INSPIRATION

My Favorite Shot

STREET LIFE

What’s your favorite photo?

“This one”. “No, that one”. “Or maybe this one?!”

Could you pick a favorite image you’ve taken? Not easy we know, but to coincide with our July 2020 STREET LIFE call for entries, we asked some of the photographers in our community to do just that. Or at least to pick a street shot that they hold dearly, were happy to have taken recently, or that resonates with them right now. Here they tell us why…

BANNER IMAGE: SIMONA BONANNO

www.simonabonanno.com / @s_bonanno

“I was wandering solitarily through the sunny streets of Rome, breathing the spring air. I was in search of the perfect light to continue a black and white photographic project I was working on. The light of Rome in March is incredible: clean and clear, it illuminates portions of buildings creating theatrical scenarios.

Near the Portico d’Ottavia, in the heart of the Roman Ghetto, I took a little road that climbed the hill. As soon as I turned the first corner I was struck by the intensity of the yellow tones of these Roman buildings, which, with the blades of light and the strong shadows of the afternoon, created geometric joints of black and color. I quickly changed the camera settings, and waited for someone to arrive, a character entering into the scene, whose silhouette would be perfectly designed in my defined space. I am truly fascinated by the awareness that, sooner or later, my character will arrive, as if he, or she, is called to enter for an instant in the scene of these surreal worlds frozen forever”.

KRISTOF VADINO

www.kristofvadino.com / @kristof_vadino

“Gonaïves, Haïti. As I was doing an assignment in Porte-au-Prince, Haïti’s rough capital, I needed a break and went to Gonaïves, the home town of the fixer I was working with. I didn’t need to bring images back, just strolling around an afternoon was good. We went to the shore as I always am attracted to water and the life around it. We had seen some fishermen, from which I took some half good, half bad pictures. Nothing really interesting. Walking back we came upon a house on the outskirts of town, with a boy there doing nothing. I like these kind of insignificant moments where not much is happening. The boy just let me take his picture for a brief moment with the guys in the background unloading a boat. The light was good, the mood was there. The boy gave me the picture.”

POUPAY JUTHARAT

www.poupayphoto.com / @poupayphoto

“”It was two years ago and I just came back to Thailand from spending three years in NYC. I was trying to find what interests me. One summer day, I found it. The herd of cattle was walking on a highway. It slowly walked from the sidewalk so I was running to get the photograph which was not what I usually do. I got the photo when they were in the middle of the highway. Even though I shot it with a small camera and it was not the kind of photo that typical Thais like, I knew right then that this is what I crave.”

ELOI DU BOIS

www.djarwood.com / @djarwood

“”When I settled in the US, I quickly started this project of documenting America and its multiple faces. I find street portraiture an interesting challenge, where each picture has its own story, either when the photograph is taken or on the subject themselves and their universe. In the US we have the eternal impression of being in a movie, where each character takes their role very seriously. I really like this picture, where light follows lines of a face coming from Eastern Promises, or a character from Chinatown – maybe.”

DIMPY BHALOTIA

@dimpy.bhalotia

“This photograph ‘Flying Boys’ characterizes the day-to-day activities of the young boys living in Varanasi in India. These boys were jumping off a man-made cliff into the Ganges river to beat the heat during the Indian summers. They are the symbol of fearlessness and freedom. Through my photographs, I am seeking to encourage people to step back from technology to appreciate their lived experience and spread the message of hope, love, energy and freedom.”

SINZIANA VELICESCU

www.sinzianavelicescu.com / @casualtimetravel

“Westlake, Los Angeles, 2020. I love coming across a wall who’s complex history peeks through the layers of paint. Walls like this are like accidental abstract expressionist paintings, constantly morphing over time with every new layer of paint transforming it into its latest iteration.”

MONIA MARCHIONNI

@monia_marchionni

“The photo is part of the series ‘The Gardens from the Sky’. I choose houses with terraces that intrigue me, I don’t know who lives there, but every time I have to create a bond with strangers and and win their trust in order to capture a moment of special life. The family who lives there spends many days on the terrace looking at the sky, reading, ringing Tibetan bells and getting lost in a game of glances among the stepped Hedges. I asked them to forget me, and to live one of the most beautiful days.”

