Street photography – This is how it shouldn’t be done


by Bellamy /

2 min read

Update—–He has now removed the video without making comment. I guess he wasn’t really prepared to take the heat. 


This has been discussed on a number of other blogs(here, here and here), and seems to be doing the rounds on twitter as well, but I thought I should chuck my hat in the ring for the sake of posterity, and because this guy really pisses me off.
I like street photography, I consider myself in some parts to be a street photographer (though some might beg to differ), but seeing people like Fabio Pires “working” makes me embarrassed that people would associate street photography with this.
Pires is not a street photographer, he is a thug with a camera, who just happens to be on the street. His swagger and demeanor suggests that he has little or no respect at all for his subject matter, and his pictures really show that, with little or not thought given to content or composition.

Pires claims that he looks for ‘different’ people but it seems like the only ‘different’ people that he is able to see are the homeless and ethnic minorities, perhaps if he opened his eyes and held his camera properly he would find that London has some of the most interesting characters of anywhere in the world.

One of the funniest parts of this video, if you could call it that, maybe sad would be more appropriate is that he compares himself to Gilden, a legendary street photographer, and then says he is more of a perfectionist than Gilden….Yeah, ok. Gilden spent years perfecting a style that is all of his own, he has an ability to bring out certain aspects of peoples characters through his work, and in terms of technique, he is excellent.

Street photography has taken a beating over the years, nowhere more so than the UK, where it seems that even having a camera on the street labels you as a pedo or a terrorist, and this idiot has done nothing to help that.
An important aspect of street photography is being able to interact with your surroundings and with the people that you come across, and in some cases to disarm them, with a cheeky grin or a charming “thank you”. Something which I did not see him do once.

I post this video for educational purposes, things you should not do when taking street photos. Watch, learn and then go out and take some real pictures.
Right, I am off to watch some Gilden and some Koudelka, real photographers, who can take pictures that make you heart beat and your soul jump.

6 comments on “Street photography – This is how it shouldn’t be done”

    Charlie September 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm / Reply

    Nice. Good write up.

    David September 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm / Reply

    It’s still available on youku.

    The guy had me frowning at “The camera is Nikon D90”.

    For the first few shots I was wondering if he’s really shooting, but when he almost thrashed the camera into that girls face I facepalmed.

    I’d probably slap his camera to the ground if he did that to me… ouch.

    AJT September 8, 2011 at 10:24 pm / Reply

    … he compares himself to Gilden…

    I remember when some 80s “musician” said he was bigger than The Beatles. What was his name???

    ZDP-189 September 10, 2011 at 11:16 am / Reply

    He rightly deserves the pasting he is getting. I am not surprised he’s taken it down. I have downloaded a copy of the video as a permanent reminder of how I should not go about street photography. I am sure that other people will have too. It’s such an clear example of poor behaviour that it will probably ricochet around the internet for the duration of his career.

    Bob Nelson September 21, 2011 at 4:12 am / Reply

    I saw a video of Bruce Gilden walking around taking pictures, and while he does come off as kind of an asshole at least he has some pretty good pictures.
    This dude’s pictures are just awful.

    martin January 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm / Reply

    i have to say, i don’t like the work of bruce gilden, i think he’s just another thug with camera and flash ….although he is doing his thing for a long time, so he was able to put together some interesting pic….still i think, it is not very okay to fire flash into unsuspecting people at will and treat them like an objects just to get a picture…i think this is quite questionable approach….i prefer adam marelli’s way, sit somwhere relax and percieve your surrounding…and after while the picture will appear to you…

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