The Candid Stranger

Thanks for checking out my photography site. I’ll be getting this down to a process, but until then, I want to share a passion of mine; “Street Photography”.

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Probably the most fun I’ve had with a camera is when I’m taking candid photos of strangers doing everyday things. There’s many reasons that I love this type of photography over any other, but there’s one reason why I don’t do it as much as I would like.

One reason why I love candid street photography is that… well, it’s candid. There is something sterile and fake about shooting a portrait session and everyone smiles for the camera. No matter what mood we are in or what is going on in our lives, we find ourselves in front of a lens and all of a sudden there’s a fake smile. No emotion. The photo doesn’t document what is happening at that point of time in their lives. Just smiling for the camera. A candid photo takes that front away. What you’re left with is the raw emotion of what is going on in that millisecond of time, captures it, and stores it forever.

The photo is also much more interesting if the subjects are doing everyday things. Ordering a cup of coffee. Hailing a cab. Walking to work. Standing in line for a concert or waiting for the band to come up on stage. These are all situations that we find our selves in and don’t think that it would make a good picture (other then taking pictures of your Starbucks lattes for Instagram), if they are taken from outside the box, by a stranger that is not trying to get them to notice the camera, you get organic shots that show the humanity of the people you are capturing. It shows the period of time that they are living in, and how they are living.

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 There is a sort of voyeuristic gratification that comes with street photography. Not in a creepy way (although people will sometimes think it is. More on that later), but in a “people watching” kind of way. I have always been a people watcher. Even as a kid, I would wonder what a certain person’s life was like. Was it so much different then mine? What are they going to do right now? How are they feeling and do they feel the same way as me? There are 6 billion people on this earth, and every single life is as unique and interesting as my own, most of the time more so.

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Now, there is one flaring downside of street photography: People, for the most part, do not like their picture taken by strangers. This is the sole reason that I do not go out every weekend to try to capture beautiful moments. I do not like confrontation, and the best way to find it is to do something that brings attention to you that you are singling out someone by taking their picture. There are many reasons why people are like this. Whether they feel insecure about their picture being taken or they feel that it infringes on their rights (public places it is totally legal in the United States), there will be at the very least, dirty looks after you snap that picture. I have not gotten approached as of yet, though I have gotten a lot of looks and one bicycle taxi driver to complain very loudly to his customers. It did make for a good photo though.

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All in all, street photography is a great time, and I plan on going out soon to hit the streets again to capture some great moments of beautiful people that I will never meet.

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