On a recent trip to NYC I explored and tried to document our trip with some street photography. Street photography has always fascinated me; the idea of capturing exactly what is present around you and thus becoming more aware of your surroundings by documenting it. I am not at all confident in this style but I love always learning more and the best way to learn is to pick up your gear and try and fail and try again.
One of the first photographs ever in 1839 was captured in Paris and included a blurred image of a man on the boulevard so street photography is as old as photography itself. Street photography seeks to tell the story or what is- to observe and document. Like anything in art it takes time and skill to tell these stories well. I was first intrigued studying the work of Vivian Maier and others and I love seeing their creativity expressed through images.
“From the moment of its birth, photography had a dual character—as a medium of artistic expression and as a powerful scientific tool.”
Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Although I spend the majority of my time with a camera in hand capturing curated moments for clients and organizations I am intrigued by street photography and always want to be stretching and learning. It does not require much planning but it does require practice and curiosity. I spent some time capturing scenes around New York- and can I say Harlem was my absolute favorite place in New York!
A few tips if you want to try this too:
*Don’t rush- it is worth the wait & you learn more if you are patient! This is true of all types of photography but especially street, travel, or documentary type photography. You have to go and just WAIT- observe and wait for a moment that needs to be told.This helps you capture more candid moments of real life.
*Respect local customs & rules! Research the ethics of street photography and consent where you hope to capture images. This varies from culture to culture so respect those norms. For example, in the U.S. people in public spaces do not have a right to privacy, meaning they can be legally photographed. Public places count as parks, shopping malls, sidewalks and roads, common spaces in between buildings. I still always try to respect those I am able to capture- I sometimes just simply raise the camera from a far and nod or show them the image after & offer to send them a copy (as I did in some of these images).
*Experiment, fail, & be creative! Try raising the shutter speed or lowering it to freeze or blur motion. Try the same with ISO since many street images can be in low light (like these at night or in the subway). Use your creativity and try new things! See how the story shifts slightly using creative aspects of photography.
A visual storyteller that focuses on human emotion & connection. I help families, individuals, & couples to capture their beautiful messy story.
I also partner with humanitarian, non-for-profit organizations, and NGOs share their stories with intention, dignity, & excellence, so they can have a greater impact on their communities.