Do you remember taking your first “street photo”?
My wife and I were on vacation in Boston, MA back in 2005. Naturally, I had a camera and several lenses with me; with the primary objective of capturing typical vacation snapshots of all the historical sites in and around Boston.
One morning as we were walking around Beacon Hill and the Back Bay area, I happened to look across the street and saw a really interesting store front. Just at that moment, I also noticed a young man about to walk in front of the store. Up came the camera and what resulted without any forethought on my part was probably my first legitimate street photograph.
I didn’t think much more about the image I had captured until I took a closer look at it on my laptop that evening in the hotel. It seemed to me that, without possessing insider information, it would be difficult for anyone to pinpoint when the photograph had been taken; especially after I converted it to black and white. It reminded me of many photos I’d seen in various collections documenting the history of communities where I had lived over the years.
Back then, I was spending most of my time photographing high school, college, and some professional sports and continued to do so for the next 10 years. But I never forgot this image.
When I decided to cut back on sports coverage, too many cold and wet nights on too many sidelines, it was this photograph which helped to draw me into street photography. That and my desire to attempt to capture candid, unposed images which visually tell simple stories.