Be smart about street

There’s a very informative and insightful article by Nick Turpin on his blog about how to translate your street photography success into an income stream. Well worth a read, and of course accompanied by some of the very very clever images that Nick is renowned for. One caveat: don’t expect to get rich quick by this particular career route.

“I have often stated that I consider Street Photography to be the least commercial form of image making and yet I have made a good living for over twenty years from having a portfolio of Street Photographs. I thought I would explain a little about how I have managed to translate what I do on the streets into a commercially applicable form.
The main issue with Street Photography is that it deals with the ‘real’ and very little commissioned photography portrays reality in the raw. Most commercial photography deals in retouched fantasy or specifically polishes reality to make it into an aspirational ‘super reality’. The commercial photographer typically employs the dark arts of photography and post production to make the world look more colourful, more beautiful, brighter and purchasable.”

Where can we fit into this as Street Photographers?

“I won’t lie to you, very few of us do fit in, if you exclude doing workshops, I can literally think of three Street Photographers who work regularly doing observational photography for commercial clients and that is worldwide! This means that if you aspire to joining this small group you are going to have to have a very special and unique eye as well as being able to handle the business side that all photographers have to face, promotion, quoting, understanding a brief, production, working with an agency team and meeting a deadline. You will need to be able to adapt your personal work to the legal, technical and creative requirements of the Advertising and Design industries.”

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

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