I love the challenge of street photography. You go out into the streets and you don’t know what you are going to get, if anything. You walk the street; connect with people and you keep your eyes open. You are looking for a shot, always composing, always thinking. It is a poetic dance one does as they walk the street. You can’t control what you see; you can’t move that red truck out of the way. You have to make the picture as it comes to you in a split second. There is a thrill in the moment you make a picture and it appears that the stars have lined up.
This poetic image of street photography has inspired me and Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb have affirmed my metaphor in their latest book. Their new book On Street Photography and the Poetic Images is a book I have been waiting on. I received it in the mail last week and fell in love with it right away. It isn’t your usual photography book. This book is unique in its format, composition and approach to the subject.
The format of the book is one of a picture on each page with a very short topical reflection. This isn’t a book composed of how to do what you do but rather it is a book this structured in such away that inspires you to find your why. That “why” that moves you out into the street. The book turns the artist inside; it calls the photographer to look at themselves in the viewfinder, as they go outside. Alex and Rebecca make you think about how your worldview influences what you put in your viewfinder. They don’t approach the subject of street photography as something that can be taught but rather as something that has to be lived and experienced.
One of the many things I love about street photography is that is rooted in the experience. You experience the streets. Your feet have to hit the pavement and you have to move, sit, talk, engage, think, act, react and always be in the moment if you have any hope of recording the moment. It is the experience of the moment(s) that make what I do so exciting. The work changes me and I hope as others engage the work it moves them. What moments are you experiencing in your work? Is your work changing you as much as you hope your work moves others?