I had a conversation with a fellow photographer recently who told me that his favourite genre was Street Photography. I’m a big fan of Oscar Marzaroli, who’s photographs of Glasgow people going about their daily business helped to chronical the lives of ordinary Glaswegians.
Before ‘selfies’ were invented, I feared that the only photographic history of people would be of them at weddings or on holiday.
However, despite the rise of selfies and security cameras, street photography is still singled out for criticism and viewed with suspicion. Whilst street photography is not n itself an ethical issue. Photographers do need to be wary of where they shoot, how they shoot and who they take photos of.
Indeed the recent case, where criminal charges were brought in France against photojournalist Maya Vidon-White for pictures she took during the Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris sent out a powerful and troubling warning to street photographers everywhere.
Of course, we all hope that we don’t see the scenes of Paris in our own cities and towns we still need to be careful. I had a hard time from the police when attempting to take photos of a local car crash. I wasn’t trying to exploit the situation but to record the event but I do appreciate that the police and members of the general public can be a bit defensive when they see a photographer.
Usually I ask permission to take photos of people but that’s not always easy when doing street photography. So if someone gives me a strange look, I’ll either leave them alone, or tell them what I’m doing and explain why I thought that their look would make a good photograph. Which usually falls into two camps, there is something artistic in the way they look, or they represent an opportunity to record a snapshot of social history. If they’re still not happy then delete the photo.
All of these photographs were taken on the afternoon of Saturday 9th April 2016, in and around the market stalls on Sauchiehall Street Glasgow.