It’s a question my friends ask me everytime: Jan, why did you become a street photographer? Can you earn with those photos of yours? Yadda yadda yadda…
Well, for those interested in long, boring lectures about one’s past, go on and read.
It all started during my third year in the Royal and Pontifical Catholic University of Santo Tomas (UST for short.) Our professor in our Advanced Photography elective subject gave us an assignment – create either an environmental portraiture or a simple portrait photography subject. As a person interested in new fields of photography, I searched those on the internet (thanks Wikipedia!) After a few hours, I finally decided to make an environmental portrait.
While I was reading an article about environmental portraiture, I came across an article related to street photography. Intrigued, I read it. And out came beautiful pictures from the masters of street photography. At that moment, I told myself, I should try this piece of sh@t. Maybe I can get my mojo if I try this thing.
A year had passed, and I have captured moments of people in a weirdly random way. But the photos somewhat tells a story, not just your-average-random-candid-picture your kid took while holding a camera. And every work done in the digital darkroom gives me inspiration to work further on my chosen field.
As of earning from this genre of photography? Well, it depends. But hell no, I won’t do street for me to earn money – it’s my passion, my creative outlet, my personal creative outlet. By profession (in the future), I’ll be a photographer working on some advertising agency. That should give me the money that I need to sustain myself for years to come. But street photography? No.
So the next time one my friends ask me again why am I doing street photography, I’ll simply just show them my body of work, look them squarely in the eye, and tell them, “let my photos tell you why.”