I have loved picture taking since I was 8 years old with a disposable camera. It’s just in me. Over the years, a little at a time, insights about the relationship between photography and me have revealed themselves. For example, somewhere along the way, I realized photography for me is about stories primarily.
It doesn’t matter if I’m thumbing through the portfolio of a college student photographer or shooting my own candid pictures at a wedding reception, what speaks to me about this art form is the fact that there are stories in photographs.
Photojournalism style photography is the label used to describe what I like to do. I’m all about capturing everyday beauty and humanity around me without disturbing it for the sake of making a photo. This might seem innocent enough, but it can be complicated.
You can probably imagine that some people become uncomfortable when they realize a candid picture has been taken of them. This kind of reaction is understandable when I remember that so many candid pictures taken of me wind up looking like someone’s attempt to be funny (at my expense, unfortunately). But maybe that’s simply a statement about the personality of the photo taker — instead of documenting the “beauty” around them, it could be that some seek to capture the “funny”. Nothing wrong with that, if you ask me.
But personally, whether I like it or not, I tend to be more serious than funny. Consequently, my art flows out of the solemn, fascinated, sentimental way I relate to people and scenes in everyday life. And this brings me to my reason for writing today.
On the journey through life, it seems I was doing a bit of street photography before I even knew it had a name and was a thing. Then I stumbled across Eric Kim’s blog that is devoted to the subject.
Street photography involves exactly what it would seem to involve – shooting photos on the streets. Eric Kim explains that while there is not one definition that completely defines street photography, the main focus of it is “taking the everyday and the mundane and making it into something unique and beautiful”. It has to do with clicking the camera at a precise moment of interaction between a person and his public environment.
In fact, it is related to people watching, don’t you think? I never saw the connection between those two things before this minute, but now I am persuaded. Street photography is an extension of that wonderful pastime; it is people watching with a camera in hand. And I am truly a people watcher! People fascinate me.
As for you, you should visit Eric Kim’s blog; I recommend a post called 10 Famous Street Photography Quotes You Must Know.