Some days, as a street photographer, it just doesn’t happen. You might not be in the mood or are struggling to get into the zone. There’s nothing happening in front of the camera or not much capturing your eye. It’s just a crap day and you come home with not much or nothing at all.
Shooting less and less.
The longer you shoot street photography the more frequent these kind of dog days seem to occur – or so I find. Maybe it’s because the longer you shoot the less appears that you haven’t shot before? When you’re new to the tradition of street photography everything seems fresh and exciting and you happily blast away. I certainly shoot a lot less nowadays and a lot less appeals to me on the street. So, cue more street photography dog days.
The past Sunday was one such day. I’ve not had a chance to get out shooting street much at all lately, so I’d planned that Sunday I would get out and shoot some. I headed into town, but even before I got there I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt tired and achy. As a result, rather than push myself I fell into a kind of comfort zone, the same old street beat of familiar locations; a case of the tired old faces in the same old places. I felt staid, both physically and mentally.
Getting over it.
I tried to break it up, vary it some, by switching from digital to shooting some film on my Olympus XA4. I’m yet to have that roll of film developed, but my instinct tells me there won’t be much on it. So I called it quits and headed home early. Deflated and dispirited, telling myself I’m a rubbish street photographer. Or that street photography is boring. I’m sure all street photographers feel like that on occasion?
But as always, we’ll pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves down and head out again soon. For me, I’ll flick through some books by Garry Winogrand or Jeff Mermelstein and I’ll feel inspired all over again. Next time though, I might just head out somewhere different to freshen things up.
The day in 5 frames.
Here are a few of the average digital frames I did shoot on the day. I think it’s important, certainly as a more experienced street photographer, to show that what you shoot isn’t always great or worthy of being in a portfolio. But it’s these shots that keep you ticking over and, so to speak, keep your creativity engine well oiled. (Once I get the film developed I’ll post here at a later date.)
Over to you.
So how do you deal with those days when your street photography just doesn’t seem to be clicking? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
You can check out more of my street photography on my website.