Shooting up the Streets

When you think of the photography greats of the last century, many of the names that come to mind were street photographers. Henry Cartiet Bressont, Fred Herzog, Saul Leiter, Vivian Maier. Their contribution to history and art was nothing more than the lives of normal people, and theres an allure to those street photographers in that they seemed to make something beautiful about the aspects of everyday life we brushed off as normal.

That same allure has drawn so many people to street photography, but it begs a question to me: Is this overabundance of street photographers creating the most in-depth visual history book of all time, or is creating a cloud of virtual noise that's difficult to sift through and find work of value? 

I don't have an answer to that. Whichever one it is, I decided I would finally try to contribute to it. 

Yesterday I took to the streets of Central Shinjuku, nervous to even point my camera in the direction of a stranger. Especially a Tokyo-ite. I started by using fire hydrants for cover, and walking away as soon as I made eye contact with a subject. Not only was I not getting the results I was hoping for, but I felt way more voyeuristic than I should. There was no connection toward the photos I just took from the minute I laid eyes on them. 

It was time to get closer, but I felt doing so was gearing up for a fight. I felt like the closer I'd get, some level of inherit risk increased. I got a little closer with each shot until finally, on the way back after I was done shooting, I noticed two salarymen outside of the Familymart. The larger of the two men was talking down on the other as he sat there and took it. I walked up, aimed my over the shoulder and straight into the face of the seemingly agitated man. He shot me a look and I smiled and gave an english 'Hey there!' and he nodded and went back to talking. Even after only a few hours, the hurdle of getting over pointing my camera at a person I've never met started to fade.

That photo was the highlight of my first day shooting around Tokyo. Check out the rest below!