Lead photo by Phil Penman. As we say goodbye to 2019, we take a look at some of our favorite street photographers from the past year.
It should come as no surprise that we’re huge fans of street photography here at The Phoblographer. Because of what we do, we’re fortunate to be able to feature and speak with some of the best street photographers in the game. The craft has become extremely popular over the past decade, with many declaring their love for shooting the streets. Some are good – and some, well, not so much. But, beyond that are some fantastic shooters, creating great work, all while flying the flag for the street photography community. We have our favorites, so as we approach the final stretch of another wonderful year, we want to share our favorite street photographers of 2019.
Note: We will count this list down. You can be assured that the street photographer placed first is our overall favorite.
10. Pierre Crocquet
Pierre sadly passed away in 2013. However, his sister, Jeannine, is spreading his street photography message to the world. We first came across the work of Pierre through a Reddit post. We instantly latched onto his images and were fascinated to know about his time in South Africa. What’s evident from his story – and his images – is that Pierre did not want for much. For him, he was content connecting with people on the streets and telling the story of the world he lived in. It was inspiring to learn about him through Jeannie, and his work is some of the best we’ve been able to feature in 2019.
9. Antonio Privitera
Beyond the individual frame, we really love sinking our teeth into a good ole street photography project. Antonio Privitera’s series, Inner City Blues, caught our attention because it was a love story that came true. Antonio always dreamed of visiting New York. When that dream became a reality, he was able to come into his own and create compelling work. Mainly shot in the late night cold of the Big Apple, Antonio put together a dark, moody, cinematic body of work we absolutely fell in love with.
8. Marina Koryakin
Shooting on the streets of Israel, Ukranian born street photographer Marina Koryakin had a big year in 2019. Most notably, she became a member of the Little Box Collective – a community that celebrates the work of street photographers from around the world. Alongside that, her empathetic approach to street photography is becoming more and more recognized in the community. It was because of the varied and gentle frames she makes that we had to feature her on the site earlier in the year. We expect Marina to build on 2019 and have an even better 2020!
7. Daniel Anez
Daniel Anez shoots street photography out of New York and Miami. Seamlessly moving between the hustle and bustle of Manhatten and the chilled out life of Miami, he has created a body of work that’s both rustic and vibrant. Daniel has a great eye for what makes a strong single frame. His top-quality compositions not only highlight human life but also the textures and shapes of the cities we built. We’re hoping to see more focus on projects from Daniel in 2020. He has all the skills needed to create something of worth.
6. Dimpy Bhalotia
In a world where color has taken over, some street photographers are ensuring black and white street photography retains its place. Dimpy Bhalotia is one of those photographers. She really is flying the flag for that classic look, and her work is some of the strongest in the game today. Often set near water, Dimpy’s street photography offers movement, texture, low-angles, and silhouettes. To put it as a metaphor, Dimpy has all the right ingredients to make a delicious cake, and we could eat up her street photography all day long. That’s why we are continuously following her journey within the field, and expect she will be one of our favorite street photographers for a long time to come.
5. Sevil Alkan
To say Sevil had an amazing year would still be an understatement. Her series, Stray Dog, won her first place in the Lens Culture Street Photography Awards 2019. Maybe the most impressive part of this series is that it was shot on a smartphone. While some may point towards how far smartphone cameras have come, we shouldn’t underestimate the skill required to make award-winning work with something that fits in your pocket. The style of work Sevil creates can only be born out of deep knowledge of technique and human behavior. It’s because of her photographic intelligence that she will continue to be a front runner in the street photography scene.
4. Phil Penman
From documenting the tragic events of 9/11 to being a celebrity photographer, Phil Penman has pretty much done it all in the world of photography. Based in New York, Phil is a passionate, well-respected street photographer too. His black and white, fine art images gathered such a following, that Phil released his first book, STREET, this year. It was trending at number one on Amazon, and this doesn’t come as any surprise to us. Even after over 20 years in the game, Phil remains as dedicated and enthusiastic as ever: his great 2019 proves it.
3. Edas Wong
For the fifth year running, Edas has been announced as a finalist at the 2019 Miami Street Photography Festival. It seems he’s a finalist at all the festivals, and for good reason: his street photography doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a happy look at the more humorous coincidences in life. When it comes to spotting the bizarre, the unreal, and the juxtaposed, there isn’t an eye sharper than Edas’. And what better way to highlight another fantastic year for him than the release of his first photobook? Re-Form is a collection of quirky street photographs created by Edas over the past five years. It’s popular and another statement of the quality of his work.
2. Kristian Leven
Kristian’s work is some of the most refreshing street photography we’ve seen in a while. It blurs the gap between street and social documentary, sitting comfortably within both sub-categories. In particular, we were gripped by his work from his time in Ethiopia. Its vulnerability makes sense as he spoke to us about his initial struggle when arriving in the country. By feeling bad about his perceived privilege, it shows Kristian is able to display empathy – something he pours into his work. He is a wonderful, down-to-earth guy who clearly loves what he does when shooting on the street. We’re looking forward to seeing the work from his next adventure!
1. Polly Rusyn
There are plenty of reasons for Polly to be placed at number one. Her street photography is magnificent, her work ethic is as hard as it gets, and her personality lights up the community. 2019 has been a wonderful year for Polly. She continues to travel the globe showing her brand in some of the most beautiful destinations. Her company, The Photo Weekender, through which she teaches street photography workshops to students far and wide, continues to grow. It has garnered plenty of press attention throughout the year from leading publications in the industry. On top of that, Polly is a prime example of how a quality street photographer should represent themselves within the scene – no drama, just positivity, sharing her love for the craft with others. Because of all this, Polly is our favorite street photographer of 2019.