People and Street

We meet someone in a cafe or on the street, at an event or on special appointment. Some are in a privat environment or some are clients. They all have different lifes and personalities. When I take photos of them, it is my intention, showing some of that.

There is the image of a woman, slightly blurred. What is she doing? Is she waiting for someone, seeking some protection from the corners of the building entrance? Did she arrive early, or will she be picked up by someone? What is she starring at? How was her day? She does not see the photographer and he is only throwing a fleeting glance at her, releasing the shutter quickly. There is not enough time to freeze the moment. The blurred image witnesses the movement at the scene. The photographer is a passerby. They will not meet again. Another chance missed.

A woman is posing in bright sunlight at a public place. The high contrast of the scene underlines her white dress nicely. She is the model in a shooting, not one, but many. Several cameras pointing at her and she seems enjoying it. What a difference.

When I am taking photos of people, I like to let my imagination create a story. What is the scene about and what are the acting people doing? Is there an intention behind? Certainly, it is an interpretation and I am sure, most of the times my imagination goes too far. But that is the essence of photography. It is not just the mechanical execution of exposing a film or camera sensor. It is trying to construct a meaning to the scene, interpreting it and then capturing the moment, so that the viewer’s imagination is triggered and he or she can create an own story from there.

Street photography is a very unspecific genre. Is it enough to just take a camera outside to the streets? Certainly! It is even less. You can find pictures in street photography contests, which have not even been shot in streets but somewhere in public idoors or outdoors.

I think it does not matter. Scenes from any public place will do. I always take my Leica M with me when I go outside. A viewfinder Leica camera is still lightweight, but even more important, it is not so intrusive. Therefore, many of the better-known street photographers decided using Leicas. You can get closer to the people and they are more likely accepting being photographed. 

I love to take pictures of scenes, telling a story. And I always will have people in it.