Director Tomas Leach Discusses “In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons In Life With Saul Leiter”

If you haven’t watched “In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons In Life With Saul Leiter” — make sure you do! It is filled with great wisdom from one of the color street photography masters Saul Leiter, who recently passed away. In the video above, director Tomas Leach talks about his motivations and the making of the film.

If you want to learn more about Saul Leiter and his work, read my article: 7 Lessons Saul Leiter Has Taught Me About Street Photography


Street Photography Travel Diary: Sweden, London, and Seattle

It has been a while since I made a travel video– and I wanted to share some of my experiences traveling and shooting street photography in Sweden, London, and Seattle. I share some thoughts and what I’ve been up to in the video above (filmed in Seattle).

I am also working on some “street photography guides” on where to shoot in those cities (and grab some great food and drinks)– keep posted!

Embracing Surrealism and Symbolism: Video Interview with Dimitris Makrygiannakis in Stockholm

Dimitris Makrygiannakis is one of the up-and-coming rising stars when it comes to street photography. He has only been shooting seriously the last two years, and has made a huge leap in his work. I love the sense of surrealism, symbolism, and emotion in his work. He also breaks the “street photography” boundaries by embracing multiple types of work: posed portraiture and “still life” work.

See more of Dimitris’ work on Flickr. You can also see my past feature with his work here. Read more to see the entire transcript.

Watch “Everybody Street”: A Documentary on the Lives and Work of New York’s Iconic Street Photographers

If you haven’t heard yet the new street photography documentary: “Everybody Street” is now available to watch via Vimeo on demand. You can either rent the film for $4.99, or buy the film via digital download for $12.99. The film is 101 minutes long, and definitely worth the watch if you are passionate about street photography. More info about the film below:

“Everybody Street” illuminates the lives and work of New York’s iconic street photographers and the incomparable city that has inspired them for decades. The documentary pays tribute to the spirit of street photography through a cinematic exploration of New York City, and captures the visceral rush, singular perseverance and at times immediate danger customary to these artists.

Covering nine decades of street photography, “Everybody Street” explores the careers and influences of many notable photographers––a number of whom have never been documented, featuring: Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Jill Freedman, Bruce Gilden, Joel Meyerowitz, Rebecca Lepkoff, Mary Ellen Mark, Jeff Mermelstein, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Powell, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper, and Boogie, with historians Max Kozloff and Luc Sante.

For more info about the film, check out their site:

On the Streets of San Francisco with Jack Simon

I recently had the pleasure of shooting on the streets of San Francisco with Jack Simon, a well-known street photographer in the community for this month’s fiestamovement mission. I followed Jack around the streets of San Francisco, seeing how he worked the streets, his philosophies on street photography, while listening to his tips and learned a ton from him.

I also have an hour-long interview that I am in the middle of transcribing that will be live on the blog soon as well. Stay tuned!

Streettogs Critique Group Feedback #1

I just gave some members in the Streettogs Critique Group some feedback and made this screencast – thanks to Michael Meinhardt for organizing the images together! I hope to do more of these in the future!

If you want to get some more critique and feedback, join the group and the rule is: for every photo you post to the group, you must leave at least 3 critiques to the photos before yours (at least 4 sentences long). Looking forward to having you!

Istanbul Street Photography GoPro POV Volume #2

Here is the second volume of my Istanbul Street Photography GoPro POV series. I put the new GoPro Hero 3 (and shot at 720p at 60fps) on top of my Leica MP. The framelines are roughly 35mm. I have a few more I’m working on, will upload them in the upcoming week.

If you haven’t seen it already, you can see my first Istanbul Street Photography GoPro POV here.

My Experiences Shooting Street Photography in Istanbul

This is my second time in Istanbul, and it has absolutely been one of my favorite places in the world to shoot street photography. It is a combination of the friendly people, the diverse history, the historic architecture, the multicultural heritage, and the golden light.

The other day I put my GoPro Hero 3 on top of my Leica MP and with Portra 400 loaded, made a POV of me shooting the streets of Istanbul — around the Eminonu area in Istanbul which is right by the water and the New Mosque.

