The title “H-O-P-S-C-O-T-C-H” refers to the common street game in which children outline and number a series of rectangles on the ground and hop between them, tossing a small object. Once they select and frame it, that small piece of ordinary pavement becomes—in their eyes—something else: earth, heaven, etc. Similarly, for me, street photography consists of choosing and framing a small portion of the everyday in such a way that it too can become something else. It is basically a game of observation, imagination and chance that allows me to be more attuned to my everyday—and, at the same time, escape from its limitations.
My approach to street photography is very intuitive, and I’ve always preferred to let my work grow freely, without me forcing any direction or theme. I like to give it room to breathe and develop on its own, organically. That means I don’t work on projects or series; this group of photos should be seen just as a collection of frozen instants, a snapshot, a changing body of work that’ll always be in progress.
This way of working often makes me feel like I’m not totally in control; I feel almost as if I am another spectator. There is a necessary dissociation between my intuition, which leads me to take a photo, and reason, which just follows along. But regardless of whether instinct or rationality is paramount, street photography has always required an immense amount of time—hard work and long hours collecting the small pieces of a puzzle in order to create a bigger picture that is still unclear to me. Is there, actually, a bigger picture?
One common trait that probably glues all the pieces together is the strong sense of playfulness always present in my work. I don’t just practice street photography—I play with it. It’s a game for me, albeit an important one; a game that takes ordinary, daily lives as a canvas and offers a more elastic reality in which the familiar and the fantastic can coexist. It’s a game of repetition, too, of persistence and patience that has me hopping back and forth from frame to frame and traveling the same streets over and over, day after day, in an exciting loop of creativity and chance.
Our Street Photography Awards are open for entries! Discover all the members of our distinguished international jury and see the various prizes, including an exhibition in Arles, France this summer and publication in our upcoming photobook, “The Best of LensCulture, Volume 3.”