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Behind the Scenes of a Year’s Worth of Street Photography

I’ve been using some version of “street” photography as practice and exercise for all areas of my photography since I started taking it seriously in 2015, but I’ve never been as focused and regimented about honing my approach to street photography every day as I have been since the start of 2018, when I decided to give myself an entire year to “make it” as a photographer.

Although I don’t know that I’ve “made it,” yet I definitely think that allocating as much time as I did to pursuing my passion has left me with some very interesting results, in my workflow, my clients, and my images themselves.

Part of my industrialized direction towards street photography involved keeping notes on the time of day, conditions, and my feelings while out and about shooting street. These notes helped a lot when looking back on my work at the end of the week, and helped plan out new shots, or plans to return to previous compositions at a different time for a change in light, or the kind of character that would be out and about.

I learned that some photographers would use their Instagram story for a similar kind of note taking, using short video clips to record first a wide shot of the scene and the light before moving the attention to the back of their camera screen to show what precisely they captured — showing that their work was a true reflection of the moment, how light was manipulated through exposure settings, and sometimes to show a burst of images taken before settling on the one they were waiting for.

I started doing the same and compiled them into a highlights reel, which keeps Instagram stories for longer than the usual 24 hours. I was surprised at first how often I actually reviewed the videos myself, keeping track of the kinds of things I watched out for, and also using the wider context not usually available in the still images I actually end up with to review the scene and spot potential for how I could have approached things differently.

Not every single keeper has a video to go along with it, due to either my not remembering or simply wanting to only focus on photography and my phone therefore being switched off. You can watch my highlights reel here (Sorry for the quality — it was the highest Instagram videos will save as. You can also watch the clips here):

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