I shoot people for fun.
Eugh… as a photographer, I know how cliché that statement is… Ah! I shoot people on the street as a hobby.
No – not getting any better…
I’ve tried to write this post 3 times now. Each time I wanted to wax on the importance of personal projects, but in each iteration I get hung up on the fact that when I talk about what I photograph purely for the sake of enjoyment, it turns into a diatribe on one of the oldest and most clichéd forms of photography. But the more I think about it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
When left to my own devices, I find myself capturing candid images of interesting people in whatever environment they happen to be in.
I’m not looking to “capture the soul of humanity” with my imagery. I simply find it intriguing that each person inadvertently creates their own character. Whether it’s the way they carry themselves, an action they happen to be performing, the way they’re dressed, or just the environment they’re in, you could look at them and have enough information to create a story.
The way I see it, the reason for “candid street portraiture” is pretty much divided into 2 groups. The first is the desire to capture the spirit of a culture, or region, or a particular slice of society by crafting images that – in the eye of the photographer – exemplify the essence of that distinct subject matter. I feel the general populace (non-photographers) see this as the standard photographic process. It’s a bit stereotypical and references the heyday of 20th century art – what with the beret, wistful demeanors, and long debates on the nature of man, held on a city street outside a coffee shop.
I ascribe to the second group. The older one that dates back to the early days of photography – around the turn of the 19th century. The technology had been around for a rough 60 years and photographers had already begun crafting scenes of their own design. But with advancements in equipment, it was now possible to pick up a camera and, somewhat easily, walk down the street with it. Thus began the movement of “capturing the moment.” The earliest stages of candid photography: it seemed bodies of work weren’t focused too much on the overall theme and content, but more on the individual moments and people they captured.
Some years ago, someone asked me what I wanted to photograph for a living, if I had the choice to pick only one thing. I didn’t even hesitate: “movie posters.” The concept of being able to create a story about someone with a single image has always interested me. And hey – maybe I actually succeed in that on occasion.
But at the end of the day, there’s no hidden motive. I shoot stuff for fun because that’s exactly what it is. If I want to sit here and pull apart my portfolio to find the soul of my work… Well, I’ll need a turtleneck beret for that.
Look at some pictures!