How did you get into street photography?
I got into street photography as a way to escape my routine. I signed up for a basic photography course and soon I was hooked on the street photography genre. In fact, it became a real vice for me. I was going out every day to shoot, posting photos to social media networks, watching documentaries, looking at web pages and blogs, going to expos, reading books, EVERYTHING. Later, that initial intensity waned, but street photography is still my favorite pastime.
I love your beach shots. The beach has a lot of interesting challenges when it comes to photography – what are your biggest challenges, how do you overcome them?
Wow, thanks. I read the advice so many times, “just be yourself” that I was convinced that hitting the streets and trying to play Martin Parr wouldn’t get me anywhere. But, life always has some good surprises up her sleeve…it’s a huge pleasure to appear in a magazine dedicated to street photography.
I think that the challenges on the beach aren’t much different from the challenges I face on the street.
One challenge can be getting close to people, though on very busy beaches, it isn’t that difficult. Personally, I like simple photos (without too many elements) and sometimes this can be achieved by looking for the best perspective and then raising or lowering the camera to capture it.
But the goal that is always on my mind at the beach is to keep my camera safe from sunscreen and sand or water from the waves that gets tossed up by the wind.
What makes beach “street” photography so interesting?
I think that what makes it interesting is the simple fact that it is less common than the kind of street photography you see being created in big cities. In the small amount of time that I was able to practice it, I really enjoyed the experience. I would definitely do it again. People are on vacation and so they are more relaxed, not as defensive. It surrounds you all the time, that feel-good atmosphere.
Where is your favorite place to shoot street photography and why?
I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite place to shoot, but that it’s what I’ve got. But thanks to photography, I really fell in love with the city. I like wandering around its streets without a destination. If I had to choose a favorite place, I’d say I prefer places where more people are concentrated, such as train, bus or metro stations. Places where it’s easier to go unnoticed.
What is your most memorable photo or moment from street photography?
How could I forget the beautiful sensation of having gotten what I considered my first street photograph? I was so happy, my adrenaline was completely maxed out. I immediately uploaded the photo to Flickr and right away got several likes and comments. So I took a printed copy to my photography class and I displayed it in on the tabletop, feeling pretty confident and sure of myself. As I expected, I received words and gestures of approval. I thought I should explain that the person in the photo was actually my wife, but when I did, the teacher busted out laughing – she couldn’t stop. Her laughter was contagious and soon the rest of the students were cracking up too, as was I. Trying to give further explanations about how the photo came about was useless. After a few jokes the teacher tried to continue with the class, but it was impossible to stop laughing. At that point, the satisfaction I felt for my first “street photo” was pretty much crushed.
In the next class, with a little more seriousness, she brought several photos to class. They were famous photos, highly esteemed, that were thought to have been staged or edited by the photographers.
What have you learned from street photography?
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything really important from street photography, but what’s for sure is that I enjoy it very much and it’s good for me. It helps me know myself better. Ever since I started walking around with my camera, I am more aware of my surroundings and people. I try not to disparage any moment and I try to be open to surprises and to the beauty of everyday life.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Claudio and see more of his work, be sure to visit his Flickr photostream. This photographer was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine), where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.