ALAN BURLES

www.alanburles.com / @alanburles

“Tesco Supermarket, Clapham South, London. If it is OK to have favourites of your own photos, then this is one of them because it is a good expression of my photographic philosophy – which is not to hunt for photos but to let life take me where it will and ‘be available’ for photographs to happen. I took it during one of those moments that we all know, standing in a supermarket queue, more often than not feeling impatient and paying little attention to what is around us.

But because I carry a camera everywhere there is around my neck a constant reminder to be present, to be interested in everything including the mundane and to be ready to capture it.At first glance we wonder what violence has happened here but it is only the aftermath of a dropped carton of juice, a simple and in my eyes, beautiful accident. I also love the inverted shopping baskets, which even though upside down are still doing their job of containing something. There is for me a kind of beauty and perfection in the composition and the mundanity, all of course created not by me but by the person who dropped the carton!”

FRANCESCA FORQUET

www.francescaforquet.com / @francesca.forquet

“Pickaboo. Taken in Santa Monica, February 2020, this picture is part of the series Santa Monica. Since I moved here, I’ve been fascinated by Santa Monica’s residential neighborhoods and their “flip side”, the back alleys. Hidden from the apparent uniformity of the streets, there are clues, objects, messages that tell us who we are, what we believe in and how different we are from each other. I am particularly attached to this photo because it captures the essence of my project and also because it has been selected as Chosen Winner by American Illustration and American Photography (AI-AP) and will be on permanent display in their online archive.”

SARA LEWIS

@saradotlewis

“It’s really hard to articulate why I love this image, but I think this quote sums it up perfectly: “You’d be a grouch, too, if you lived in a trash can!” — Oscar the Grouch”

ALEXANDRE CHAPLIER

www.alexandrechaplier.com / @alexlafocalefixe

“A little humor in this period particularly. This funny and dynamic street scene taken a few years ago in the southwest of France shows the danger of the arrival of a new wave..!”

CHARLOTTE J WARD

www.charlottejward.com / @charlotte.jward

“Panchsheel Kids. This photograph is part of series I captured on the streets of New Delhi in September 2015. This was my very first shot as I arrived in this incredible country for the first of many visits. I began this seven-month journey by volunteering as an art teacher for young orphans, via a local charity called Art Reach. Its founder had kindly invited me to live in her home in the colony of Panchsheel Park.

I came across these little children on one of my walks. They ran up to me to pose when they saw the camera hanging from my neck, and I was immediately charmed by their energy and colourful outfits. I love the confidence which emanates from this little girl in the way she stood in front of me on this pile of sand, and looked straight into my lens, whilst holding what must’ve been her little sister. The girl’s attitude and posture reflects the strength, determination and resilience many children living and/or working on the streets of India have.”

PAUL KESSEL

www.paulkessel.com / @streetskessel

“It is hard to know if this is truly my favorite image because it has recently won a lot of awards and that may influence my opinion. The title is “Q Train”. I had spent the entire day at Coney Island (2019) with the hope of coming away with a decent photograph. At the end of the day, I realized I had nothing at all worthwhile. Feeling a bit frustrated, I entered the subway to return home. When I looked up from my seat, I saw that this mother with her two daughters, dressed alike and appearing to be Scandinavian had sat down directly opposite from me. I couldn’t believe my luck. I find it interesting that on several occasions, when I am done shooting for the day and headed home (more often walking), a good picture emerges. I believe that when I stop trying to get a good picture, the mental state of “not trying” and giving up for the day, contributes to this phenomenon.”

ANNA PASTORELLO

@annapasto92

“This was taken in Havana last November during a Leica workshop. I’m really moved by lights and shadows and all the patterns that come alive with them, and it’s for this reason I’m so passionate about street photography. My goal is to find a personal and intimate point of view – it’s not an immediate process but one influenced by the masters like Fulvio Bugani (who has taught me most of the concepts I know) and Alex Webb. I think this photo captures something of that.”

SURESH NAGANATHAN

www.sureshn.com / @sureshnaganathan

“This picture elicits a lot of different feelings from me. It makes me happy to see all these couples spending time together but at the same time, there is a certain bittersweetness that comes from it: Mumbai and India in general is not a very progressive place, especially for couples. Therefore, most of them don’t have any intimate space to spend time together and have to create these small “islands” for themselves. One has to admire their resilience.

This picture resonates with me even more today as we are mostly still in a lockdown. I can’t help but imagine how it has affected all these couples who may not have been able to meet for the last 3-4 months. I wonder if such scenes will be visible in the foreseeable future and that’s why I cherish this image.”

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