0.7 m “The Magnificent Miles” Film on Chicago by Satoki Nagata

My talented photographer friend Satoki Nagata is putting together a film project titled: “.07 The Magnificent Miles” – a documentation on the city of Chicago. They are completing the film by the summer of 2014, and are current seeking funding for the film. A detailed proposal can be sent per request to anyone interested in supporting the project by emailing Music in the film is by Laurent Levesque.

If you want to learn more about Satoki, check out my in-depth interview with him here.

How to Talk to Strangers: 7 Tips For Photographing People

My buddy Adam Marelli just presented a talk at the B&H Photo Space talking about feeling more comfortable approaching strangers and photographing them while incorporating compositions and more. Definitely recommend the in-depth 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Also to learn more from Adam, check out his other talk on how to incorporate design & composition into your work (one of the finest out there). If you want to learn more from Adam, check out his upcoming workshops here.

3 Lessons I Learned Photographing a Blinged-out Boxing Promoter

Just uploaded a new GoPro POV video at Gallo Boxing. This time with Ty, a boxing promoter with great swag and bling.

The story behind what happened is that initially I was photographing another boxer, and I was going to take some photos of him working the punching bag. Then I saw Ty on my way over, and was blown away with his outfit (his sunglasses, his patent-leather shoes, and the plethora of rings on his fingers).

Gallo Boxing GoPro POV: Volume #2 (Christian Bleha, Fighter with Tattoo)

Here is Volume 2 of my GoPro POV series at Gallo Boxing.

I first saw Christian Bleha chilling after a long workout, dripping in sweat and puffing from exhaustion. I saw him from afar–and loved his tattoos. But I was a bit nervous to first approach him. However I knew I would regret not asking to take photos of him if I chickened out– so I swallowed a big gulp of air, and introduced myself to him and asked if I could take some photos.

Gallo Boxing GoPro POV: Volume #1 (Little Boxer)

For last month’s fiestamovement challenge, I learned boxing at Gallo Boxing in Lansing, Michigan.

I have always been fascinated with boxing culture– both the sport and the culture behind it. I remember watching tons of Rocky movies growing up, and loved the skill, determination, and physical/mental endurance that boxers had to endure to become great fighters.

After learning a few moves in boxing myself, I had about two weeks before heading back to California. So I took those two weeks to do a mini-documentary project on the boxers in the gym, with my GoPro Hero 3 strapped on top of my Ricoh GRD V.

I wanted to make these GoPro videos to illustrate how I was able to build rapport with the fighters in the gym (including the very young in this video above) and how I photographed them (how I got them to move around, the angles I used, the use of flash/without flash, as well as how many photos I took).

Shooting documentary-type work has always fascinated me– but I never had a project or location I felt passionate enough to photograph. Luckily enough, this project at Gallo Boxing was something that kept calling me back.

American Street Portrait Interview #1: Eric Rivera, Ex-Wall Street Trader Turned Philosopher in Philadelphia

Click to read more
Eric Rivera in Philly, 2013

When I was in Philly to pick up my Ford Fiesta for the Fiestamovement campaign, I met up with Chris Urie, a street photographer and journalist based in Philly. We took a stroll around one of the major parks there (forget what it was called) and we started to chat with some of the people we met in the park.

One character I was fascinated with was named Eric Rivera. When I first spotted him, he was chilling on a park bench, enjoying the beautiful weather, while puffing on a nice cuban cigar — donning his Knicks hat with crocodile leather on the bill, and some pretty fly looking sunglasses.

I approached him and commented that I liked his outfit–and we just started to chat. As part of my “America” street photography project, I had my GoPro with me and asked to interview him–so I could learn more about his personal story. What he shared surprised me.

Environmental Portrait GoPro POV at Kane’s Diner in New York

The story: When in New York, I stayed with my good friend Spencer (childhood friend) in Queens. Another of my good childhood friends (Aditiya) mentioned that before I left New York, I had to check out Kane’s diner— a 24-hour diner which they frequently visited.

I didn’t expect to go there– but one of the days when I was walking to the subway, I spotted it. I stepped in, checked the Yelp reviews, and saw that their Steak and Eggs were quite popular. I ordered some.

