“Have fun with what you do. Get rid of all the “rules” you might get taught. Just use your eye.” Natalie Opocensky
This is part of an interview series with members of Seconds2Real street photography collective, in celebration of their forthcoming exhibition in Berlin in October.
How long have you been a street photographer? Why do you love it?
I started with photography in 2000 during an au-pair year in the United States taking a class there. After trying this and that I just happened to end up with street photography – coincidental I guess. It was the kind of photography that caught my interest most and it still does. I love to travel and I really love to visit different cities – street photography is what let’s me take home something un-posed and out-of-life of each city I visit. I guess that’s why I love it.
As most of us I have a regular job to pay my bills. I worked in Event Management and Catering over the past 10 years – this summer I’ll take some time off and look for something different. But photography will stay a hobby – I’m not really interested in earning money with photography.
Which photographers inspire you?
Honestly I’m not really inspired by other photographers in particular. Of course I like to look at photos but I’m not really buying photo books and I’m not really looking at them very often. Maybe it was due to lack of time in the past and it will change – but actually I don’t think so. Reconsidering the question – there is one thing that’s a little bit of an inspiration. I’m always caught more by female photographers – especially when it comes to street photography.
Editing/selecting which images to show is crucial for a street photographer. Has being in a collective helped you with this process?
Actually most of the time, I already know which image I’ll show right after I took it. I already get a good feeling for the “interesting” shots even before I have them on the computer. So editing/selecting for me is not really a collective thing. We do though help each other with the editing, when it comes to exhibitions or photo projects and for that the collective is very helpful.
In the UK, street photography has become very popular over the last year (the Street Photography Now book published, Format Festival dedicated to street photography, the London Street Photography Festival, your work on show at Look11, and lots of popular workshops). Have you felt that street photography has also been more popular recently in your own country? And do think that street photography will continue to be popular in this way?
Actually I know quite a lot of photographers from Austria who are into street photography. But most of all I think that photography – no matter what type – has become really popular over the last few years with all the digital possibilities. Sometimes when I’m out on the streets I feel like every person out there is carrying a camera taking pictures. It’s hard to say if photography overall will stay as popular as it is now. For street photography I would predict that its popularity will stay pretty much the same.
Any tips or “words of wisdom” for other street photographers?
Have fun with what you do. Get rid of all the “rules” you might get taught. Just use your eye.
What would be your ideal gear for doing street photography with?
It’s not a secret that street photography is usually a wide-angle thing I guess. Besides that the most important thing is to feel comfortable with the camera you hold in your hands. So the “ideal gear” might be different for each person.