Welcome to another article on street photography! On Friday we’ve given you a few tips on what to look for when out on the streets with your camera in hand and today it’s time we gave you a few tips on how to start your very own street photography project.
JH Engstrom is a Swedish photographer and artist who lives in Paris, France. His photographs are stunning portrayals of the human condition and its loneliness and absurdity. When he goes out in public spaces and photographs people and objects, he immerses himself in the atmosphere and you should do the same. Don’t copy other artists and photographers, but learn from them about the way they are approaching their subjects and their photography. JH famously said that he’s more interested in confusing rather than exxplaining, so find your approach very own approach to photography. Find what drives you to take photos in the first place and you’ll come up with a street photography project in no time.
Let’s assume that somehow you are fascinated by people with piercings. Make your street photography project about that. Learn where to go to find people with piercings, befriend some of them, talk to them and ask for more information that will help you create photographs that matter, that people would want to see.
Finding a street photography project is very important because it will help you stay focused when shooting and it will help you gain more insight into a subject. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to start a street photography project.
Focus on the work, rather on showing your work.
People get so excited these days. Whenever they take a good shot, they’re so eager to show it off and share it with friends. The great thing about a photography project is that you can’t (or should not) do that until your project is over. Some people think that a good time for a photography project would be one year. One year where you immerse yourself in a project and a subject would be enough to get you to be a connoisseur, if not an expert on that matter. It would give you enough time to get some great photographs and if you resist sharing them, the impact of you work would be so much greater.
Making projects is also much better from an artistic point of view than showcasing a single image. As powerful as it may be, one single image doesn’t have the ability to tell the stories that a project has.
Have an amazing street photography concept.
Really think about what you’re getting yourself into. You’re going to be spending one year if not more photographing people and places that deal with a single concept and subject. Make it worth your while, because if it doesn’t, then you would have wasted your precious time.
Think about what fascinates you, what scares you, rather than what you’re comfortable with. Don’t think about things that the world would be interested, but think about what you would be interested in. Be selfish and inquisitive!
Once you come up with a concept, leave it aside for a while and think about some more. When you get the right idea for a street photography project, you’ll be able to see the light bulb go off in your head.
Give cohesion to your images by staying consistent with your gear.
It may be hard to achieve, especially if you’re shooting for a long time, but do try to use the same camera, film type and lens. It will help the project look better.
Feedback is really important in this line of work, so you should have someone you can rely on to give you constructive feedback. Because you won’t be publishing any photographs of your project for a long period of time, you are going to need some human input, someone who will tell you if you’re going in the right direction or not.
Edit, sequence and publish
Once you’re done shooting, comes the more laborious part of editing and sequencing your photographs. Try to keep it as simple as possible, especially if it’s your first project. When sequencing your photos, keep in mind that there should be cohesiveness and a certain degree of flow between the photographs. When all that is done, publish your project on Flickr, Facebook, your own personal Blog, or get a traditional publisher to publish your work in book.
Do you have any other thoughts on this matter that you would like to share with us? Drop us a line in the comment section below.