Mary is an American photographer known for documentary and portraits photography. I got inspired by her work when I saw her collection named Indian Circus, as its well connected with the type of photography that I like (street photography). To be a good street photographer you need to be in front of the action, you need to have courage to shoot but at the same time you need to be candid, you have to interact with the people that you will shoot and Mary did it great in her Indian Circus collection.
She started as an street photographer, an she said “if you can shoot on the street spontaneously, you can shoot anything”
In the following link you can find more pictures of this collection:
Shooting in the streets and capture candid moments is not an easy task, it’s something that you need to practice, master and sometime you need to repeat to find the perfect candid moment.
In this post I want to link a concept that I read from a business blog, which is about the easiest way to classify people in organizations, in summary the post tell us that there are always 3 type of the people.
In sports Nadia Comaneci (considered the greatest female gymnast ever that won 5 Olympic Gold Medals, including the first ever “perfect 10” in Olympic History) clasisified these 3 type of people as:
“I noticed from a young age there are only three kinds of people in the world. Three kinds of people in the gym. Three kinds of people walking the streets. Three kinds of people working in every company.
The first group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do only 7. They make an excuse, or they say, “7 is good enough, why do 10?” These people never win and are the perennial losers in whatever field of endeavor they are in. They cut corners and do sloppy work.
The second group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do 10. These people will win, sometimes. They at least do what is asked.
And then there is the rare, third group, and I (Nadia) am in that third group. The coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and I always did 15. Always over-deliver. And this is how I won 5 Olympic Gold Medals.”
Now coming back to street photography I encourage you to be part of the rare group, always do more than what is expected, always spend more time in the streets that what you would consider normal, always shoot more photos of the same moment to increase the odds of getting a real candid moment.
The only exception for me is to spend more time editing, editing photos is important but not as important as shooting, I try to spend no more than 2 min per photo…
Graciela Iturbide is considered the most relevant Mexican photographer. She started studying cinematography and there she met Manuel Alvarez Bravo who is considered the father of Mexican Photography and who had a great influence in Graciela’s work.
Graciela still works with her analog camera as she prefer to keep doing what she called her ritual. Here my learnings:
All start with a passion. This is relevant for all aspects in life, to be a great photographer you need to feel it, you need enjoy, you need to have fun and be obsessed with your passion.
Is not about technique is about composition. Choose the subject of your image and what you want to tell about. Once that is clear select a good background that helps to tell the story, avoid distracting elements.
To be a great photographer you need to increase your culture. At the decisive moment all your pass knowledge and experience will play a vital role to decide what to shoot. Is very important to learn from others photographers, learn painting, poetry, architecture, classic music. Also if you are traveling to a new place is important to read about its history and traditions to decide what is relevante and imagine your photo before pressing the shooter.
For street photography interact with the people of the place. You need to be part of the place in which you will do your work, she used to spend 2 to 3 weeks in the place to interact with people, this will make the people familiar with you and be more relax in the decisive moment.
Here some links that you can use to know her work.