All images by John Patterson. Used with Creative Commons License.
In John Patterson’s photography journey he came to a realization that he not only captures interesting street photographs, he was also shooting his own reflection. John describes himself as a introvert, a keen observer, and an emotional person.
As a street photographer John aims to create a visual record focusing on the life in Baltimore which is usually unnoticed and undocumented. He is particularly drawn to the emotional expressiveness of young children, and the stark juxtaposition of their young lives against often challenging backgrounds.
Unlike the popular photography belief: “if your photograph is not good enough, you are not close enough”, John often keeps a considerably safe distance between himself and his photography subjects. He employs the candid approach and intends to capture the street scenes exactly just as they are without any imposition from the photographer. He compares his approach to an “outsider looking in”. To achieve this effect, John utilizes mostly wider composition to frame the surrounding environment around the people in his photographs. The combination of careful background consideration, candid approach, and use of wider angle results in natural looking street photographs with a well established sense of location.
John’s photography approach mirrors his own personalities perfectly. He likes to observe the world but not necessarily interact with it, hence the candid style in his street shooting execution. Here comes the full circle: as much as John Patterson tries to stay out of his photographs, inevitably, he can find a part of himself in every single shot.