My journey began as my first kid was born—it was just then that I bought my first camera.

I love the streets and my relationship with the environment: the pets I photograph, the sounds, the smells. There are so many kinds of stories to tell. At any given moment, there’s another story unfolding, and I want to capture as many of them as I can.

I like to use different kinds of photographic techniques: shooting with flash, long exposures. Anything that allows me to freeze the action. I realized quickly what a powerful tool photography is and what an amazing way it is for me to express myself.

Inspiration is everywhere—though Martin Parr is my greatest inspiration. From the moment I discovered his work, I never stopped admiring him.

Every day brings new surprises, good and bad. The one thing I try to do every time I’m on the street is get as close as I can to the scene. That, I feel, is the most effective way to help the viewer connect to the photograph.

I live, and shoot, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

—Ilan Burla

Editors’ note: The first image in this series was chosen as the 3rd Place, Single Image Winner in the Street Photography Awards 2017. Burla entered the competition with a free entry, and we’re so excited to learn more about his work! See all of the inspiring work from the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks in the winners’ gallery.