I feel relaxed among strangers in a crowd. My guard is down, my mind is open; I observe, and my gut feeling takes me places. I am fully susceptible to my surroundings as the street itself allows me, for just a fraction of a second, to connect with someone else’s story.
There is a reason there are no titles in my work—my relationship with the street is very private. Words often distort the meaning of “candid,” turning it into “posed,” and pauperizing the freedom that is crucial to my experience of the street in the first place. I never communicate with the people in my pictures, and yet the impromptu moments that I capture unveil, with spontaneous, tender finesse, the vernacular of my subjects.
My emotional attachment is usually present in every shot, making it rather difficult to encapsulate my images with a single phrase. It’s as if I’m trying to accommodate the viewer’s perception and influencing the way they will “digest” the picture in front of them. Rather, I let my pictures speak for themselves.
My protagonist is always the street itself, where the only things that meet your expectations are the fine details of the surrounding environment, like a geometry of light, a reflection, a facial expression tackled by wind, a pose framed by color—in other words, a sentiment.
As an example, a few years ago I took a picture of a red bus in London at night. It was late, cold and grim. I was on my way back home, feeling tired and a bit disappointed, as I had spent several hours shooting in the cold street. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a red double-decker bus full of light, balloons and celebrations appeared. I immediately took a few shots and instinctively stepped towards the bus to better see the people’s faces. In that moment, the girl on the bus turned her head and looked outside. I will never know what her mood was and what she was thinking about. I can imagine many stories about that bus, but what I felt personally during those seconds was hope. A notion of tangible happiness.
You never know when your red bus full of light and celebration will drive down your street, but the hope is that sooner or later, it will.
If you’re interested in seeing more work like this, we’d recommend the following articles: La Calle, Alex Webb’s photographs of the vibrant streets and unseen corners of Mexico’s human landscapes; Time, Patience, Repetition, an interview with Matt Stuart about the crucial traits all street photographers should practice; and Up All Night on the Streets of Paris, unstaged, dystopian photographs that take their cue from George Orwell’s 1984.