Marina Koryakin Creates Stylish Street Photography and Talks Ethics

All street photography images by Marina Koryakin. Used with permission.

“I always liked to watch people, and create an imaginative world which I can escape to,” says Marina Koryakin. She adds, “in 2015 I bought my first camera, and I became drawn right away to the world of street photography.” Born in Ukraine and now residing in Israel, Marina has stamped her authority on the street photography scene. In just a short space of time she has grown in popularity, and her work is enjoyed by many. Her street photographs are beautifully balanced, and her exciting subjects bring them to life. Shooting out on the streets is her way of communicating with the world. In her words, “[my motivation comes from] the need to express myself and my artistic vision.”

“I never photograph homeless people because, in my opinion, they are helpless. I also don’t photograph people who seem to be afraid of the camera.”

Street Photography in Israel

Israel continues to be a polarizing country. And while we were not prepared to look at it politically, we were interested in the attitude the people have towards street photography. “It varies from place to place,” Marina explains. “Sometimes, people are patient and delicate, and sometimes they’re not – even becoming violent.” It’s clear despite any negative reactions, Marina is determined to keep creating, as she continues to walk the streets and develop her work.

More so, her experience on the streets of Israel has allowed her to develop other vital skills. When the camera isn’t in her hand, Marina has noticed an improvement in her ability to communicate with people. She credits that to street photography, explaining, “it has given me more self-confidence to communicate with people. I have more patience and more affection for people now.”

 

Her Style and Success

Marina divides her work between colorful snaps and classic black and white photographs. Both approaches to editing equally contribute to the strength of her portfolio. They also highlight her diversity as a street photographer. We were curious about her decision making. Taking us into her editing room, she breaks down how she chooses which look to go for. “Mostly, it accords to my current mood that I get from that particular frame.”

She credits that to street photography, explaining, “it has given me more self-confidence to communicate with people. I have more patience and more affection for people now.”

A big indicator that Marina is doing everything right is her involvement with the Little Box Collective. The group describes itself as “an international collective of photographers that aims to both continue and expand the rich tradition of unposed/street photography.” It also sends out a clear message about its commitment to ethnic diversity and fair representation of women photographers. When asked about how it feels to be part of a new and progressive movement, Marina tells us, “it’s very exciting and very flattering.”

Street Photography Motivation and Ethics

Although a fantastic genre, a downside of street photography is that it can, at times, feel repetitive. It becomes difficult to motivate yourself if you find yourself in a creative rut. Because of this, it’s essential to do all you can to keep your mind fresh and your creative juices bubbling. Marina is no stranger to this, and she has her ways of dealing with the situation when things become mundane. “I’m always looking for new projects, new ideas, because I believe that this is the way for progress.”

Ethics in street photography often divides opinion. One person’s “no go” is another person’s “fair game.” Over time, street photographers, like Marina, tend to come to their own conclusions about ethics and values. “I never photograph homeless people because, in my opinion, they are helpless. I also don’t photograph people who seem to be afraid of the camera.”

“Thank you for everything. I’m glad that I met you.”

A Message to the Craft

Before allowing Marina to get back to what she does best, we asked her to do one last thing. We wanted her to humanize street photography. Turn it into a person that she was able to talk to and choose one thing to say to it:

“Thank you for everything. I’m glad that I met you.”

You can see more of Marina’s work by visiting her website.