I am an old-school photographer who is pissed at the present state of street photography. Shoving a camera in someone’s face just to get a reaction is not street photography; it is assault. As such, I favor a quieter, more contemplative approach to my photography, focusing on the fascinating rhythms and silences of the people I photograph. The first tenet of photographing people is to respect the subject. I don’t shoot subjects who happen to be in embarrassing situations, nor do I photograph the homeless or other people who find themselves in dire straits. It’s not fair to them and too easy for me.
And then there’s the use of black and white photography. Printing a photograph in black and white “just because” does not give it weight or make it a great photo. The choice to use black and white has its own connotations, which must be integrated into the overall story. Back in the day, the majority of photographers used black and white film simply because shooting and processing color was very expensive and generally out of reach of your average photographer. However, that limitation also forced black and white photographers to discover all of the possibilities inherent in the medium. Color, however, makes for a convenient distraction and as such, a lot of compositional and technical mistakes are hidden from the viewer. When I shoot color, I ask myself whether the shot would work as well in black and white. That doesn’t mean I will convert the shot to black and white, it just forces me to concentrate on the subject.
Likewise, the argument that shooting film is purer and therefore makes one a real artist…who cares? Not most collectors and certainly not the average viewer. They cannot tell the difference between a film and digital image today, and digital photography allows for a whole new range of artistic expression.
But beyond the technical aspect of photography, the point of a photograph is communication. When I take a photo, I ask myself: Does your photograph speak to the viewer beyond and above snazzy effects, medium and color choices? I endeavor to think of myself as a storyteller and always try to make the story interesting and accessible to the viewer.
Please enjoy this small selection of my work.