How can I depict a lifestyle through a photo?

Nov 27, 2013

I used to complain because I had an old DSLR and it wasn’t as complex as the newer models. I refused to use it for a while and just stuck to film because I wasn’t content with my pictures. After a while I gave in and continued to use it. I went to an exhibit at ICP for a photographer named Zoe Strauss. Her pictures are beautiful and are very clear and qualitative. On the tour my guide told me that she uses nothing but point and shoots. I was very surprised. I realized that it isn’t the camera that creates the power of the image it’s technique. Technique is something very important. Technique for street photographers is very important. They have limited control over what they can do to alter their subject and environment so they have to get created. The images can be as captivating as the ones taken in a studio with the light manipulation and set background if taken well.
Technique is something that can make or break the photographer. This is especially important for street photographers. I’ve looked at several different street photographers and their work and each has their own style and technique. Street photography is very vague because there are so many different “streets” or environments to photograph in. Technique is the thing that distinguishes one photographer from another despite these varying subjects. To be able to depict a lifestyle I think I would have to be able to develop my own technique of including the elements that I feel say something about the environment in my photos. The thing about technique is that it, especially for street photography shouldn't be some long process that you have to think about constantly. For me, I just shoot and the way that I do becomes my technique. I think it's something that should come naturally. Over time you can develop it and tweak it but for the most part it shouldn't require you to do too much.