The Humanistic Street Photographer: Interview with Satoki Nagata from Chicago

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Photo by Satoki Nagata. Click to read more.

Eric’s Note: I recently taught a street photography workshop with Satoki Nagata in Chicago, and had a chance to sit down for him for an hour and interview him. This is a transcription based on recording we made. If you want to learn more about his philosophies in his street photography, and how he combines it with documentary work — make sure to give it a read. It is a very in-depth interview, which I personally think you will gain a lot from.

Also make sure to attend “Lights in the City: a multimedia presentation” by Satoki at the Harold Washington Library Center, Pritzker Auditorium at Monday, August 5, 2013, 6:00pm.

“Take Your Street Photography to New Heights”: 3-day Introduction to Street Photography Workshop in Chicago (4/19-4/21)

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Have you ever walked on the streets and saw a moment that you wanted to capture, but you were too scared to take the photograph? Do you want to become more confident shooting in the streets and learn how to better interact with your subjects? Do you want to meet other street photographers that are as equally passionate about street photography or interested in learning like you?

In collaboration with talented Chicago street photographer, Satoki Nagata, I am excited to announce I will be teaching my popular “Introduction to Street Photography Workshop” in Chicago 4/19-4/21. In this action packed 3-day weekend workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of street photography, how to create visually compelling images, how to conquer your fear of shooting street photography, as well as tips & tricks how to capture “the decisive moment.”

The workshop is limited to 15 passionate individuals who want to take their street photography to new heights. The workshop will be an intimate experience in which you will learn solid fundamentals, get honest & constructive criticism on how to improve your photos, and meet other enthusiastic street photographers. This workshop is ideal for beginner or intermediate street photographers.

Register soon, the cut-off date for the early-bird discount is less than two weeks on (Sunday) 4/14!

Street Portraiture POV in Chicago with the Samsung NX20

For the Samsung NX20 “Shoot Wow” live street photography campaign, I roamed the streets of Chicago and focused on street portraiture. Why street portraiture? Because getting 2 good candid shots every hour is near impossible, and street portraiture is something I have always been quite comfortable with and enjoyed. It also gave me a good opportunity to interact more with the people on the streets – something that I lose when just shooting street photography candidly.

This is some footage from the event – a small portion of it. I have over 16 hours of footage in all (still editing and going through it). I will try to put out a series of these videos over the next few weeks.

Hope you guys enjoy!

Day 1: Street Photography in Chicago for the Samsung NX 20 Campaign

A quick update for the Samsung Camera NL NX20 campaign here in Chicago in the video above! Unfortunately I was mistaken and there is no live feed available on Facebook, only visitors to the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlag exhibition. If you are in Amsterdam, make sure to check out the exhibition event on Faebook here.

Keep reading to see the shots that I got from today!

Street Photography in Chicago with the Samsung NX20 for the “Shoot Wow” Live Campaign

I am excited to share that starting today (Thursday 11/29-Friday 11/30) I will be doing a live-streaming street photography exhibition with the Samsung NX20. The concept is that every 2 hours I will be emailing (via the NX20) my best photos to a gallery space in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam every 2 hours alongside 4 other street photographers. Edit: footage of the video and shots will be available later!

If anyone is available in Amsterdam to check out the exhibition, see all the details on Facebook here.

Confused or want to learn more? See the video above or keep reading below!

Capturing The Disappearing Faces of Chicago: Interview with Brian Soko, Street Photographer

Eric’s Note: Brian Soko is a street photographer based in Chicago, Illinois. I was first introduced to Brian’s work by Jason Martini, another street photographer based in Chicago. Brian is a native of Chicago, and has been shooting there for many years- and has experienced the changes and evolution of the city. Armed with his camera, his work is straight and honest — showing a great deal of diversity of subjects in his photos, most of which are quite dark and grim. However he shows a great deal of compassion and humanity for his subjects– and remains very humble about his work. I am pleased to share this interview with him.

Reflections and Light: Dramatic Street Photography from Chicago by Anthony Spatara

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.

