The more I carry a camera around the streets, the more I realize that some people think it's weird that I'm carrying a camera around on the streets.
It's not my fault really. My little Fuji X100F is small enough to not intimidate folks. The true reason carrying a camera in the streets seems weird is because it is implied that every person ALREADY has a camera on them in their iPhones.
Of course the quality of an iPhone image is not on true par with a raw file from my Fuji or my Canon bodies, but that's where the disconnect happens for most folks. Many people are completely satisfied with their cell phone cameras and, unless they are a parent photographing youth sports, they feel no need to use a bulky old school traditional or post modern traditional style camera. Thus, an old man walking through the streets with a camera around his neck looks stereotypical and creepy to many millennials. Oh well.
Keeping my camera at my side helps me to avoid that "are you a creep?" glare from folks. Looks more professional that way anyhow. In the winter I can stick the Fuji in my jacket pocket. It's all about stealth out there and if people are long-spotting you and they know you're creepy their guard goes up and you lose the ability to capture a true candid. Strategy….
Do you dangle your camera around your neck? Let me know in the comments below.
This summer has been very hot and muggy. Blame global warming I guess, but if I’m going that far I may as well blame the sun while I’m at it…..
I’m gearing up to accept a second sports photography gig for the school year. Here goes….
I’ve been shooting street, working full time hours at my day job, and launching a few other business ventures. I’ve also resumed investing in my potential retirement. Here goes….
Single again. Here goes…..
Summer means scooting around on my Harley. I’ve been doing that a lot. If I wasn’t so busy maybe I’d combine my rides with street shooting….
The next big purchase for me is the Canon 1dx II. Then after that I’ll try to get the 300mm 2.8 IS II…..
Besides that shit is real. Keep banging….
My dream is for all photographers who only shoot photos to make money and not for personal enjoyment to sell their DSLR’s and retire.
This includes bored moms, intrepid self-starter entrepreneur hustlers who shoot everything they can for a buck, tireless wedding warriors, and sports shooters who only bring out their massive cameras to shoot games and don’t even have photos of their kids to share. Just fucking quit. All of you.
Fortunately (unfortunately) photography isn’t the cash cow it once was. These days it’s amazingly hard to earn a living as a photographer and this situation will not improve. Ever. The record business was blindsided by Napster and has never recovered. The once incredibly lucrative DVD porn industry was crippled by tube sites and file sharing, and has not recovered. Cell phone technology, particularly cameras, will not worsen. Consequently, people can effortlessly take photos of themselves and others with decent resolution and quality.
Girls on Instagram don’t hire pro photographers. They snap selfies in the bathroom mirror with an iphone and drum up hundreds of thousands of followers. They don’t need you. It doesn’t matter how good you are with speed-lites or flash portraiture. In the years to come nobody will care enough to hire you. In the coming years you will quit because you don’t love photography. You just love what it can do for you.
The financial world is becoming tighter and less of a wild frontier. As a result, most of the historically “easy money” streams will dry up as economic 2.0 takes over, led by ideas such as Uber and social media, where the lines between amateur and professional are sketchy at best. If you love something enough, you may become what’s known as an artist and find yourself able to make some extra cash selling artsy photos or instructing others who want to learn the industry. Everyone else will be kicking rocks while complaining how the world is changing before their eyes. I look forward to this because many of you are only here for there paper. Fuck off. Maybe you can change careers? I hear that there is always a need for nurses….maybe you can try that instead.
I see you guys. I see what you say about street photography. I see you explaining away garbage projects and ungodly photos by saying street photography is for your personal enjoyment only. You insist that since you don’t have clients, like a wedding photographer has for instance, that you only have to uphold your own personal standards as to how your street photos look.
Let me back up a bit because I know it seems like I’m being a toolbox right now. I know that there are at least a handful of supposed Guru’s who have strong opinions about what street photography is supposed to be. Some of these Guru’s insist that it is a personal experience, and the most important part of the street photography process is breathing the air outdoors, snapping photos, and walking. I don’t disagree that these features are valuable areas on the street photography landscape but…..this isn’t wilderness photography where you take pictures of dying trees and abandoned road signs and no people. This is street photography and our subjects are indeed people, and just like any other gig where we photograph people, comparisons, evaluations, and judgements can be made by people outside ourselves about our photos and these opinions matter.
Sentimental values are fine. If a certain collection of photos you have put together over time has some personal meaning to you then I can understand that. My only thing is: if the photos are not any good then don’t share them publicly. If you have lost the ability, or never acquired the ability, to evaluate your good from bad photos then I suggest you ask peers what they think, and be prepared if they don’t like your stuff. It may not matter to you if they hate your work but the fact that it doesn’t matter should not prevent you from seeking their opinion. This millennial softness whereby people can’t take any artistic criticism has become far too pervasive.
I’m just skimming the surface of what I really want to say but I’ll keep this post brief. Last night we elected a new Commander in Chief for America and social media is not exactly the place I want to be right now, checking to see if folks are reading my post. I’ll just say that calling what you do street photography does not give you the license to call everything you shoot in an urban environment street photography. There are standards that must be established, and once established, a level of quality that must be upheld. It seems like these days most guys don’t have the right mindset, look, attitude or level of content to call themselves elite street photographers.
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