“Letters from a Street Photographer” #4: Fuck Fame

1x1.trans “Letters from a Street Photographer” #4: Fuck Fame

Provincetown, 2014

I’ll admit it. I’m incredibly jealous. Whenever I see my close friends, other photographers, family, or anyone else doing “successful” things– I feel a tinge of jealousy. In the back of my head– I might think negative thoughts like, “That person didn’t deserve that recognition or success” – self-doubt myself “Why am I not as successful as that person?” and I start to sink into a hole of despair.

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Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 5

1x1.trans Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 5


The recently concluded Assignment No. 4 yielded a lot of great and creative executions which you can view again here. Thanks again to everyone who joined and to Bertrand Domas who gave us that assignment. Moving on, it’s Editor’s choice Florin Ghebosu‘s turn to give us our assignment for the coming weeks! It is something very timely that fits on the spooks and spoils that occur during the end of October:

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Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers

1x1.trans Advice for Aspiring Full Time Photographers

Detroit, 2013

Recently I gave a short 2-hour presentation on street photography at one of the photography clubs at UC Berkeley. It was great being surrounded by students again– with all of the energy, enthusiasm, and passion that college kids have.

Some of the students asked me how I went from college to surviving off photography full-time as a living. I gave some of my personal experiences– and I had the realization: perhaps this was information that may be useful to other college students (who want to make photography their living), or anyone out there with a day-job who wants to make photography their living:

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Guide: How to Teach a Street Photography Class, Workshop, or Course

1x1.trans Guide: How to Teach a Street Photography Class, Workshop, or Course

One of my biggest beliefs in life is in transparency. Whenever I learn something potentially useful or insightful– I don’t want to simply hoard the information to myself. Rather, I want to share it with as large of an audience as humanly possible.

I wanted to share how I teach my street photography workshops– and I hope this can be used as a blueprint for anyone out there who wants to teach their own street photography workshop. I believe what I am sharing here doesn’t only apply to street photography workshops– but any photography workshops (or teaching in general).

A lot of the philosophies I will share are based on personal experience, and also from the honors pedagogy course I took at UCLA (USIE: Undergraduate Student Initiated Education). I learned a lot from the USIE course at UCLA, where I taught a 1-unit seminar (we met once a week) for a quarter. I taught a course: “The Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks where I made a blueprint for a course, gave assigned readings, assignments, and had once-a-week course discussions. I credit my mentor Kumiko Haas for all of my pedagogical training.

Take everything in this guide with a grain of salt. This is just my personal philosophy– and won’t work for everybody out there. But I think you might learn 1-2 things that you will find helpful in your own teaching (or learning).

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“Letters from a Street Photographer” #3: How to Focus on Your Life’s Work

1x1.trans “Letters from a Street Photographer” #3: How to Focus on Your Lifes Work

Provincetown, 2014

There are so many distractions out there. We live in an age where it is almost impossible not to be distracted.

Our phones are constantly buzzing. We see thousands of advertisements a day that are vying for our attention. We are bombarded with emails from spammers, we are bombarded with notifications, we are bombarded by new technologies that promise to make our lives more “efficient” and “optimized.”

I read something online that the average office worker is interrupted every 20 minutes– and it takes an average of 20 minutes for a worker to re-focus on work.

Many of my friends who work in the corporate world complain of constantly being texted, IM’d, emailed, and sucked into meetings at work– which prevents them from getting any “real” work done. (As a side note– Paul Graham has an excellent essay on managers versus creative time schedules which I highly recommend).

I think focusing is easy– only if we have no distractions. But how do we escape distractions and focus on the work which is truly meaningful to us?

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4 Ways of Introducing Street Photography to People

1x1.trans 4 Ways of Introducing Street Photography to People

I invited my parents to go to a photo walk with me

I’m sure that at one point in our lives as photographers shooting the streets, there was a time that we get asked to explain what street photography is. When I was starting out, I had no concrete idea what street photography is, let alone explaining to my family and friends. So here’s a simple list that could hopefully help you  in telling friends and family about our artform.

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Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 4 “Strong Light” Results and Analysis

1x1.trans Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 4 Strong Light Results and Analysis

Assignment No. 4 has probably the most number of beautiful images I’ve seen in an assignment. There were plenty of great photographs that adhered to our theme of “Strong Light” as well some creative executions that still fits the theme well. I give my thanks to all of those who participated for this assignment and of course to Bertrand Domas for giving everyone in the group an amazing assignment. I sure hope many were able to learn and harness the creative possibilities of “Strong Light”.

Without further ado, here are some of the interpretations of Assignment No. 4 “Strong Light”

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Before/After: SF Intermediate/Advanced Street Photography Workshop 2014

1x1.trans Before/After: SF Intermediate/Advanced Street Photography Workshop 2014

Student Photo from SF Workshop: Hakim B

It was an absolutely incredible weekend teaching the Intermediate/Advanced Street Photography Workshop in San Francisco. We had folks come from all over: Seattle, Texas, Zurich, Tokyo, and all over the Bay Area in California. I am so proud of the friendships we made during the workshop– and the huge before/after improvement after the workshop.

Side note: If you’re free this Friday at 6pm — we are having a meetup in Berkeley, California at Artis Cafe. RSVP on the Facebook event.

Read more to see all the epic before/after student photos! Also check out all of my upcoming street photography workshops.

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How to Make Memorable and Meaningful Street Photographs

1x1.trans How to Make Memorable and Meaningful Street Photographs

We all want to make a memorable street photograph. An image that burns inside our memory. An image that touches our heart and touches our soul. We want that image to be epic, energetic, edgy, and emotional. And of course, we want external validation for our image (via respect from other photographers, validation on social media, and possibly having our image be timeless).

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