Les Rues De Paris | The Streets of Paris – Part Two

“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.”

– Elliott Erwitt

“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.  🙂

Cheers,

Ian

p.s.  Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.

7 thoughts on “Les Rues De Paris | The Streets of Paris – Part Two

  1. Stuart de Jong says:

    My street photography doesn’t usually include people, but in Paris things are different: the people are more confident, seem show-offy, don’t care about being photographed. There are also more public spaces where people gather – more of life is lived out in the open. Add the wonderful architecture and you have a recipe for success. Thanks for these pix: I love the silhouette cyclist in the narrow street and the waiter with his visual twin behind him!

    • Ian says:

      I love shooting street all over the world but Paris is a special place for sure. I feel “connected” when I shoot there, more so than almost anywhere else in the world.

      The waiter shot is a favourite of mine too. It was taken during the World Cup game, so they were all watching / listening to the game during their breaks.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Cheers,

      Ian

  2. Joan says:

    Your photos are just beautiful but I have to say I enjoy your writing so much. Thanks for this blog. I keep coming back and re-reading your posts and get something new from it each time.

    • Ian says:

      That is very kind of you to say Joan, thank you! I discovered my love of writing through this website and it has become a major creative outlet for me. I am actually a month or two away from publishing my first book right now and I haven’t been this excited about a creative project in a long time.

      Thanks again!

      Cheers,

      Ian

  3. Susie Naye says:

    Hi Ian, You sure captured some beautiful Paris images. I loved the silhouette of the woman against the sky (in color) and the fact that her loop earrings were in the light. I am curious about the book just lying on the wall…did you simply happen upon it? Makes me wonder why it’s there, you know? The skateboarder underneath that Passarelle…I know just where that is! I will be in Paris on my own in mid-April for a week, my aim being to wander with my camera and hopefully come back with some “worthy” shots. I’m trying to jot down some ideas now as well as potential places to hang and be patient and wait for the right person to come along. I use so many of the skills you taught in your Vancouver weekend workshop. Hope all is well up North. You probably see that Seattle Snow is our big news! I got a couple of shots in the early morning from the roof of my downtown condo building. Posted them on Facebook. I’d love it if you’d take a quick look! Stay well! ….Susie Naye

    • Ian says:

      Hi Susie!

      How are you?

      Yes, the book was just lying there. Discoveries like that are probably the best part of street photography, aren’t they?

      I will be sure to check out your snowy Seattle pics.

      Talk soon!

      Cheers,

      Ian

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