‘YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER’
I’m a massive fan of street photography and have been since 2009 when I decided photography was where my future lay. But I’m currently a wedding photographer, so why do I still go and hit the streets in order to participate in street photography you may ask?
For me street photography is a challenge but also a release from my wedding photography, any major city in the UK, especially London is normally my destination of choice. The reason for this is that, it has such a diverse and muti-cultured society, no matter where you head to in London, you’re always bound to find something different. There is always something unique, but mainly something that will challenge you to see the world from a different view point and for that it helps to develop my style of documentary photography, which Is my style of capturing weddings.
The past few years I have constantly used a Nikon DSLR with a variety of lenses, but recently I purchased the impressive Fuji X-Pro 1 and ventured into London for a trial shoot with friends to put the camera through its paces. It’s the ideal size for me and my style of street photography which I will come onto later, but it’s sharpness, speed and size are perfect for street photography. So I now use the Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 18mm and 35m lenses.
For me street photography is all about life, it’s kind of like a shooting a wedding, it’s all about life happening now, documenting the present and shooting from your creative instinct and by being daring with how and who you shoot.
In London life moves so quickly, in the blink of an eye you can miss that perfect moment and always look back at it as a missed opportunity. So I always have the cameras strapped to my hand as I do at weddings, ready to capture life and document the opportunities that are presented to me.
Street photography is not for everyone, I know of some friends that won’t consider hitting the streets to shoot. I can understand that to a certain degree, especially in the age we live in, the digital age has pushed life hard that a lot Iive in fear of the reasons for people taking pictures and the added knowledge of terrorism can make people that live in inner cities wary of photographers. But for me that pushes me to try harder to capture what happens in daily life.
You just never know what might be happening around the corner in life, I see it all the time in this day and age, you watch the news and the majority of the time, the first pictures of a major incident are taken by passers by with an iPhone or compact camera. These are true documented images of the unknown or the present captured for all to see. This is what also drives to me to be a street photographer, you just never know what might happen in front of your eyes, you could be that first person to witness and document something the world might want to see.
Another thing about being a street photographer is the people, we have such a diverse cultured society, so lets get out there and document who we are, what we are and get in there to photograph those exact people in their normal surroundings. To me that is also a challenge. I also make sure I have a pocket full of change because again some of the best people that show the world through their expressions are those that live on the streets 24/7, the homeless, the unattached, they are the true people of street photography and deserve our attention to their lives.
I have looked back on other photographers for inspiration, and one of them for me is: Don McCullin, his early work of street photography was truly amazing, as is his work as a war photographer. So it’s good to take inspiration from the past to help you capture the future.
Apart from the challenges of the unknown, the challenge of documenting the present and the future, one of the greatest parts of being a street photographer is it’s free, well apart from the camera and travel costs, but everything else is free! I can just hop on a train into London, go where and when I want and I get to walk away with a smile on my face! Then I get to socialise with some amazing friends and photographers, as there are always people wanting to meet up for street photo walks or just a chance to meet and chat over food and a few drinks. There are also so many exhibitions going on that are free, such as the Photographers Gallery in London, so why not head to a gallery to see whats going on to add interest to you day out.
I also believe that with street photography, that no matter what level of ability you have, no matter how good a photographer you are, street photography is for anyone. Whether you have an iPhone, a compact or a DSLR, anyone can take part and anyone can enjoy it. So remember no matter what images you take, regardless of someone’s ability, that one image is perfect, you have captured a part of history that no matter what can never be captured again.
So what are you waiting for, hit the streets with you cameras and start capturing memories for all to enjoy for years to come. You just never know whats around the corner.
Regards Rob Grimes
Rob Grimes Photography is a Nottingham based photographer specialising in creative documentary wedding photography – documentary style photography that tells the story of your day along with fine art couples portraits using creative lighting techniques. Rob is available to shoot weddings, elopements, couples sessions in Birmingham and throughout the UK, Europe, America and worldwide for destination sessions.
To book me or enquire then please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.