Some months ago, an editor from the Street Photographers Foundation approached me to submit a photo for what was meant to be a zine. Due to the coronavirus the project got delayed at first, but in the end it has become a book and from what I’ve seen it looks very good.
It contains two longer interviews. One with New York based street photographer and documentary filmmaker Richard Sandler, and the another with British street photographer Matt Stuart. The third part consists of contemporary street photographers answering the question: Why Street Photography?
It’s very interesting and informative to learn what drives these photographers. I’ve come to understand much more about the core of their work and the often layered meaning of their photographers.
French photographer Gil Rigoulet, who has worked with le Monde, used his Nikon as a “passport to board, stowaway in this changing world.” With his camera passport, Rigoulet travelled across North America and Europe: “I wanted to immerse myself in this society and convey my feelings, to understand what was frozen and what has changed. (…) We must love human nature to devote so much time and it takes time to understand these lives, these ways of transcending the ordinary, these absurd situations, but also this joy of living and this revolt. It is very similar; I looked at all of these as theatre, with that feeling of being at the heart of things but always with some distance.”
Marcin Ryczek, who took the now famous photograph of a man feeding swans in the snow reflects on his way of working. First the searching for a place, the “set design”, and then waiting for the “actors”, sometimes for several days as a kind of meditation and finally finding the photo as something the world has given to him. “Many times these places might seem unattractive, but – using my intuition and imagination – I see something special in them”. Ryzcek also explains the use of symbolism and metaphors in his work, and later on concludes: “By touching on metaphorically important topics, I touch upon a certain truth about myself.”
Jesse Marlow talks about his preference for non-exotic locations as he is inspired by “the daily grind that people find themselves in, and looking for something interesting, often small and inconsequential.” He continues: “The idea that I can leave the house one morning and come home at the end of the day with a photo that will be with me forever constantly drives and excites me.”
Suzan Pektas, member of interCollective, answers the question of ‘Why Street Photography?’ with: “its power of storytelling”. “I’m truly mesmerized by life, and more specifically, the lives of ordinary people, which are, at the bottom, built of personal stories.” Pektas is mostly concerned with the existence and consciousness of the individual: “The evokes my curiosity of people lost in their own inner worlds, with so many stories.” She beautifully describes this “space they exist in”, the “deep solitude, unseen and untouched.” “I want to capture and recreate this solitude, but not in a sad sense, rather as an appreciation of ordinary people in their singular consciousness, unearthing their emotional layers and exploring how deeply they can shape the individual.”
I’m waiting for the actual book to arrive so I’m looking forward to read the rest of these street photography ‘testimonies’.
You can order the book here.
More links for the Street Photographers Foundation Founded by Masoud Gharaei:
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