Street photography has fascinated me for some time. As a practice, it is at once nerve-wracking and exciting (at least for me). Even watching someone else doing it gets my nerves on edge. But it’s always worth it! To be able to capture moments of people living out in the world, just being human and doing what people do, is really rewarding. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you look at a freshly developed roll of film and see the “decisive moments” you’ve successfully captured, even the ones you don’t remember.
This is a fascinating video of Joel Meyerowitz from 1981! The quality of the production is what you’d probably expect from 30 years ago, but the content is really interesting. It follows him as he talks about working on the street, often interrupting the conversation to take shots. It also discusses some of his other work in context of the street photography.
I highly recommend you make some time to watch this!
(about 60 minutes)
This morning I read an interview with photographers Alex and Rebecca Webb (you can read it HERE). The first question the interviewer asked was what Alex and his wife look for in a photographer’s portfolio. The answer is fairly pat:
“Both Rebecca and I look for something unique, something that suggests that the photographer is discovering something different than that which we have seen many times. It can be a different way of perceiving the world, it can be a different subject. In a world in which we are all assaulted by all kinds of images, we like to see photographs that are unique and different, that express that which is unique about that photographer.”
If you’ve ever heard someone who reviews work talk about what they look for, it probably sounded something like this. But the reason I took the time to write about this quote is that I think there is some insight here for photographers who have had, or are hoping to have, their work viewed and criticized by someone.
This is really exciting for me because I have long enjoyed Jeff Curto’s work and podcasts! He is an incredible contributor to the world of photography and photographic education.
If you haven’t heard Camera Position, take a listen to his latest podcast HERE. Be sure to check out the other Camera Position episodes, too. From this link you can also access his photography site as well as his other podcast on Photo History.
For ease, I will include links to both of those below:
The art and practice of story-telling has been one of mankind’s most prevailing practices. In an attempt to understand the world around us, to seek “an experience of being alive,” the human race has consistently invented stories. The many mythologies that have prevailed across time and geological boundaries are a testament to our need to tell stories in order to make sense of our world. But where we can look back at past cultures and find, essentially, the prevailing myths of specific peoples, in America, there does not seem to be a single, congruent story by which our society is unified. To quote Joseph Campbell, “life today is so complex, and it is changing so fast, that there is no time for anything to constellate itself before it’s thrown over again.” Continue reading →