending a workshop is gaining the knowledge from your instructor. My favorite part is the hands on approach and honest feedback during the photo review process. You get to experience how your instructor goes about shooting the streets and ask any questions you may have. Not only that, but I benefited by making new friends with Paul Kessel and Jill Maguire, along with many others. The last workshop I took was with Jesse Marlow and Aaron Berger, two photographers with totally different styles and approaches. Aaron is very much relentless and slick when shooting the streets, while Jesse is much more laid back, which is more of my personality and style. I wandered the streets of Los Angeles with Jesse and got to pick his brain. Overall we just had genuine conversations throughout the day and I had the opportunity to hang out afterwards for dinner. Those will be the memories I cherish over the technical skills gained through these workshops. Anytime you meet someone who shares the same passion as you honestly there’s nothing quite like it. And if you can connect with them on a deeper level, even better!

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Yogurt Mania at Foodland Ala Moana – Honolulu, HI

My Two Cents…

Ultimately, you get what you put in. Like almost everything in life, there are some people who work in a half-assed way or try hard but have minimum ability. But if you find that rare workshop, it would be extremely worthwhile. Ask yourself, why are you in the workshop? Are you working on a book and need a better understanding on how to sequence your photos? Does that instructor have the knowledge of working in series? Are you a beginner and want to have confidence having a camera around photographing the streets? Simultaneously, you the student need to be open and try to apply what may be new ways of shooting. Be flexible. From my observation, there are too many street photography workshops today….many are taught by less than qualified people or qualified people wanting to make a quick buck.

For example, when I make an investment or big purchase (Sadly for me I consider anything over $100 a big purchase) I ask myself…is it worth it? How else could I use this money? I could use that for utilities, a good night out, or invest in stocks. Don’t just spend to hoard. Economics 101…the things you purchase need to work for you. Your clothes need to have some kind of Return On Investment for you. Maybe it’s how you present yourself and people at your workplace take that into consideration. Perception is everything. If you buy a new camera and your initial plans are to just roam and shoot casually, that’s fine. But for me because I’m broke as hell, I need to find multi-purposes in everything I buy. Can you make a few dollars with that camera? Can you pick up a gig or two? Hell if you break even, that’s already a win. WILL THE MONEY SPENT MAKE ME MONEY OR GIVE ME AN EXPERIENCE THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET….or am I just blowing my money away.

What I’m saying is if I had to choose between a new camera or a workshop that I’ve taken the time to research, I’d choose the workshop. Reason being is there’s no price tag on a potential experience of a lifetime or the knowledge you’d walk away with…of course that is all dependent on the quality of your workshop instructor and on YOU. Your mindset and what you want to be able to walk away with from the workshop is key.

Last note, I hate when someone says workshops are a waste of money, especially if they have never attended one. That’s like saying Hawaii only has beaches and I don’t like the ocean so I’m never going to visit there. Of course Hawaii has much more than beaches, but it’s up to you to do the research beforehand that will help determine how your vacation pans out. If you have a negative mindset about something or someone, yet know very little about the situation or person, then that’s all on you.

To sum things up, “are street photography workshops worth it?” Yes, it is. But it depends on YOU and what you want out of it, as well as the quality of your instructor, which is also dependent on you! Do your research and keep an open mind, you’ll find workshops can be a great learning experience and a lot of fun!

For workshops visit below:

http://streetfoto.org/workshops/

http://www.brucegilden.com/workshops/

https://www.magnumphotos.com/events/event/alex-webb-workshop-oslo/

https://www.maciejdakowicz.com/photography-workshops/

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/workshops/

http://italianstreetphotofestival.com/workshops-street-photography-festival/

https://www.miamistreetphotographyfestival.org/

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

Win Some Lose Most

“Street Photography is 99,9 % about failure. So often I feel defeated by the street. I sometimes find, that if I keep walking, keep looking, and keep pushing myself, eventually something interesting will happen. Every once in a while, at the end of the day, when I´m most exhausted and hungry, something – a shaft of light, an unexpected gesture, an odd juxtaposition – suddenly reveals a photograph. It´s almost as if I had to go through all those hours of frustration and failure in order to get to the place where I could finally see that singular moment at day´s end” – Alex Webb

The first harsh lesson street photography has taught me is “Win some. Lose most”. Most of the time when you go out to photograph whether it’s a weekend walk into the city or whether you just bring your camera everywhere with you, just have realistic expectations and not expect that every shutter click is going to be a good image.

