“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
“Street photography is capturing the beauty in the mundane”
– Eric Kim
Street photography came into my life during a period when I felt creatively drained as an artist. I had been shooting a lot of portraiture, working with a creative team in studio to produce images that were often pre-planned and somewhat structured. I reached a point where this environment felt stifling, like the walls around me were drowning me creatively. Discovering my love of street photography was like having my head pulled up out of the water; like I could breath again. I loved the lack of formality, the lack of a schedule, the excitement of discovering new photos around every corner and the ability to experiment as often as I liked. The blank canvas of the street challenged me and kicked my ass, but it changed the way I saw the world and rejuvenated my love of photography. I learned to look past the beautiful model or epic landscape and to appreciate the simple beauty that exists in every day life.
This approach has also had an impact on my professional work: My wedding photography focuses more on beautiful, candid moments. My travel albums, which used to be full of epic cityscapes, now feature street scenes and tiny detail shots that tell a better story of the places I visit. I shoot more candidly during portrait sessions now, featuring environmental portraits more than studio work. Even my landscape and cityscape photography has changed, as I often include people in the frame now to give a sense of scale and a sense of place.
If you find yourself in a photographic rut I highly recommend shooting in a different genre for a period of time. It is refreshing, inspiring and will change the way that you see.
And, go to Paris. It is a wonderful city to photography. 🙂
p.s. Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.