Our favorite street photographers can inspire us, teach us, and even leave us feeling a little bit jealous!
Not only am I passionate about shooting street photography, I am also passionate about consuming street photography. There are so many wonderful street photographers working today, that we are almost spoiled for choice when it comes to finding inspiration. So, whether I am in a rut, want a new photobook, or just want to enjoy the skills of others; here are five street photographers currently inspiring me.
Sarah Lee (sarahmlee.com)
Sarah Lee is a street photographer who has the complete package. She looks cool, especially with her Leica in hand, and most importantly produces exceptional images. Rather than ‘I am a street photographer and here is my camera in your face‘, you can tell Lee approaches her subjects in a sensitive manner. This is an important skill to have. It means her demeanor will allow her to roam the streets getting beautiful candid moments, without making her subjects feel uncomfortable.
When I look at Lee’s images, I feel a gentle, calming, and connected relationship with them. She has the kind of work in which you should not just merely flick through. Rather, you should sit with each photograph for a moment longer, allowing the intelligently crafted narrative to come to fruition and really hit home.
Edas Wong (edaswong.com)
Welcome to the wonderful work of Edas Wong. When it comes to the clever juxtaposition I have two images where I think ‘nailed it’. Wong, however, seems to have an eye for every single humorous coincidence that lives on the street. He is the type of street photographer that will make us scream ‘why don’t moments like that come my way!?’. Newsflash; they do – we just don’t have the same eye as Wong.
Do not think, however, that Wong is a one trick pony. He also has the ability to tell a story. His project ‘Sex in The City‘, is a collection of skillfully constructed photographs that offer a lighthearted take on our relationship with erotica.
For his style of street photography, I predict Wong will be a go-to guy for the future generations.
Julia Coddington (juliacoddington.com)
Representing street photography in Australia, Julia Coddington is someone whose work I have admired for quite some time. Her images are full of vibrancy, offering a clean and sharp aesthetic across all of her work. It is clear that Coddington is as comfortable shooting tight and close, as she is shooting wide and low, whilst still being able to produce strong imagery.
What is also evident is Coddington’s deep relationship with the place she calls home. From her project ‘The Pool‘ in which she documents life around Austinmer Pool, there is a clear energy and desire to revisit the same location. For me, there is an elevation in the way we approach street photography when we do it in an environment that has meaning. We want to do it proud. Coddington has achieved this objective, showing us the diverse and happy vibes of the land down under.
Aside from her personal work, Coddington is also the co-founder of the Unexposed Collective. The collective is doing fantastic work, shining a light on the best women and non-binary street photographers in Australia.
Charlie Kwai (charliekwai.com)
It was only recently that I discovered the charismatic world of Charlie Kwai. During a talk of his at Street London, Kwai made such a strong impression on me.
There was so much energy in his voice when talking about his photographs. Telling us how each image was constructed in a way that would seamlessly move to the next. Listening to him, understanding his way of working, made me want to leave the room and go shoot street photography. Is there any bigger sign of inspiration than that?
Using flash, Kwai has an invasive approach to street photography. However, he borrows from his bubbly personality to ensure he defuses any potential difficult encounter.
His images are a reflection of himself, full of exuberance and confidence. His ability to get up close without hesitation allows him to create intimate, detailed moments for all of us to enjoy.
His latest book, True Love, is now available from his website. Trust me, it is worth every penny.
David Ingraham (davidingraham.com)
David Ingraham produces photographs that are deep, dark, and have a dose of eeriness within them. His black and white work is truly artistic, with almost all of his images having their place in a frame to be hung on a wall.
Ingraham also inspires me because a lot of his work is made with an iPhone. Smartphone street photography to me is a skill in itself. I have tried and failed many times to create the same quality as I do with my DSLR. I would have no clue Ingraham’s work was shot on a camera that fits in your pocket.
His compositions are his strength, taking advantage of the impressive shapes and textures that he finds wrapped around his subjects. Another big player in Ingraham’s skill set is his post-production. He really has the ability to make his images pop, using a moody and grainy approach to his editing.
Ingraham is a street photographer who truly gives substance to the label of artist.
Impact of Inspiration
The impact these five street photographers have on me is more than just making me want to produce better images. They make my passion for street photography rise. They make me want to further understand the psychology behind the art, encouraging me to fall deeper in love with the craft that already means so much to me.
It is important for us to take time away from our own work and appreciate the work of others. So, for a moment, put your camera down, switch off your editing tool, and go out and find your own street photography inspiration; there’s plenty of it out there!
All images used with permission.