Accepting the idea of Departure Points , Helsinki Bus Station Theory or any other of the inspirational photo metaphors should help you become more focused as a photographer, planning your photographic journey long before you get your camera out is the only way to go, don’t fall asleep, miss your stop and wake up at the metaphorical terminus.
To be clear I’m not writing about the logistical planning of a Photo-Trip, this blog is intended to help you develop creative strategies that will help you find Street Photographs that reflect your personal picture making aspirations rather than make captures that add to the meaningless mass of “unremarkable stranger” pictures that live and breed on-line !
Know what you want !
Yes that’s right, develop firm ideas of what you want to achieve , this photography thing is not about luck or right time right place, successful Street Photographers have highly developed insights of how they want their pictures to look ! That is not to say that you should eradicate serendipity or failure, we already know that serendipitous events and photographic failure are important elements of the Street Photography process but we should not be failing due to poor visual insight, approach or god forbid a lack of effort !
A thorough understanding of “destination” makes finding your potential photographic subjects much easier , as not everything in this world will fit your already developed photo agenda, one of the reasons I work in series is that project themes help me to filter out picture opportunities that do not meet my relevant photo requirements . I do not have the time or inclination to try and shoot everything, I want to invest my time and energies into developing my predetermined objectives, I want to shoot the right things ,and visually edit the wheat from the chaff as I go, during the shoot .
Seeing everything can be overwhelming visually, personally developed goals can help you filter out the visual chaos and see your subject more clearly.
The event that enabled me to make “The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum” , 2016 , picture did not offer me any other photographic opportunities that met my agenda , I decided early on in the day that I would make as many pictures as possible that featured this painting, I knew BOJO would feature in the developing story that The State Of Britain Series represents .
This could be the next Prime Minister Of Britain ?
Working in series on this occasion made me work harder on a single element (BoJo) within a very busy event , I had a personal photographic agenda to follow , all of the other visual noise just vanished .
I know its not practical for everyone to commit to photo projects that last years but I believe that photographers who understand where they are now and develop visual aspirations alongside identified “destinations” will be more likely to succeed , whatever that means for you. . A random approach will lead to random results .
You can not expect to find great images if you have no idea what “your” great images look like !
Until next time, keep it real !