There is something powerful about street photography: it captures delicate, tacit moments and immortalises them. It satisfies a bit of that curiosity for the world that sits deep within me. When I think about street photography, it is the connections between people and other people, and people and the world which motivates me to shoot. I love seeing how life happens; how the small, everyday things people do keep the societal cogs turning. I thought it might be interesting to look back over my street photography sessions from 2018 and think about how my approach to snapping photos changed over that time…
I have a confession to make. I seem to have commitment issues. You know when you have a love for one thing but then something else catches your eye? Yeah, that’s me with Instagram. I am being utterly genuine when I write that I have actually lost count of the number of accounts I have had in the last few years on Instagram.
My Instagram History
I started off like any other teenager out there: one little space online where I posted the odd sunset, food or family holiday photo. Then I became vegan and yearned to feel a part of a community after what felt like such a huge lifestyle change at the time. And so I created a foodie account. This lasted a while but was cut off once I completed school and started travelling. Once you’re relying on cheap food eaten in poorly-lit hostels to survive it is practically impossible to maintain a beautiful food account. And so I did the only sensible thing and started a travel photography one instead. This somehow died a slow death though. I’m sure there have been other, more temporary ones too – like the black and white minimalist profile I had somewhere along the way – but they have mostly faded into insignificance now.
At the end of summer, I was lucky enough to travel to three beautiful places in Spain: Corella, San Sebastian and Bilbao. I’m feeling a little nostalgic today, or perhaps the reality of university is starting to hit me and I’m craving a bit of a mental step back from it all – either way, I thought this would be a good moment to look back over my street photography from my little September Spanish adventure.
I recently put out a post about shooting street photography, which included several tips and tricks for beginners to get stuck into the art of capturing spontaneous, real moments. Lots of you seemed to enjoy that post, and several people expressed an interest in getting started but feeling anxious about having to shoot on the street with people noticing you. Worry no more, I’ve got you – this is what we’re going to be discussing today.
Now, who would be a good person to turn to for advice on such a subject? A highly socially anxious individual who has a bit of experience with taking photos on the street, I’d assume. Hmm… can you think of anyone? Yeah, that’s right, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll definitely have come across content centred around anxiety – even if you weren’t looking for it. I’ve talked before a lot about how standing out in any way at all has given me crippling irrational fear in the past.
The celebration of Pride has exploded all over the world in more recent history, and with that comes a whole host of colourful celebrations. I always associate Pride with sunny weather, and seeing as it’s been raining here for the last few days (I think summer has definitely decided to show its face somewhere else at this point) I decided to have a look back through some of my more sun-soaked images from the past few months, plenty of which were taken at Pride. And so, for those of you currently experiencing a winteresque summer day, I thought I could put together a little photo journal to brighten things up a bit.
On 4th August, Pride came to Brighton and I headed down to the parade armed with my camera to try to capture everything that was going on. It became obvious pretty fast where the parade would be coming through as people started lining the streets well in advance.
Some of you who have been around on my blog since the start of the year will know that I started getting into manual photography (figuring out all the settings yourself rather than leaving your camera on auto the whole time) back in January. However, I’ve been interested in shooting photos of things that are happening on the streets for quite a while longer than that. I think this interest in street photography stemmed from travelling – coming into contact with ways of life so different to what I experience back home made me want to capture these moments on camera.
I’m still very much learning about shooting photos on the street, but I do feel like I’ve learnt a few things about street photography since I started getting into it. So today, in collaboration with Panasonic, I thought I’d share those tips with you all. I’ve been aware of Panasonic cameras for almost as long as I’ve been interested in photography – my dad has had several different models over the years and has always had great things to say about them. One he doesn’t have yet though is the recently released Lumix mirrorless camera, which is capable of shooting high quality images and videos in 4K. Sounds like it could be a great companion for shooting on the street!
Nestled away in Northeastern Europe, Latvia is perhaps an underappreciated country in the travelling community. However, this Baltic State has a lot to boast about, of which I only managed to glimpse a little of in the three days I spent roaming the cobbled streets of the Old Town, staring up at the remarkably decorative buildings and observing the traditional and much-hyped Song and Dance Festival that happened to be going on whilst I was there.
The overused phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ definitely rings true when it comes to describing travel adventures; hence the start of my travel photojournal series… First up on the list is my rundown of Riga – the unassuming capital of Latvia.
A few days ago, I decided to start a new Instagram account. If anyone reading this follows my old one, they might be thinking ‘why?!’ I had over 1k followers on there and a feed I quite liked. I’ve worked hard to get it to that point so why on earth would anyone in that position start from 0 again: especially when it is notoriously difficult to grow an audience on Instagram now. If you’re only here for the short answer then all you need to know is that I wanted a fresh start.
Not satisfied by that answer? Then stick around for the long story…
For the first time since I started this blog in November, a week has gone by without a post appearing. This past week has been a struggle for me: I’ve felt extremely low, often anxious and quite lost. Normally, creativity in the form of writing helps to drag me back out of these periods, but this time has been a little different. I felt like I lost all motivation and inspiration, and that it would be hopelessly pointless to put words down on paper, or rather, a screen, and share them with the world.
This process of retreating away from the sometimes overwhelming world of social media gave me necessary isolation and a break from the speed at which things fly up our news feeds online. It also led me to a desire to create something for myself without the pressure of putting it out there for everyone to see. And so I returned to a neglected love of mine, filmmaking, and created a short spoken word poetry video about this lost feeling I was experiencing.
Sometimes we just need to go on an adventure. Feel the salt spray in our hair, the recklessness of the wind in our lungs, the laughter forging wrinkles by our eyes and all that cliché stuff. It may be cliché, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I find if I don’t quench my curiosity as often as I can, I can quite easily slip into low moods.
The repetition of routine has the potential to leave me feeling unequivocally stuck, instilling in me an urge to do something to free myself from whatever rut I’m in. I guess I’m sometimes like a truck that needs to be jumpstarted out of the mud. Last week was one of those times, and so I grabbed the car keys and set off on a little adventure, to a beautiful coastal area in Sussex called Cuckmere Haven.