I also started talking with the waiter–who was extremely friendly. We connected well, and he gave me the best steak & eggs I have ever had (at a reasonable price).

I then remembered my new Ricoh GRD V in my bag, and my GoPro that I brought to do some POV videos during my travels. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to ask him to take some photos.

How to Direct Your Subjects When Shooting Street Portraits

(Above video: New street portrait POV video I recorded in Chicago. Chicago Street Portraits, Volume #5)

I have always been drawn to people, especially those who I find are interesting “characters.” I tend to gravitate towards people who have interesting facial expressions, to those with outstanding outfits, or accessories.

Although the majority of the street photography I do is done candidly, I have been drawn towards doing more posed street portraits of people I find interesting. Why? I find it gives me more time to interact with them, learn more about their lives, and also to take more photos of them (with their cooperation).

So once I get my subjects’ attention– how do I direct them and what is some of the psychology that goes behind it? I will share some candid thoughts (pun intended) about my process in terms of directing my subjects when taking portraits of them.

3 Tips To Conquer Your Fear of Shooting Street Portraits

Last November I shot a campaign for Samsung’s NX20 camera using a video camera strapped to my head to record the footage of me shooting street portraits in Chicago with permission. It was a project that was intensive: I shot for 2 days straight from 5am-noon on little sleep.

The thing I loved most about the project is that although I certainly didn’t take photos that made it into my portfolio — it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and interact with lots of people on the streets in a short period of time. The fact that the video was being played live in Amsterdam while I was shooting did give me healthy pressure which ended up being a great learning experience.

My Experiences Shooting Street Photography in Dubai / Heading to Korea

In the video above, I talk about my experiences shooting street photography in Dubai, the great joy I had in finding time back home to write, and how I am heading to Korea today for around two weeks. If you would like to meet up while I am in Seoul, write on my Facebook fan page or on Twitter.

In-case you missed my latest articles:

I also have a few more spots open for my upcoming 3-day Introduction to Street Photography Workshop in Chicago with Satoki Nagata (4/19-4/21). Don’t miss out!

What Street Photographers Can Learn About Design and Composition from Classical Art

Adam Marelli, a talented photographer and artist that I have taught two workshops with recently gave a superb lecture at the B&H Photo space in NYC on design/composition. The talk is about an hour and a half, and worth every minute. I highly recommend every street photographer who wants to better understand how to compose their photos better to watch it. More description of the talk below:

We will look at how many of the design problems that photographers face have been addressed by classical artists. Bridging the gap of classical art and street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson combined the two practices and set the world of photography on a new course. We will look at how he and his followers at Magnum, converted the lessons from classical artists into the photojournalism, street photography, and portraiture. We will introduce the visual language, examining its basic grammar and the ways in which photographers can build up each element in their own work. They will be given specific examples from master painters who were proto-street photographers.

Attendees will walk away with a completely new way of viewing the design accomplishments of classical art. Museums and galleries will breathe with new life as the geometry of art and design is decoded specifically for photographers. You will be given a list of “common compositional mistakes” that many photographers make because the they are only taught to artists. We will also reveal where the “Rule of Thirds” comes from and look at additional techniques to use with a 35mm format.

If you want to learn more, make sure to also check out Adam’s upcoming workshops here.

It’s More Fun to Shoot Street Photography in Manila

It has been around a month since I returned from teaching/shooting street photography in Manila, and I finally had the chance to do an update video. My experiences in Manila were incredible, and a huge thanks to Jeff Mercader for bringing me over and to Joel Mataro and the guys at DAAN for organizing everything and really taking care of me. Also of course a shout-out to all of the workshop participants who totally rocked the streets of Manila.

I wanted to do this video to share my experiences shooting street photography in Manila, and why I think it is such a phenomenal country to travel to. I think it is seriously one of the most under-rated places to visit, and I encourage everyone who wants a friendly, affordable, and inspirational place to shoot street photography abroad!

Their motto is really true: it is more fun in the Philippines! And if you are interested in visiting, make sure to post a message to the DAAN Facebook group and say I sent you.

Scroll to Top