It has been nearly 2 years since I took on my first “Street Studio Project”. The initial project was about breaking social barriers, working on my own insecurities and getting comfortable with stopping and photographing complete strangers passing by on busy street. You approach some and are immediately rejected, instant shut down. They assume you are either selling something and never give you the opportunity to speak, or they are just like most of us and very uncomfortable with the prospect of a strangers camera 2 feet from their face on a busy street. Others after a short explanation of what I’m doing and showing them sample images from the iPad are interested and excited to participate. I congratulate and appreciate their participation immensely!
While this process may only take a few minutes, in these brief moment I have an opportunity to connect and interact with someone on intimate level that moments ago was just another face passing in the street. This is a beautiful and unique experience that is very hard to express in words.
Shooting with this simple of a setup is also a strong reminder of how important understanding your equipment and the basics of a lighting really is. It allowed me to achieve some great portraits today in the street with simply a roll of butcher paper and natural light reflecting from a building just across the street. It’s easy for us to get caught up with the myriad choices for lighting setups when it comes to simple portrait. While I enjoy the technical aspects of lighting a complex scene time to time, there’s something to be said when things are this simple and you can really focus on the subject and experience. I highly encourage any and all photographers to get out and practice this exercise and experience more often. I wish that I had not waited two years to get out and hit it again. Today has inspired me to begin work a few very exciting projects that I’m looking forward to rolling out by mid July.
Thank you again so much to all those that took the time to participate in the shoot today. It was absolutely fantastic to meet each and everyone of you and share a few moments creating a connection and an image together.