The 65+ Best Street Photographs from my Intro to Street Photography Workshop in Chicago with Jason Martini

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(Image above by Jayme Sudeth)

Chicago is definitely one of my new favorite places to shoot street photography. Not only is downtown Chicago ripe for street photography, but Chicago has some of the friendliest and down-to-earth people out there. I had the time of my life teaching my street photography workshop with Jason Martini, and you can see a recap of my workshop here.

Below are the best images from the Introduction to Street Photography Workshop. If you are interested, I also have upcoming workshops in Toronto, India, Tokyo, and Malaysia on my workshops page!

Read more to see all of their images below.

Chicago Introductory Street Photography Workshop with Jason Martini Day 2 Recap

Man, I am pooped. After 2 fun and engaging days of learning about street photography and shooting in the streets I gotta say I have mad love for the Windy City. Some of the nicest folks out there, and Downtown Chicago is definitely one of my new favorite places to shoot. I will miss the hospitality of my beloved cousin Holly and Ian’s pizza, Goose Island Beer, as well as the famous deep-dish pizzas here!

Huge thanks for all the participants who came out, including George, Rod, Margarett, Josh, Ryan, Alex, Darci, Bob, Jayme, Sam, Angelo, and especially Souvik for helping with logistical details and Jason for leading the workshop with me! I will be posting their 5 best images from the workshop soon, so stay posted!

Also if you are interested in one of my upcoming street photography workshops, please check out my workshops page for a workshop coming near you! Below is my upcoming calendar. If you have any questions shoot me an email at


10/8-10/9: San Diego –  Sheraton San Diego Hotel –  Info

10/15-10/16: Downtown Los Angeles – Think Tank Gallery – Info

10/22-10/23: Toronto – Location TBA- Info


Dates TBA: Mumbai, India – Location TBA – Info


12/3-12/4: Tokyo, Japan – Location TBA – Info

12/10-12/11: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – Location TBA – Info

Read more to see all the images from the workshop!

Chicago Introductory Street Photography Workshop with Jason Martini Day 1 Recap

Today was a phenomenal Day 1 of my Introductory Street Photography Workshop with Jason Martini in Chicago! It was my first time doing a workshop in Chicago and I was a bit nervous about all the logistical details, but in the end– everything worked well! Huge thanks to Souvik for helping with the accommodations and helping make this thing happen!

It is crazy to think that three months ago I was talking to Charlie Kirk about how I wanted to do street photography full-time and now it is a reality. It reminds me how important it is for me to stay humble (thanks Mom for the advice!) as well continuing to give back to the community. Thomas Leuthard (85mm) was the one who helped me start my street photography career by supporting my trip to Beirut, Lebanon to teach my first workshop— and in his words, I want to pay it forward. I taught my photography class at Phoenix High School in Los Angeles to under-privileged students and now plan on helping expand this network hopefully world-wide. Watching Born into Brothels (a documentary about a photographer teaching photography to kids in the red-light district in India) truly inspired me, and I just want to continue to spread the love of photography. Therefore stay tuned for some great projects that we can all help support! :)

Thanks all of you for your never-ending support and encouragement. I truly love you all. Keep reading to see the rest of the photos of the workshop!

Chicago Street Photography Workshop with Eric Kim and Jason Martini

Pipe it in” by Jason Martini I am excited to announce that I will be teaching an Introductory Street Photography Workshop in Chicago 9/17-9/18 with talented street photographer Jason Martini. This workshop will be great for anybody interested in street photography or wanting to improve their current skills. Here are some of the topics we will cover: 1. How to get over the fear of shooting street photography 2. How to shoot candid images without anybody noticing you 3. How to tell a story with your photos 4. The best technical settings to use in street photography 5. How to post-process and edit your images and create captivating color or beautiful black and white photos. The workshop will be full of insightful tips & techniques, and there will be lots of time for you to ask us your individual questions on street photography. Not only that, but you will have the opportunity to shoot with other passionate street photographers and us on the streets of Chicago.


Date: September 17-18th Time: 10am-6pm (both days) Location: University of Chicago


If you are interested in registering or would like more information, please email me at


Jason Martini is a street photographer based in Chicago and has been featured on The Chicagoist, my blog, and has a published radio-style interview. Check out more of his images on his Flickr.



