Street Clicks

July 17th, 2019: As seen on Solo (PDF)

Is’t selfie ‘r is’t art?; ?: Gavin Paul

I met a friend in India a few years back in the markets of Old Delhi who routinely gave me shit for taking too much time with composing photos. There’d be a textile merchant in an alleyway buried in centuries of woven oddities with a thousand stories in her eyes that felt sacrilegious not to try and capture for posterity like so many white people before me and he’d grab my arm, reach for my camera and intervene every time—”Here, I’ll ‘click’ you, then you ‘click’ me.”

Though slightly before this turns into a ‘be present’ spiel about the trillion plus photos we’re taking globally as a species since 2015 and your philosophy on to or to not take pictures in whatever moment you’re living through, how influencers first will come for our ice cream, and then our souls, if we don’t start charging them double, or why the selfie has become the de-facto motivator for a rising generation, I just want to emphasize the simple beauty of a masterful street photo.

Even absent the art—the mere cognitive process of framing a slice of otherwise chaos, it’s a beautiful skill that anyone can do. And when done right, can dissolve any cultural or demographic exploitation, letting humanity be its own subtext. Which is why there are 100 Vivian Maier‘s out there waiting to be discovered amongst the Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s.

The breaks are that people have been manipulating, bartering and arguing over influence since some old white dude(s) created a story about a lady named Eve offering up an apple to a dude named Adam. And though it’s an inherently smarmy relationship—influence; Eve and Adam are a whole other can o’ worms—it’s also the way the world spins, and will continue to spin even in some utopian Star Trek moneyless possible future, as temptation and critical thinking skills will never go away, and if they do, there will still be tribbles left to destroy us.

So yeah, here’s that second reminder to ‘be present’ in whatever way that means to you, alongside some perfect ‘clicks’ by some working masters I dig on Instagram right now nailing the spirit, capped with one of my very rookie attempts from the other side of my own lens on that same India trip.

Who’s inspiring you, lately?

?: Jorge Garcia; @photosbyjorge_

?: Julian Master; @julianmaster

?: Heike Frielingsdorf; @heikefrielingsdorf

?: Elena Alexandra; @bloomsofmind

?: Gavin Paul; @reenostudios