This has likely always been the case for most photographers. Before, it was having rolls and rolls of undeveloped film no one would ever see. Things new home owners find stuffed in the attic of a fixer-upper. Dirty DVD’s and rolls of film and old lenses.
It’s sort or like that now, except now our photos are stuffed away on passcode protected computers which themselves will be discarded in 7 years. We may transfer photos between computers using an external drive, but I have a feeling future home owners will find our SSD drives in old Amazon boxes in a corner in the attic…
Even if you post photos online, the hardcore truth is: nobody really spends significant time looking at the average online portfolio they come across. Flickr could shut down tomorrow and all those photos will be scattered to the wind….
To be fair, photography itself is a young art genre. I mean, it can’t be that much older than spray paint graffiti art. Both were created within 150 years of one another I’m sure, as opposed to traditional painting, which was done in caves a million years ago. Affordable consumer cameras, much less digital ones, are a fairly recent phenomenon.
Still, it seems like most of what we do will never be seen by another human, or maybe your friends and family will see it, but most likely they don’t care. In many ways that’s ok…
Immortality through art. More data needed to process….
I’m not saying global warming is wrong, but back in the 90’s I recall consecutive summers in Baltimore and Georgia where the thermometer read 100 degrees or above.
The current/past summer was muggy yes. Hot? Not really to me.
I switched companies that I shoot sports for. (If you want to know to whom I switched check my Facebook page or something) Shooting sports is fun but the money is drying up pretty quickly. Fewer and fewer parents are willing to buy prints of their kid once he or she (the parent) leaves an event, and those photo tents you see at tournaments aren’t as lucrative as they once may have been. Couple that with newspapers and magazines dying slowly, and there really isn’t a major demand for sports photos. I see parents and high school students with semi-pro gear on the sidelines now all the time. They may not have the passion and skill to produce high level sports compositions, but that camera and lens they now hold represents the money they would have spent on professional photos perhaps…..
Sports are in full swing though. I’m booked to shoot every weekday afternoon (after my main job) up till probably the first week of November. I’m also shooting models now until kingdom come, and will probably miss many Sundays in front of the tube watching the Redzone channel because of it. Sundays are great to shoot models for that reason however. It’s a dead day in the city for foot traffic and that’s a perfect environment to shoot in….
MICROSTRUGGLER is nearly a year old. I mainly like to shoot women and that’s what this blog will be about moving forward: photos and women…..
I am a student of history for the most part. As far as photography is concerned I have studied the photos and lives of pioneers such as Alfred Stieglitz and Henri Cartier-Bresson. With that being said I think I can be better than them all. You should feel the same way. Humility has no place in street photography.
On the streets you have to be a wolf. You should not be a smiling weirdo. By smiling and cheesing all the goddamn time you’ll attract attention and end up taking too many posed photographs. Posed photographs are fine, but they represent “street portraits” more than street photography. When I’m in the streets I am hunting. I was never a stick-up kid like many guys from my neighborhood infamously were, but I suppose I was raised to have a similar mentality. I am out there doing my thing, like it, love it or hate it, and I don’t care to humble myself to all-time greats who probably wouldn’t have had a drink with my black ass anyway, even if I were allowed into the same taverns and galleries they frequented almost a hundred years ago.
I get it. Not everyone is aggressive. That’s fine. Street photography isn’t for everyone. Street portraiture is a close cousin to street photography, if not a sub-genre, and some all-time great street portraits have been taken by shooters who happily engage almost every subject. To them street portraiture is a social experience. To me, street photography is an exercise in anarchy.
Bruce Gilden actually combines the two philosophies I am discussing. He engages his subjects forcefully, some being deadly mobsters. He also used to run up on perfect strangers with a flash on his camera and take point blank shots right in their faces. That’s super big balls. Even I haven’t reached that level yet.
Enough about him. Back to me. I’m the shit in my eyes and I refuse to rank anyone ahead of me as far as my ultimate potential is concerned. I am competitive by nature and will continue to compete until my life is done. Then, after I have returned to the essence, the remainders will ultimately sort out who was the best. Until then you know what the fuck I’m going to do right? I’m going to stay low and keep shooting!
Let me get two boring but true aborted blog titles out of the way to start:
Street Photography is Art.
Street Photography is Journalism.
This blog post is more about journalism than art for this particular point…
With that done let me get to the meat of my point. Typically journalism documents famous people, criminals, politicians, athletes, and war. I am none of these things. Neither are most of you. Most of you are just regular folks with regular jobs and regular numbers of Instagram followers. Most of you don’t matter in the grand scheme of social media or even your local church or civic organizations. Most of you, of us, will matriculate through history with only selfies, family portraits, embarrassing school photos, and equally embarrassing party candids as our visual legacy.
Some of us however, will be fortunate enough to catch the random eye of the growing number of street shooters out there. Street shooters are not the paparazzi. We photograph nameless people with the intent of posting or printing the likenesses of those people to be preserved forever. Street photographers document the history of you, of us, the irrelevant majority.
1000 years from now people will look back at street photography and be able to glean what life was actually like in the early part of the 21st century. They will, our descendants, notice that celebrity and standard journalism, coupled with selfies and social media branding, can be contrived and propaganda driven, whereas street photography is pure. I take a photo of a woman walking and that’s all it is: a woman walking. I have no agenda. I am not trying to sway public opinion for some financial or other nefarious end. I am not sure more than a handful of people will ever see the photo. Nonetheless I am protecting the integrity of history in the truest sense. I see. I compose. I shoot. I record the history of us. I stay low and I keep shooting…
Now ignore everything I just wrote and like and share my blog post so I can someday rule the world….