'How to be...a photographer in four lessons'
is a satyrical notebook written by Brussels-based photographer Thomas Vanden Driessche www.howtobe.be/htb/index.php?/…
(english edition) www.howtobe.be/htb/index.php?/…
In strips of four typewritten lessons and four Photo Booth images each - it offers the basic gist of how you can instantly become great in contemporary photography, war photography, conceptual photography, street photography, marriage photography, and much more. I enjoyed it because it highlights with humor and wit the stereotypes and spinoffs of certain trends of contemporary photography.
So, here is what it says about how to become a street photographer! I have the french edition of the book, so I asked
to translate the lessons in english for us:
HOW TO BE: A 'STREET PHOTOGRAPHER'
If you live in a megalopolis, no problem, you can jump to lesson number 2. Otherwise, if you live in the country, it's time for you to quit your godforsaken birthplace, get a room in one of those cities swarming with activity, learn how to read a subway map, and start enjoying the pleasure of breathing fumes all day long.
Forget logic, forget the story you want to tell, forget where you are going, forget if you are chalk or cheese...You must become a true roaming dog...yes a dog...though a dog intelligent enough to press a shutter release when needed!
If you want to be a purebred street photographer, your camera must be your slave and not the other way around...and to be part of the pack, you must always carry a Ricoh GR in your pocket. If when you read 'Ricoh' you think of the giant printer at the far end of the corridor in the administrative office you are working for, then you are not ready yet!
To be a real street photographer you will always have to go unnoticed in a crowd...you must have ordinary clothes just like everybody else, ordinary gear like everybody else...you'll have to be a perfect whatshisname in order to take your photos without drawing attention.
This anonymity will turn out to be far less of an advantage on the opening day of your retrospective exhibition, when you will realize that nobody knows who you are... Sometimes "ze will" is too much!
I must admit that points 1 and 3 are quite spot on
It is indeed common opinion that to realize your street photographer potential you need a 2 million people city. For a start. And of course that true street photographers must own a Leica.
What do you think are the stereotypes and clichè about street photography and street photographers? Please feel free to add your lessons below! They will enrich and enlighten the posterity!
Here are my lessons:
- Even if it is not mandatory, to be a good street photographer it certainly helps being a perv. A stalker would be perfect. If not, at least a snooper.
- Just in case, find yourself a good lawyer. It will help with all the privacy laws and issues.
- Learn by heart a few street photography quotes that will make you look like an expert. I strongly recommend a quick google search with 'street photography quotes': learn at least 3 (mind you, at least one of them must be by Henry Cartier-Bresson).
- You must have a flickr account, because that's where real street photographers hang out. Even better, be part of a prestigious collective. If you can't get into one, just found one yourself!