Tony Spatara Street Photography

(Above image by Anthony Spatara)

Hello. My name is Anthony Spatara, I am 35 years old and live in the great city of Chicago.  I am not a photographer by profession nor do I wish to be.   I run two successful Italian restaurants in the downtown area which keep me plenty busy.  Photography for me is a way out from what I normally do on a day to day basis.  I love walking the streets of any city and Interacting with people, exploring and just capturing images that seem interesting to me.  I couldn’t tell you what inspires me to get up at the crack ass of dawn to walk the cold streets of Chicago to photograph.  I am just addicted to it.

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Inspirational photographers? Name any photographer from Magnum and I am inspired.  Their photographers are responsible for every iconic photograph that has been burned into our American brains.  They are the best.  I have had the honor to meet a handful of them such as David Alan Harvey, Elliot Erwitt, Christopher Anderson and Steve McCurry.  However, the one photographer out of  Magnum that just blows my mind is Paolo Pellegrin.  All I can say is wow.  His photographs are just so unbelievable.

Tony Spatara Street Photography

How I shoot the streets.  I have my Leica M series camera and a wide angle lens and nothing else.  Sometimes it is a hipshot, sometimes I set the scene and wait for my subject.  Sometimes I follow interesting subjects and just wait for the right time.  I mean sometimes I just get down-right creepy.  I don’t know how to really explain my technique.   When I see it, I just go for it. Of course I sometimes have to deal with the consequence of unhappy people. But that is part of the fun.  It interests me how some people just don’t like to be photographed at all and others start working it like they are on a runway in Milan.

Tony Spatara Street Photography

However, I have a tip for those that come across those subjects that do not relate well to being photographed.  Have your own business cards made up with your name, phone number and web link if you have it.  When you feel like they are going to make a huge stink about you photographing them,  give them your card. Tell them what you do and why you are doing it. I feel like it takes some of the edge off and they realize ok, I get it, he is a photographer and this is what he does and he is not this random creepy guy hanging pictures on his bedroom ceiling. I mean, it has worked for me like 9 out of 10 times.

Tony Spatara Street Photography

This is the first time I have ever contributed to a photo blog and am a bit unsure if I went about it correctly haha.  Thanks Eric Kim for the opportunity.

Happy shooting to all!

More photos by Anthony Spatara

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography

Tony Spatara Street Photography


See more of Anthony’s work at

Which of Anthony’s photographs really speak out to you? Share your thoughts about his work in the comments below!


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