If only I can afford his simple and effective workflow. 🙂
Tell Us About How You Got Started With Street Photography
My passion for street photography actually began quite slowly.
I still remember the first street photo I shot; I went out to take photos in some locations to show them to a client for an advertising campaign. I saw from the back an old lady walking in a street in Rome where time seemed to be stopped in the 50s. I instantly took a photo. She saw me and I felt almost a sense of guilt. I went to ask her permission to keep the image for me and she kindly said “ok.” I still remember the excitement and the sense of gratification that I had from a personal point of view. Since then, I started to take photos of people in the streets and never stopped.
The first years I shot very rarely, unfortunately. I was very busy working on different jobs around the world. I would do one session every two or three weeks. But the more I practiced, the more it became important. Now, I go out with the camera around my neck almost every day and, in addition, I take longer sessions two or three times a week.
Give Us a Snapshot of What a Day as a Street Photographer Looks Like
If it’s possible, I go out very early in the morning. The light at sunrise is beautiful, and there is such a few number of people on the street. That atmosphere of the city slowly waking up and taking the rhythm of the day is unique and charming.
This allows me to produce more minimal images without having to worry about too many people in it. While the hours go by, I focus on more complex images. Obviously, it is not a rule. One of the first things you learn when doing street photography is that you can’t control the environment around you, and often you can’t do anything else than go with the flow of events.
I usually walk for several hours taking small breaks in cafes along the way in which I allow myself a bit of rest and a quick review of what has been done until that moment. Then when I get back home, I spend time backing up images and doing a quick pre-selection of the best. After a session of street photography, I usually always feel very well and satisfied.
What Is Your Approach With People?
My approach with people changes a lot depending on my mood and my emotional state.
There are times where I keep a distance from my subjects, and I will only capture what happens around me without interfering and times when I decide to get in touch with the world and the people I meet. Both approaches come naturally to me although the habit of interacting with others, even in a very direct way, improves by a continuous practice.
This “emphatic attitude with the others” is a kind of training that is powered by the continuous practice, just like a muscle that you have to keep moving to avoid losing its strength.
Can Street Photography Be Considered Documentary Photography, In The Strictest Sense, Of a Reportage Documenting Our Times?
Sometimes the street photographer draws from reality to create something new that is abstracted from the original context. I think if the reportage uses pictures to tell stories and points of view about what we call reality, street photography is very close to some narrative forms like poetry, especially haiku. Just like these Japanese poems are composed by very few words. Also, the street is often most effective when it builds on a few graphic elements or contexts.
There Are Privacy Laws That, At Least, In Theory, You Could Not Use (But You Can Take) Photos Made Of Strangers. What Do You Think About This?
I think it’s right for anyone to protect their privacy and their image. I do not limit myself until someone does not ask me specifically not to photograph or requests to remove a picture from my site or an exhibition. I can not and I do not want to be the censor of myself. If the best photographers of all time had not taken risks today we would not have the pictures of the great authors of Street Photography.