I take street photographs to digest the world and understand people. I am a relatively shy person and find a catharsis in the solitude of street photography, which requires concentration and focus to a degree that creates a detachment from the world. I find that if someone talks to me that this spell is broken.
I bought my first serious camera when I was travelling in Japan in 2011. I found my point and shoot wasn’t capturing to the world around me as I saw it, so I bought a DSLR. I used this camera to make pretty pictures of beautiful scenery but seldom pointed my lens towards people. On my return from Japan I did an evening course to learn the technical side of photography. Around this time I watched a documentary on Saul Leiter, I didn’t realise it at the time but he was my introduction to street photography, a term I did not yet know.
I found that I had a desire to start photographing people, but being a shy person I didn’t relish the idea of engaging them in conversation. Candid, unposed photography being a prerequisite of street photography, this was the perfect medium through which I could introduce the human element into my photographs.
I have since upgraded and downsized my DSLR to a compact system Fuji. I shoot on full manual apart from the focus which I largely keep on auto. Like most street photographers I approach photography in two ways. Firstly I walk around relying on chance to see interesting events unfold in front of my eyes. Or I stake out an interesting spot and shoot the fish that swim past. I find both techniques work equally well.
I am currently considering a few projects which I will make the first steps into this year.
(all photographs copyright Saul Perryman- please email me if you wish to license them)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING ON THE STREET? 2 years.
WHERE DO YOU SHOOT? I shoot most of my work in Central London. I take my camera with me everywhere I go. I use my lunchbreaks at work and day trips into town to take photographs. But I find that most of my best work isn’t taken when I am out taking photographs specifically, but are taken when I am travelling from one place to another. This is the serendipitous nature of street photography and why you should not only take your camera everywhere, but have it set up and ready.
DO YOU ASK PEOPLE’S PERMISSION BEFORE YOU TAKE A PERSON’S PHOTOGRAPH? No, not for my street photography. Legally I am within my rights to take photographs of people in public places in the UK. Also people act differently when they are posing for photographs. However if someone asked me not to photograph them, I would respect their request.
WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE? I use a Fujifilm X-T1 with a 35mm lens and occasionally an 18mm lens. I have a Canon 60d which I use for commercial work and a Pentax MX 35mm film camera which doesn’t get used as much as it should.
WHO ARE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC INFLUENCES? Saul Leiter, Vivien Maier, Ernst Haas, Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Gilden, Alex Webb, Christophe Agou, Josef Koudelka, William Kleine, Daido Moriyama, Bruce Davidson and Tony Ray-Jones. These are all incredible photographers who I love and aspire to be 1% as good as. I also find inspiration in current photographers such as those in the In Public collective, Matt Stuart for example. See the links page for more recommended photographers and blogs.
DID YOU STUDY PHOTOGRAPHY? I did a short course at the age of 31 to learn the technical side of photography but have found street photography through the photographs and photographers that I like.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU? If you go to the links sections of my website you can find links to my social media pages and articles/blogs I have been featured in.
CAN I BUY PRINTS OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS? Absolutely, please see the print sales page of this website and email me for details.
CAN I LICENCE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS? Yes, please email me on the contact page of this website and we can discuss.
DO YOU TAKE COMMISSIONS Certainly, email me from the contact page of this website and we can start a dialogue.