Why I love UK street photography

I love street photography

I love street photography. My focus on this the last years has been mainly Bath and Bristol and here on the streets I have met an amazing bunch of very interesting characters. For me its not just getting fleeting images of controversial or mixed messages in a shot, for me its about getting to know the people behind the image, even if only for a few minutes – its a connection, a spark of human interaction. This may be just a side long glance and smile or it may be a conversation about how that person is doing, how are they feeling. For me street photography is about humans and lives, the streets are just a convenient and public backdrop for these human experiences to be recorded against, a place where human stories flow free.

Starting out in street photography?

First – don’t be afraid. Most people like to talk and more so when about themselves, be friendly, say ‘Hi’ and get to know your subject, even if only for a few minutes. We all crave interaction, and the homeless guy on the street corner more often than not is welcome to a kind word of ‘how you doing today?’. We all have a story to tell, everyone, all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, we all deserve our story to be told, and this is what I do, I capture snapshots of human stories, the streets are just the canvas for street photography, the paint that sits on the canvas is the story that you take through the lens.

Second – get close. Interact with people, then get even closer, share a bit of you with them, exchange stories and the experience. If starting out in the art of street photography, make it your one goal of each excursion to speak and interact with just one person. get the background behind the picture, then write this down or record it, make it part of the story for the image, give the image context, make it real.

For example, this is Ash.

Ash - bath street photographyAsh is an artist that I saw in the city of Bath, Ash has travelled the world and spent some time living in New Orleans, we discussed the amazing diversity and beauty of New Orleans and the street photography opportunities that this would give me, Ash shared with me some stories of his experiences and the people he has met. This street portrait of Ash now has meaning to me, I feel I know a little about the person behind the image, we connected even if only for a few minutes and I hope, that this interaction made us both better people.

Third – practice, practice, practice. Go out at every opportunity, morning, day or night. The light, textures and street life are always dynamic and changing, you will always spot something new be-it a change in shadows or even rain  puddles reflecting the world around you. There are millions of great street photography opportunities waiting for you on every doorstep, in every village, town or city. in the words of Nike – ‘just do it’.

street portrait of a sleeping man