When and why did you first start taking street photos?
I started out with street photography in the mid 1960s, although then, it wasn’t really clear to me what street photography meant. I discovered early and was inspired by photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Tony Ray-Jones and many more. Since I was interested in photographing people, these photographers were great role models for me.
How has your secular career as a photographer affected your street photography?
My street images have definitely been influenced by my experience as a press photographer. To work as a press photographer means you must be able to quickly understand situations and incidents.
You have to to go near the people and moments you are photographing. There is no place for shyness and that has been of great use for me in my street photography.
I love your series of roller skating images from the 70s in Venice Beach. Can you tell us a little about the scene. How you came across it? What it was like? What you were shooting with?
I lived a few years in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s. I worked as a freelance photographer for various Swedish magazines. Venice Beach known for its eccentricities was a paradise for a photographer. There were roller skaters and lots of quirky characters. I was often there for my own pleasure, but also on assignments for various magazines.
As someone who has taken street shots for decades – what kind of social impact do you think street photography has? Why is it important?
The impact of street photography can be different depending on the photographer. Each photographer has to find his own path. For me street photography is to document life and to capture the rapidly passing moment that for many of us goes unnoticed. I just like to show my vision of the world and I don’t think my pictures can change the society.
What has street photography taught you?
Photography has given me connection with people both as a press photographer and street photographer. I am and always will be curious about human beings and humanity. Street photography taught me about people and their behavior. I just love walking the street observing people.
Any advice for the newbies?
I quote Elliot Erwitt one of my favorite photographers: “f8 and be there”
For more amazing images from this veteran street photographer, give Lasse’s Flickr photostream a follow.