So, as many of you know, I am not much of a city person. Back in 2013, I was most of the way through my second year as a Journalism major before I made the decision to switch my major over to Studio Art. Not only did I switch because I no longer enjoyed journalism, but also because I knew that I would have to spend my next semester at Temple Campus in center city Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was weighing on me so much that I was losing sleep and I had this constant pit in my stomach. After many late night discussions with friends and family, I changed my major and never looked back. Instant relief. I am so grateful that they convinced me to change my major, not only because it completely changed my career trajectory, but also because I didn't have to live in the city.
Flash forward a few years and I am living in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is not a small city by any means and I am loving it. It just goes to show how different a UK/Europe city is compared to a US city. The buildings are shorter, the streets are wider, there is more stone than cement, garbage is scarce and people seem (for the most part) genuinely friendly. Crime doesn't seem like much of an issue so I don't feel threatened walking down the street, day or night. It's actually kind of scary how quickly I've adapted to living in the city. I've enjoyed it so much that I've begun casually dabbling in street photography. It is a type of photography as old as cameras. Usually, street photography features subjects in candid situations in public spaces, usually unbeknownst to the subject. Google Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, Fan Ho or Bruce Davidson if you want to see work from some of the greats.
It is very strange for me to be out in a completely public space surrounded by strangers with the goal of photographing situations that I deem interesting. I have never felt so exposed and vulnerable but also so invisible at the same time. I have become a silent observer. While Lindsey is in class, I grab my little film camera, throw in my headphones, play some music and hit the streets to find something new. This is a way of working that is the complete opposite of what I'm used to. I'm a portrait photographer so most of the time I am completely orchestrating the image I am creating. Not to mention maintaining a dialogue with my subject while simultaneously having them look directly into the camera as I press the shutter. The closest thing to street photography that I have done happens at every wedding I've photographed, specifically during the reception where it is my job to simply capture the atmosphere of the space.
All of this to say that I am actually really enjoying the freedom and spontaneity of street photography and I plan to pursue it. All of the images (other than the wedding shot and map) are from my first roll of film from my first attempt at street photography and I am actually quite pleased with the results. Maybe it's just because they are quite different from my usual work. Now I just need to build up a bit more confidence and actually get close to people before I press the shutter button, go into situations I wouldn't otherwise find myself in and capture something worth remembering.