It would be fair to say I have an obsession with street photography. So much of my time is spent posing people for headshots and arranging rooms for HDR real estate photos that I get elated when I find a perfect moment already under way and I get to preserve it. It seems so pure and, dare I say, important. Without me, that moment will go unnoticed and will be forgotten forever. It’s kind of a lot of pressure to put on a guy, cataloging life’s quiet little public miracles, but I do my best.
Two of my favorite street photographers are Vivian Maier and a man who publishes under the name 85mm Street. They have drastically different styles and I love them equally. Vivian, a professional caregiver, amassed over 100,000 negatives without ever showing her work. She certainly celebrated the struggles, the conflicts and the triumphs going on around her. After her death, John Maloof found her stuff at a thrift auction in Chicago and the world went crazy for her. 85mm likes to walk right up to people and take their portrait without asking. A lot of his subjects have this fantastic “what is this now?” look on their faces. He’s run into a few unhappy people, but that’s bound to happen no matter what you do. While I prefer to go unnoticed when I shoot street, I’m glad he’s out there.
On a rare day off I grabbed my business partner, Rob, and we bought day passes for the Metro. We rode down to Union Station, wandered around Olvera Street and made our way back to Hollywood Blvd when the sun went down. So many little moments, so much life. Somebody has to preserve it.