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Twins Honolulu, HI 2017

Remember to ultimately shoot for yourself and at the end of the day what really matters is if you’re happy with your photos. You may get a lot of “likes” or compliments on social media from your friends but deep down you know whether you have a good photo. WWE superstar John Cena, said that after a match everyone backstage congratulates you and pats you on the back tell you “Hey that was an awesome match” but in his heart and mind he knows whether or not the match was a 5 star match. And if it was a 5 star match he’s not settling, as long as he’s wrestling, he’s gonna keep striving to top his last five star match. You can bring that same mentality to street photography, you take a good photo. It wins awards, gets recognition but don’t settle. Keep shooting. Try to top your last good photo. The competition is not among other people on social media but rather among yourself. Realize that you’ll have more shitty shooting days than good. And once you realize this and be honest with yourself in the quality of work you’ve been producing and the time and effort you actually put into your street photography, the better you can go about your art.

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Rafael Trejos Havana, Cuba 2017

Even when you’re submitting photos to festivals or competitions. I’ve always said that getting in one is like hitting the lottery. The percent of your photos getting in is slim. Therefore, do not be disappointed by not getting in. Because you did not lose. You just did not win. If you’re in a rut or have a photographer’s block then try out new genre’s either within street photography or in photography in general. Sometimes mixing things up helps me reshuffle the creative juices. By allowing yourself to try new things and make crappy photos along the way takes off pressure. Removes any competitive spirit within you and allows you to have fun and learn new things.Sometimes going on hiatus helps. I discovered street photography in 2010 and did it for two years.

I stopped in 2012 because I didn’t know what and why I was photographing randomness out in the streets. I got back into street photography in 2015 with a new burning light and most importantly it was more fun than when I was originally practicing it back in 2010-2012. In that regards, sometimes you need to hit the reset button. For most people their reset button is a two week vacation and when they return back to work they’re rejuvenated and ready to continue to climb the corporate ladder. That’s why there’s spring breaks, summer breaks, winter breaks, for students so that they don’t feel burnt out and uninspired to learn. If you’re falling off into boredom and you’ve tried mixing it up…it’s okay. That’s normal. This actually happens to me a lot. Just find something else to do or stay busy and return to hitting the streets thereafter.

At the end of the day try new things, pace yourself, compete among yourself, and don’t add any unnecessary pressure onto yourself. You are the gatekeeper of your own destiny.

Other similar blogs –

Photographer’s Block

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Havana, Cuba 2017

Photograph for Yourself

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Havana, Cuba 2017

Enjoy the process

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Havana, Cuba 2017

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

Why I Love Street Photography

“Photograph the world as it is. There’s nothing more interesting than reality” – Mary Ellen Mark

I love shooting the streets. Wait wait love is too strong of a word…maybe I’m obsessed…okay sounds better. To me…in my bias opinion, I think street photography is the hardest form of photography to go about…and the most honest form of photography. Sure to shoot the streets is easy. You just need a camera and head out…to go about it is fairly simple. To do it well or at least decent is very hard. I think street photos evoke more emotion than any other type of photography genre out there. Now that’s not to say I don’t appreciate a little landscape shot from time to time, cause I do. Photos of a beautiful landscape will definitely catch my eye, some shots may look different from other’s based on weather or season but for the most part they’re static. A street photo which typically consist of having a human or people within the frame….or some element of a human figure (shadow, poster with a face for example) are much more dynamic. That is what I have always loved about street photography.

STOP

I also love the challenge that street photography presents itself. I could be shooting the same streets day in and day out and still walk away with completely different pictures each day. I can photograph the same area but still not know what to expect. You never know what you may come across! I don’t need to travel to some exotic country to make some damn good photos. I can do it anywhere, as long as I have an open mind and I allow my instincts to react and take over.

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As much crap there is on social media in regards to what people think is “street photography”….I do enjoy seeing a fellow street photographer build their own following and receiving the recognition they deserve for their creativity and hard work. The internet amazes me sometimes and I think there’s a lot of hate you’ll come across on other blogs in regards that social media is killing street photography (Is Street Photography Dead)….And maybe it is to an extent but at the end of the day without these social media platforms we wouldn’t know a lot of these great modern day street photographer’s. The days of only receiving recognition by either making it on the New York Times or getting major media coverage is OVER. You hear me…it is over!!!! It’s a whole new ball game now! And I think people are aware that they can be their own brand and the fact there is a higher percentage of getting attention on themselves motivates everyone across the board. This makes everyone to step up their game! Even the pros need to step up their game to continue to be relevant…We live in a world of what have you done lately!

