Interview: Martin Meijer
This month’s featured artist is martinmeijer. A street photographer from Europe!
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City and country where you live
- How you started with street photography?
I have attended the Amsterdam School of Graphic Design and I’m a very visual orientated person. I never worked as a graphic designer so I got a degree in HR and Management. My career then took another path. I think I got the love for photography from my father. He made lots of photos and slides. I started to photograph as a teenager. Later in my life I had periods with more and sometimes less time for photography. But it was always there.
I started with street photography a few years ago because I was fascinated by things I saw on the street. I always thought it would be nice to have a camera built into my eyes to capture the things I see :). The dream of every street photographer.
- Why street photography?
I like street photography because of the thrill. You are always on a hunt. Looking for something interesting. That can be many things, form, composition, content, human interaction, etc. I’m always curious about what will there be beyond the corner. The street is full of surprises. Sometimes you walk straight to an interesting scene, sometimes you have to wait until the right elements come together. But I like the quick snapshot, the direct response to capture a scene. I like the speed and the fastness of street photography the most. It gives you an adrenaline boost. It can be addictive too :)
But I have to confess that I don’t consider myself a full blooded street photographer. I have interest in so many other aspects of photography. But hey, this interview is about street photography.
- What and/or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by many photographers. Of course I have seen most of the big names. The one I want to name here specifically though, is Daido Moriyama. The man makes great pictures of course, but for me it was very liberating to see how he edited his photos. I was a bit old school with no blown highlights and hence, keeping the gray tones well balanced.
- How often do you go out to capture moments?
I try to go out once a week to go to the city and shoot. I’m not compulsive, at least not anymore, I can wait a few weeks and then go out to shoot.
- What do you look for when you go out on the streets?
It all depends on my mood, the way I’m feeling and how I see the world.
- Do you interact with your subjects?
I very rarely interact with my subjects. Most of my snapshots are taken in stealth mode. I shoot from the hip. If I compose a shot then I will look through the viewfinder to check my composition. But for the raw street photography I just point and shoot.
OK sometimes people would notice it, then I put my thumb up and smile, and in 99% of the cases this works really good. If you interact with people before you take the shot you’re ruining it. People will always act different when they know I’ll take their picture. Sometimes I like the character very much, so first I try to photograph her/him without their knowledge, then I would ask for a portrait, one with a smile and one without. I always keep interaction for a street portrait so I can pick the right moments.
- Do you consider that street portraiture could be a way to make you feel more at ease while in the streets?