STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

As a street photographer, bliss is when I capture the right moment. Sometimes a shot feels right, but I must be content to savor the anticipation until I confirm it on my monitor.

In street photography one must be ready for the “moment” shot or the “context” shot. The moment shot usually is a scene taken in an instant – no setup, little framing. You are capturing the spontaneous, the instant which tells a story on its own. But sometimes I will come up on a scene with all my check boxes ticked. The surroundings are part of the story, the composition is there, it is organic and there is a captivating person in the story. People are at the heart of street photography, so I try to work in both modes and flow with the situation. 

Photographing people can be tricky; some people are camera shy and others love the attention. As you try to figure it out you may lose the moment or lose spontaneity. A street photographer cannot be shy – and those that know me would not call me shy. If you want spontaneous, candid shots often you must shoot and ask later.

In an urban environment, when I observe a captivating subject, I use a mixed approach. First, I remain discrete and take a quick series of spontaneous photos. But often I want more. At this point I will ask for the shot. I approach and ask the subject for a photo. This is when it gets tricky because inevitably after the subject agrees that is ok to take their photograph, they get very self-conscious (which is natural). Between their tension and awkwardness, I must work fast and use my magic to make them feel special. I must create an environment which helps them return to normal. I am not going to pose them. I must work on disappearing and making sure the subject is not focused on the camera. I begin to choreograph the photo in my lens, moving and viewing all at the same time, holding the camera in front of me so I can see the entire scene. Some call it shooting from the hip. Believe me, it takes practice.

I want the most natural shot possible. So, I move away from my subject and give them their space and they can breathe and go about their business. I try to disappear and capture the moment of my subject. All the while I pay attention to them by talking to them about my interest in their work or activity, and as I reassure them it becomes easier for them. Within minutes they are relaxed, and I am shooting as they go about their day.

I hope this will give you some insight into my background, my experiences and my thoughts on fine art photography. I hope this will help me better connect with my audience and my potential clients. Will be great to hear your comments.

Raye

OPENING MY GALLERY

For months my world has been a blur of tasks and long days as I worked to build my gallery. 

The vision of the business model - unique niche - licenses - gallery space - contracts - registrations - state and local sales permits - planning-  design - remodeling - paint- lighting - furnishings - WIFI - more paint - logo- signage - more planning- more permits - point of sale hardware and software -  e-commerce site - chamber of commerce - meetings with artists - curating - venders - printing - framing - mounting a show - March soft opening - thankful for my husband - more planning - launching…. I am dizzy. I am tired. I am excited and energized.

 

MY GALLERY IS OPEN

The Decision

October seems like a long time ago. When I returned from a photo shoot in Paris my friend Patrice, owner of the Fare Bella Art Gallery, approached me about leasing gallery space. This triggered an avalanche of thinking and creative flow. It just seemed right. My background prepared me well for curating art; I have a strong independent streak which predisposes me to control my own art channels; I love interaction with clients, collectors and artist and finally I have built an enormous portfolio of fine art photography which cries out to be exhibited. It was not a difficult decision. 

Location

In the summer of 66 I spent a month living in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I fell in love with this mountain town and its eccentric art community. I decided then and there I would be an artist and that I would return to Manitou. Decades later here I am in my boutique art gallery in Manitou Springs Art District. I have located with 2 other art galleries and an art studio, the Galleries at Ruxton Creek. It is a serene space which allows each piece of art to speak and then invites discussion.

My Niche

In planning my gallery, I decided to focus on Fine Art Photography. More specifically, I decided to seek out Fine Art Photography created by artists. Photography may seem ubiquitous, but fine Art Photography has a special place as a powerful, often beautiful, art form and it merits a curated, focused attention and presentation. I look forward to sharing my thought about this in my next blogs. 

Curating

A gallery’s longevity and success in attracting collectors and other clients is built on the owner/artist’s ability to curate art and to attract an excellent stable of artist. Perhaps more that anything, I am excited to embark on this journey. I believe that my background as an artist and interior designer and my decades of experience in he field have prepared me for this. The mix will eclectic but always high quality. 

Symbiosis

My gallery is not just the bricks and mortar Raye’s Gallery at Ruxton Creek in Manitou Springs, it is also my new on-line gallery Raye Images www.rayeimages.com where my e-commerce presence allows me and my invited artists to project nationally and internationally. These two halves of my gallery work together in a symbiotic relationship. I invite you to surf through my site and if you are in the area come visit me at 16 Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs.

Raye