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What I love that street photography has done for me….it’s given me a creative outlet….I believe everyone needs to have a creative outlet…or the very least a hobby…something that can fuel you which then fuels you during your 9 to 5 job. I truly believe if all you do is work and come home and binge on Netflix day in and day out…you’re killing yourself. I don’t believe in routine. Routine leads to complacency. You need to find something outside of work, outside of just drinking with friends every Friday and Saturday night, getting shit face and wasting your time. You need to find something else that is much more fulfilling. Perhaps, volunteer at a shelter. Utilize your skills to help a non-profit. Obtain new skills. Exercise and getting fit is a great option to consider.

All I’m saying is find something. Anything. Try them all! You aren’t going to find your creative outlet or hobby over the weekend. It’ll even change over time as well. When I started street photography in 2010, I stopped in 2012 because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing taking random shots from a far and not really liking the photos I came out with. The itch was always there and went back to shooting the streets in 2015. See the passion was always there, it never left me, I just went on a nice vacation away from street photography which ultimately reignited my fire.

The same can happen to you…just because something doesn’t work once, doesn’t mean it won’t work the second time. Mix things up and you’ll find different results. Okay hold on…going off topic here…okay there you have it, a few reasons why I love street photography…what are some reasons why you love street photography?

 

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What is Street Photography?

What is street photography? According to wikipedia….

“Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or inquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. … Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment.”

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My photo photo (above) was selected and featured on instagram account @bcncollective they have a decent amount of followers, I believe the account is still fairly new and their selections in my opinion are pretty good. Also, I have not had many of my photos featured on other instagram accounts so this recognition was deeply appreciated.

However, an instagram user commented on my photo something to the extend that the photo is cruel and should be taken down despite many other positive comments. This is one of those polarizing photos that have received both negative and positive comments. I love this photo because of how overly tan she is and she sorts of looks like an alien so when I came across her I wasn’t sure if she came from out of space or if she was one of us earthlings….Anyways, due to this one person the collective decided to remove the image, instagram did not ask the collective to remove it. The photo does not show any nudity or inflicts any of instagram photo procedures. The collective removed it to be sensitive to that ONE comment.

How was I notified about this removal…well the collective messages me the next morning and my response was simply that they shouldn’t care about what people think is or is not a street photo. My advice to them was if you like a photo and want to feature it on your page, do it. Don’t hesitate if “well is it going to receive a negative response”…that’s the same mentality as “well is this photo going to get a lot of likes”….that’s the pitfall of social media, too many people are too worried about other people’s opinion.

You think Suzanne Stein would be anything if she was worried about people bashing her photographs on the homeless community on Skid Row? I’ve read a lot of mixed responses and reviews on Bruce Gilden’s book/series Faces…you think he cares? It’s his vision with a purpose and the best part is he can defend his work. He’s not taking random photos and calling it street photography.

My photo is part of a larger continuous project called Beach Please where I photograph unusual and absurd moments of things happening on the beach or of interesting people that’s at the beach. Whether on the beach or on the sidewalk, my instincts will naturally tell me to make a photograph if the colors are striking, the person is interesting (I don’t know how to explain this but something about them or on them just catches my eye), something is happening or taking place and may look nice in a frame of a second, and if the lighting is striking.

On the beach, there are more opportunities from my experience to come across something interesting that you can tie in with the beach. What I mean by that is for example, all marketing and promotional materials of Hawaii is of the scenery, lava, fire dancers, pristine beaches with super models on walking along shores…However, that is a false perception of Hawaii…Hawaii like any metropolitan city has it’s own set of issues with homelessness, traffic, and high cost of living…on the beach especially a touristy beach like Waikiki, there are rarely any super models. The beach is filled with homeless, over weight seniors enjoying their vacation or retirement, and families….very different then any promotional video you’ll see on the internet of Waikiki (check out my previous blog on “Street Photography on the Beach“). So with this project, my intention is to capture the reality of Waikiki beach which I’m sure the Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau would not appreciate.

Conclusion

All in all, there’s a lesson to be learned here. One, don’t give a rats ass what negative comments people make on your photo. If they give constructive feedback on how the photo could be better, then great. But take it with a grain of salt especially if you did not seek constructive feedback. Lesson two, you know what you’re intentions are, photograph with your heart, mind, and soul. I truly believe you can only make good photograph’s if it resonates with you. Yes, anyone can grab a camera, go out, and start clicking the shutter button….and have photos of anything and everything. But if you photograph with your mind, soul, and heart….which ultimately means photos that resonate with you and your initial instincts then go for it.

 
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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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