In my last article, I mentioned that Street Photography was primarily about capturing chance encounters and random moments while you’re out with your camera. While this is widely regarded as the ‘correct’ way of going about Street Photography, there are ways you can bend the rules and create much more dynamic and interesting images.
I was out shooting one weekend a few years back when I first got started with street stuff and noticed a guy walking around stopping passers by and asking to take their photo. I immediately went over to talk to him and he introduced himself. His name was Anthony Dorman and he explained that he was attempting to get 1000 street portraits in one day in aid of comic relief. He was handing out cards with a website where people could find their photos and donate to the cause. I let him take a photo of me and later checked out his work online – it was really great stuff. A few weeks later I noticed had a set of images called ‘100 Strangers’ online. This was where he uploaded his favourite portraits from that day. (He managed to get 1000 by the way) Each portrait he took was on a 50mm lens with next to no editing which really inspired me to take my street photography back to basics and shoot only with my Nikon 50mm.
I decided to try my hand at this 100 strangers project that Anthony and so many others had been working on and ventured out with my 50mm and my Nikon D700. While it seemed like a daunting task at the time, stopping people in the street and asking to take their photo, it was a very enjoyable experience. I was surprised that only a few people declined my offer to take their photo and that was either because they were in a rush or did not understand the project I was working on. I approached each person and said something along the lines of ‘Hey, sorry to bother you but I’m working on a street photography project called 100 strangers, would you mind if I got a quick photo of you’. I approached all sorts of people from different age groups and even stopped some groups of people at once.
I’d just like to say that I am the last person you’d expect to have the confidence to stop people in the street, but I did it anyway. I was really nervous when I asked my first person, but they were friendly and seemed flattered that I stopped them. I took the shot, and showed them the photo on the back of my camera. At this point, I didn’t have anything to give them so that they could find the photo but when I got home that night, I ordered some moo.com mini cards for my project. I have included some images below
I started handing these to people after I took their photos and asked them to check out the photos I’d taken of them online. Soon I had strangers i’d photographed interacting with the photos, complimenting my work and sharing the photos on social media – an incredible experience. Photography is a very social thing and I believe that the few months I spent shooting street portraits really improved my confidence in approaching people. I soon after took up event photography and started shooting birthdays, events and even a few shifts photographing nightclub events.
I uploaded my photos to a few social networks as well as my own site (which has a new domain: jaydawson.photography) but had I known about CLICKASNAP back then, I’d have used this as a sole platform to share my images. CLICKASNAP pays you every time someone checks out your images, it’s a no brainer really! Take photos, get paid when someone checks them out. Simple as that.
Street photography is very open in that there are millions of streets you can shoot on, billions of people you can photograph and countless photos to be captured. CLICKASNAP is a platform you can trust, a platform you can rely on and a platform that pays you every time someone looks at your images. My advice to you, the aspiring photographer whether you’re interested in shooting portraits, landscapes, events or street stuff, is to go out, shoot, and start a conversation with the photography community by uploading your work to CLICKASNAP!