I am not a professional photographer. I do it out of passion and what I’ve learned until now is the result of a ton of practice. When I look back at what I was shooting a few years back… I am very happy with my progress. Fun fact, I am still using the same camera I was using back then. My old faithful Canon 550d. The only thing that changed is the lens, because the kit one (18-55mm) eventually broke. Now I mostly use a Sigma 17-50mm.
But this short post is not about what equipment I use or what should you buy. It’s about getting better with what you have. Without spending a fortune on something you don’t even know the basics of. It’s about practice, practice and more practice.
I was lucky enough to participate at two workshops organized by WalknShoot Bucharest. The first one I’m going to show you is the street photography workshop, with Silviu Ghetie. Street photography is probably one of my favorite styles. I love blending in a city and observing. Catching the reactions and the daily life of passers by.
Main points to follow on street photography – keep your eyes open, look for the details and don’t forget to sometimes just turn around. Something might be happening right behind you. Oh yeah… and it’s not all about black and white.
The second workshop I am going to talk to you about is a bit more special. For anybody who loves storytelling, documentary photography/photojournalism is one type of workshop you must do at least once. I love telling stories with my photos. Sometimes, I might get my story across and sometimes I may not. For this reason I decided to take a plunge into a new photography style and by the end of the workshop I can say I found a new passion.
The workshop was held by Ioana Moldovan. And she knows photojournalism. From the refugees crises to the Ukrainian conflict area, from documenting the Invictus games to protests, her work is amazing. The task was, at first glance, easy: find a story and tell it through your photos. But when I went a bit deeper in the task, I realized it was going to push me so far out of my comfort zone, that I won’t even see it anymore.
Main points to consider when doing a photography docuseries: always show the truth, so no tele lens to crop things out of your frame; interact with your subject, but don’t interfere with the story; be present, but make yourself blend in the background so you don’t influence the characters. Not so easy anymore. And no matter how detached you will try to be, you will still go in a story with certain prejudice.
While I was looking on the streets for my story, I saw a group of city hall workers cleaning a large land plot. Usually in Romania, in these kind of groups are 90% Rroma people. So from the get go this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I am not a racist person and I KNOW I should not be influenced by preconceived notions, but it’s hard to fight human nature. So I stepped out of my introvert safe space, went to talk to them and ended up documenting their work for the next 3h. This is how the visual story went. I hope you enjoy it.
As a conclusion, practicing this style of photography will help you get over your preconceived notions about race and status. It will help you see more than what’s just in front of you. All you have to do is try and get as many facets of a story as you can. So when you go in, try to go with a “blank page”. And remember that everybody has a story to tell. Someone just needs to listen.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you.
As always, if you enjoyed it, pin it! 🙂