Streets are like weddings, full of fleeting moments
Updated: 2 days ago
After I moved to the Midwest from San Francisco, I was craving vibrance of large cities and the continuous bustle of streets. When I was not shooting weddings in the off season, I went on regular weekend trips to New York, I basked in the sunshine at the Highline Park, I cried tears of joy at the MoMA, slurped ramen in the East Village and people watched while frolicking in urban landscapes.
I was working to create a series of urban daydreams focused on meditative reflections and capturing fleeting moments. Then I picked up a book in one of New York's quaint bookstores and realized I have a soul mate and karmic twin. Ladies and gentlemen, please be introduced to a fabulous street photographer, Saul Leiter!
First of all, I want to say that this isn't a heretical attempt to compare myself to someone like Leiter, but the truth is, that while exploring his body of work, I noticed formal, contextual and spatial similarities in his and my own images. His sensitivity to a certain atmosphere felt familiar, his perception of color and ability to infuse his photographs with painterly qualities, were so intriguing.
There are several philosophical theories about images of life being stuck in time, so all of us might as well be observers of moments that have been recycled over hundreds of years - but an idea of sharing my vision so closely with someone else has never crossed my mind!
Now, just out of pure curiosity, I decided to juxtapose mine and Leiter's pictures. I was looking at them in terms of conceptual, structural and formal aspects – colors, shapes, collaging and spatial qualities. And this little venture ended up being very informative. It made me realize that my approach in street photography is the main catalyst when shooting weddings, which are full of vibrant, dynamic, fleeting moments. These quiet times of intense focus are a valuable learning experience about myself, they represent insights into souls of people around me, they teach me being present in the moment, while witnessing uniquely familiar situations that will never repeat themselves again. Because weddings are just like streets.
LEFT: Saul Leiter RIGHT: Me
“I must admit that I am not a member of the ugly school. I have a great regard for certain notions of beauty even though to some it is an old fashioned idea. Some photographers think that by taking pictures of human misery, they are addressing a serious problem. I do not think that misery is more profound than happiness.”
– Saul Leiter
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