Breathtaking Street Photography by Stanley Kubrick in 1949

Stanley Kubrick Street Photography

Long before Stanley Kubrick started filming amazing movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, he was a passionate street photographer. Check out some of these images he took in 1949 in Chicago title: “Chicago City of Contrasts.” All of the images tell incredible stories, and you can see where he got his inspiration for story-telling. Read more to see the rest of his inspirational images.

Vivian Maier – The Unknown Master Street Photographer

Self-portrait of Vivian Maier
Self-portrait of Vivian Maier

Recently word of the phenomenal discovery of street photographer Vivian Maier has been hitting the web like wildfire.  A fellow Chicago street photographer by the name of John Maloof found Vivian’s negatives in 2007 while at a furniture and antique auction house. After scanning and looking through her collection of 30-40,000 negatives, he soon realized that she had a tremendous gift for street photography. Not only that, but he realized that he also had a huge responsibility to share her work with the rest of the world.

What Should I Shoot? – Street Photography 101

"Anchovies" - Korea, 2009. Taken on the crowded Seoul Metro.

Before you go out and shoot, you must decide where to go out and shoot. I usually go to an area with lots of people walking around. Museums, parks, or any downtown area work very well. The more people you have in a certain area, the more likely your chance of finding interesting subjects to shoot.

"Anchovies" - Korea, 2009.
"Anchovies" - Taken on the crowded Seoul Metro in Korea.

However you shouldn’t only limit yourself to heavily-populated areas. The beauty of street photography is that it has no limits. You can shoot photos anywhere; it doesn’t only have to pertain to the streets. You can probably find great subjects for photographs in very mundane places like the grocery market or even the library. The entire world is up for grabs.

Above all, the best way to go out and shoot is to pick a location and simply go out. Have a few places that you want to check out in mind, and let your curiosity guide the rest of your little mini-journeys. When I go out, I prefer to take an entire day walking around while taking public transportation to get to my location, be it the subway, bus, etc.

"Eye Spy" - Chicago, 2010. Spotted when walking around the streets of Chicago.
"Eye Spy" - Spotted when walking around the streets of Chicago.

I also bring all of my stuff in a messenger bag, as it makes taking things easily accessible. I typically only carry around 2 prime lenses (my Canon 35mm f/2 and Canon 24mm f/2.8) along with some water and some food. Also just in case, I make sure to pack an extra battery and memory card along with any other random necessities I may need. However I try to always keep my bag as light as I can. Just for reference, I use the Timbuk2 Commute 2.0 bag which I highly recommend that holds nearly all of my stuff. Although it is a bit pricy, it is made out of fantastic materials and also has room to carry my laptop as well. Messenger bags don’t have to be expensive, however. There is a great deal for several in different colors on Amazon for under $20.

Once you walk, bus, or metro to your destination, just feel free to walk wherever you want. Lead yourself down barren alleys, into random stores, and toward strangers. Open up and talk to the local people in the area and strike up a conversation. Tell them about your photo journey and if they have any places that they recommend you check out. Don’t be too picky with what photos you decide to take. If something just attracts your eye for one reason or another, take a photo of it. Don’t feel obliged to only take photos of what you would consider “street photography.” Keep your mind and options open.

"Light Post" - When traveling in Prague, I saw this reflection of a lamp post in the water. I typically don't shoot subjects like this, but I am glad that I did.
"Light Post" - When traveling in Prague, I saw this reflection of a lamp post in the water. I typically don't shoot subjects like this, but I am glad that I did.

After a long day of shooting, go home, download your photos from your memory card to your computer, and have the fun of picking your best images, while reliving your exciting little adventure.

Have a great July 4th Weekend! – Off to Chi-town

Hey guys,

I’m going to be going to Chicago for this July 4th weekend to meet up with my girlfriend Cindy as well as heading to the University of Madison, Wisconsin, where we could also hopefully connect with Cydney Alexis! Have a wonderful weekend and see you guys soon :)

The Bean, Chicago.
The Bean, Chicago.