How I Met My Inspiration, And He Didn't Even Know About This
As you probably know, I am obsessed with Street Photography genre. This is probably one of very few activities that help my mind rest and my adrenaline raise when I take a photograph that I love myself.
And this obsession started 3 years ago, when I finally got to buy my first camera and a good lens. At that time I didn't know anything about the Street Photography genre at all, so I started shooting in the streets on weekends.
One day I Googled few key words - Photography, Street - and that's when I learned about Yanick - street photographer who's blog has opened up a whole world to me.
Not only he had beautiful images from all over the world, but also an amazing section for articles with techniques, tips on equipment and camera settings, helpful links to other resources and street photographers. I still remember that excitement when I was going through every webpage and applying everything I learnt during the next street experiments.
So long story short, some time earlier in 2017 I found Yanick's page on Instagram, immediately followed him, and even wrote a direct message to express my admiration and tell him that in a lot of ways his work and his blog inspired me to be a street photographer. He told me that he was thinking of having a trip to either New York City or some other option, which I don't recall, some time in December, and asked me if it is still going to be not too cold because he is bringing his family with him. So based on my past years in NYC, I told - yes, it is going to be perfect to shoot, and it won't be very cold (oh, how wrong I was!).
And finally, last week, which happened to be abnormally cold for the entire East Coast, I got to meet with Yanick himself, grab coffee and even shoot for 45 minutes.
Few things that I learned from that short but bright meeting:
1. I felt like he immediately knew who I am (I may be wrong), because when I was staring at an old lady behind him in the coffee shop hesitating whether I should take her picture or not, he turned around and said - "Take her picture, she is your type". With surprise and excitement, I asked - "What do you mean, my type?", and he responded - "Isolated. You take a lot of photographs of isolated people". Damn, that was the moment when I felt like this person in front of me knows me, and found a word to describe why I take pictures of certain people and not others. And this also supported what Mark has been telling me - I focus on pictures of isolated, elderly people, or moments when they are alone, in solitude, caught when they are in their heads.
2. I enjoyed watching him shoot when we decided to take a walk in the freezing 21 F (which felt like 13 F). He moved fast, and what amazed me the most, he would just walk and put his camera into the faces of people who were passing us by without hesitation but still delicately. I am rarely that courageous but watching him made be bolder, and I ended up getting some cool shots too.
3. He said that there are days when he gets a lot of pictures that he likes himself in a short timeframe, and then there are days when he would get none. I can totally relate to this but empty days always made me a little bit frustrated and I felt like - maybe I won't take anything worthy again. Hearing that someone who you respect was dealing with similar things, made me think that I should turn off a drama queen mode in my head and just relax if i didn't take anything great some day. "This is all part of practice" - he said.
4. That meeting just reaffirmed me again and again that street photographers are loners. We love people but we love to take their pictures more than having conversations. We need to be in the moment with our camera facing the street and everything else is a distraction from a potential shot.
I know that all of this maybe a little too dramatic/romantic in a way, and I will probably reconsider some things in the next years, but at this moment when I am writing this post and it is all one-week fresh, this is how I feel, and I do not want to undervalue small things like meeting with an artist who inspired you in the beginning, and that overall at some point makes me who I am.
With this post I would like to thank Yanick again, and maybe I will see him again some day!
Below are the shots that I took during that 45 minutes photo walk in a freezing NYC - hope you enjoy them: