If you are reading this blog you know my primary photography focus is editorial fashion & model photography. However, when I'm not doing this I shoot street photography. Most of my casual photography is in the street.
For some time I wondered if I could combine the two. Hiring a model and photographing him / her in the street, or in a street setting. However, if I do this it raises a question; is this still street photography or a model shoot? Basically, can you stage a street photography shoot. I know, I know, not deep thinking type of question, but something I find of interest.
I decided to ask a friend and street photographer, Valerie Jardin. For those who don't know Valerie, check her out at her commercial site. I sent her a question and she answered it on episode # 5 on her new street photography podcast, Street Focus, which is on the This Week In Photo network. Her answer was basically, yes and no. Honestly, a staged shoot in the street isn't really "street photography" in it's truest form. However, I've often done a number of street shoots where I've "staged" part of it. As an example I set up in front of a window of a boutique and and as a fashionable lady walks in front of my camera I pressed the shutter button. Is this "staged"?
Anyway, I decided to give it a go. If nothing else it would be fun. I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago when I was shooting for a contemporary fashion boutique here in Indianapolis called Lucky B. The boutique used 2 models, and I was doing a number of lighting setups including available light. Let's try a street photography shoot while we are at it!
Basically, all I did was ask my models to just start walking on the street or in the location we were doing the commercial shoot. I set up low and asked the models to walk by me. As they walked by I took the photo. I shot images using a burst speed shutter release mode. I was using aperture priority and zone focused. As my models walked by I tried to get an unposed look. I subsequently processed the images in B&W with minimal processing. Unlike my model & editorial fashion shoots I didn't want the images to look over processed.
So there you go. Street photography meets model photography. Is it street photography? ... probably not in the purest form. I think I'll try this again when I do an upcoming street photography shoot in Los Angeles. Should be tons of fun.