Where are you from and how did you get into street photography?
I’ve lived in Elche on the southwest coast of Spain since I was born. The first time I saw Alberto Verdi’s work, it sparked something in my head. He is an excellent family photographer in my region and does street photography work too.
You are really good at capturing complex, layered images. How do you do it? And how do you get so close to your subjects?
Oh, thank you. As I see it, the approach is about working the scene, looking at lights, framing over and over again until you find something interesting through the viewfinder. By contrast, I have to edit tons of images to get what might work out after the initial image captures. Regarding close-ups, avoiding eye contact is the key. I often move among crowds of tourists and locals. Normally, subjects I photograph aren’t aware that they are the main character, and I find that my results are better if they don’t realize it at all.
Are there any street photographers in particular that you draw inspiration from?
Sure thing! The biggest inspirations to me are Pinkhassov and Webb, whose work is always running through my mind every day. Books they have published are masterpieces. Anyone interested in learning photography and composition should have those at home.
Where is your favorite place to take photographs and why?
To be honest, anywhere would be a potential spot to come across intriguing scenes. Even in a mid-sized city like mine (Elche), I’ve still taken some pictures that I’m really proud of. There are plenty of summer events or special events like Easter where I can find a lot of colorful and lively places where people are enjoying and celebrating.
Nowadays, we’re inundated with street photographs. With feeds flooded with images, what do you think it takes to make a street photograph that’s truly interesting?
Some details such as filling the frame, avoiding cliches, or giving importance to corners must always be considered. Then including layers gives extra depth to the image by adding different points in order to lead the observer.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in street photography and how have you overcome them?
First of all, fighting against personal insecurities every time I would take the camera out with me. That issue was present throughout a lot of early practice. Simply going out, strolling, and taking shots has helped me gain self-confidence.
What is your most memorable moment or photo from street photography?
In a nutshell, it’s extremely tough to pick just one. I’ve taken a few that I return to from time to time.
This image is one of them. I was so lucky that day, and luck plays a crucial role in street photography sometimes. I could see some red shape coming towards me, then I ducked while pushing the button. As soon as I got home to my desktop, I knew I had taken a good shot.
This is so special too. I was walking by the shore at the beach when I saw a group of kids heading to the playground to climb. I thought I might get something engaging there, and I waited for it. What I liked the most was finding such different scenes from the same moment.
What has street photography taught you?
Speaking from personal experience, I’d say that living slower and finding that pace of things at work, with family, etc. Since I started strolling through my city with or without my camera, I’ve learned to find images where I didn’t before. I’ve taken up the habit of walking just for pleasure. The French call it being a flaneur.
Editor’s Note: Miguel Ángel Sarrias was born in 1977 on the Alicante coast of Spain. He’s been working as a public servant at city hall for the last 20 years. His flexible work schedule allows him to go out and take photos every week with his Fujifilm Xpro2. He enjoys combining photography with his other passions of music and water sports. To see more of Miguel’s work, be sure to visit his Flickr photostream and follow him on Instagram.
This photographer was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine), where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.