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…
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.
September has been a pretty intense month for me. From going on several holidays to starting university, September has flipflopped through the full extent of emotions and has been chiseled by change. Attentive readers will perhaps have noticed this already: this is the first time my posting schedule has been so sporadic and scattered since starting my blog all the way back in November. A lot of things have happened in the last 30 days, and so I thought I’d split this Reflections post into sections. I, for one, am definitely in need of a little clarity and simplification.
I kicked off September in the best way possible – sleeping in a field. Well, sleeping in a tent in a field. I spent that first weekend of the month strolling through falling leaves in the late summer sunshine of the New Forest and it was wonderful. I think that spending time in nature, and living in a tent, both allow yourself to feel grounded and to dedicate time to appreciating the little things in life. For example, when you’re camping, cooking takes three times as long as it does at home – but that’s okay, because it gives you perspective.
Last weekend quite a few people you know headed off to university: it’s that time of year that brings about fresh starts and big changes with the colouring, and falling, of the leaves. In a sense, this feels like more of a ‘new year’ than the actual New Year. And this weekend, you’ll also be driving up north to become a university student, in a tiny car bloated with the objects that make up your life.
In one way, it’s been a long time coming. You’ve had two years out of the traditional school system and have already left your teen years behind. You tried a distance learning degree, and even completed the first year, but you knew that wasn’t what you wanted to continue doing. So I think now is the right time. I don’t think many people ever feel completely ready to go to university, everyone has their own kinds of struggles, but I think at this point in time you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.
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.
I’m writing this post on the first day of proper rain in a long time: not like a light drizzle, or a sea fret, but a downpour. A deluge from the heavens. And I’m welcoming it with open, now soaking wet, arms. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed the rain. I have enjoyed the sun over the last few weeks too, though.
July kicked off a little unusually – I was in New York, 3474 miles from home and having a wonderful time. I was feeling so much better than at the start of June, that’s for sure. I was coming to the end of a nearly-month-long adventure with my friend that took us across 5 (and a half) countries from two continents. I had a great time and really loved New York. I’ve started sharing the photos from there, as well as the rest of my travels, over on Instagram if street photography is your thing.
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.