street photographers save me

Street photographers come from all walks of life. I’ve never met as varied a bunch as I did in Singapore last year. It started when I met Den and Vic while out shooting one day, back in September 2020.

I mentioned in the last post, that this was when I picked up a camera again after 6 months of not touching one. I was feeling confused with it in my hand, not knowing what to do and generally wishing I knew other street shooters here. Photography is often a solo pursuit, and while most of us like it that way, there’s nothing like a community of like minds that gives every creative pursuit its richness and extension of individual horizons. As Szarkowski says in The Photographer’s Eye, “It is in our progressive discovery of [photography] that its history lies.”

Den (left) and Vic (right) goofing around on a shoot

I’d spotted them down the road, one with a hat and blond hair rioting underneath, the other a stealth operator. One doing a Bruce Gilden, the other biding his time. I watched and waited, figuring I was going to be a “victim” when they got near. And so I was.

Den stuck a camera in my face and disappeared, Vic stopped and asked. The encounter was over in 5 seconds. I carried on shooting and forgot about it. And then, because Singapore is a really small place, we all found one another again on Instagram.

SGSPC

Den’s X100F

It’s been 6 months since that fateful meeting, and I’ve shot with Den and Vic a whole bunch. During the course of this time I learned that they all met each other through SGSPC (Singapore Street Photography Collective) and its larger community.

Hugo and John (both in the background) at a photowalk in Little India

It’s been a revelation to hang out with people who like doing my favourite things — in this case walking aimlessly around for days for the sole purpose of taking photos of random things. I’ve learned a ton of things from these guys, some of whom have been shooting for years, others who picked it up in the pandemic.

Azrizal (left) and Awie (center) also goofing around on a shoot

Women in Street Singapore

@womeninstreet co-founder Marie and one of the uncles she photographed on the street

Around the same time, I caught up with a friend and fellow photographer: Marie Dailey.

We started Women in Street SG (SG = Singapore), a local offshoot of the larger Women in Street global collective, through which I met Marie.

Vanishia and I at Ganesha barbershop

I don’t think either of us expected it to be more than a small group, but in 6 months we’ve got a legit community of dead keen street shooters.

Now we’re dreaming. Of books and exhibitions and connections and bringing more photographers together and doing something for our community. We don’t know if/when/how it’s going to happen, but we’re working towards it!

L-R: Adree, Barbara and I on a photowalk one afternoon
charlene

photographer