The streets I see

Charlene journal 12 Comments

Belgrade, Serbia “What genre of photography do you specialize in?” was the first question. I hmmed and hawwed on the keyboard: typed, tried words out for fit, deleted and started over. My relationship with this thing I do has been doubt-ridden from the beginning. I call myself a street photographer because its mode – harvesting unscripted pictures from whatever/wherever the situation – describes how i work. But my work itself isn’t razor sharp like those whose images define the genre. I am an ardent admirer of street photography’s many gods, among them Alex Webb, Natelle Autio, Trent Parke, Matt Stuart,Helen Levitt, Jesse Marlow, Elliot Erwitt, and recently, the women whom I haven’t read about in its scrolls: Sabine Weiss, Xyza Bacani, Elena Maiorova, and any/all of these amazing photographers, whose work …

Strangers

Charlene journal 2 Comments

June 2013, Washington D.C. I rarely stop strangers to ask for a portrait. But back in 2013, I spent some illuminating weeks with photographers in the area – the guys at Strata Collective, Diriki Rice and John Nelson – learning about their practice, and was encouraged to step out of my shell. That time in DC remains one of the highlights of the last few years: for the fellowship, the broadening of horizons, and catching up with my very old friend Carmen, who put me up for the 3 weeks I was in town. I stopped many strangers in that time, and often find myself thinking of the people I asked for a portrait. There was Shaun, below: I was hanging around a corner in Washington DC’s Chinatown, when she walked by with …