Street Photography is a major artery in the body of life. As we live, we flow through moments in time. The street photograph can allow society to see itself in a "sign of the times" kind of pace. Society can become a cardiologist as it reads the photographs that show the modern world, or not too long ago past, in frozen moments. Fashion, the seasons, styles, weather forecasts, businesses, crowds, quiet neighborhoods and architecture are visual flows traveling daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. All of this goes in the direction of visually stating with photographs an, "I was there" testament.
Please do not allow the word "street" to overwhelm your expectation that every photograph outdoors has to be candidly shocking. I use the term street as a form of communicating to the world how they divide photography into various fields, in order to comprehend the business side of it. A street photograph is just as strikingly powerful as a fashion photograph, a wedding photograph or a studio portrait photograph. As with all good or great photographs, the impact is in the seeing of the moment and attaching yourself to the moment. A great wedding photograph can be placed right next to a great street photograph, but when the discussion of its greatness opens itself up in dialogue, the words before what kind of photographs they are tend to fall away: just this and that photograph shapes itself into being visually powerful to the degree, the moments guide you into a conversation or you peacefully sit there as your eyes read into seeing the streets.
What street photography has within its visual infrastructure cannot be posed; furthermore, it cannot be arranged to fit into a popularity cycle because it does not need this kind of management to explain its purpose. Street photography can become a commodity and an artistic apex, when museums and galleries want to play with its presentation for profit or cultural fulfilling ambitions. However, the emotional track that the daily streets give back to this world, exists with or without the camera. This kind of existence is an ongoing spontaneously layered land that would require an onlooker to truly appreciate the photographs that can provide a glimpse into several scenes that unfold throughout any given day or night.
If we must put the title "Street" on photography that has an eye on the cultures outdoors or underground in the subway system, we have to hope that enjoying this field of photography can help us see that photography is just photography. When a photograph has this kind of everlasting power, the box which society pack with quick explanations can be broken down and placed away. Once the box is placed away, a freedom of seeing a photograph can be strictly about the moment. From there we are an excellent visual society willing to compel ourselves, minds and thoughts into the moment of an outdoor civilization.
Shaun La is a photographer & writer. Starting off with the medium of photography at the age of 18 (20 years ago) with a Minolta Hi-Matic & 135 film, the desire to see the moment became a way to envision the possibilities in wanting to be a timer awaiting to see if he could photograph more moments. His photography extends into fashion, street, photojournalism, landscape, still-life & candid realities — still utilizing film cameras only, 135 & medium-format film. As a writer, he has penned numerous essays on various topics, which has been published by the Amsterdam News, the Baltimore Sun, Afro-Punk, Camera Obscura & other media outlets. Currently he is working on his book, "The Perpetual Intellectual View Called Photography: Essays," & putting together the building blocks for an upcoming exhibition on his Photography. His work can be viewed at: http://www.shaunarts.com