As mentioned before, I went to Eric Kim’s Street Photography Master Workshop in NYC. Eric Kim is a well-known photographer who also infuses his own philosophy into his work. (Check out his site! He has a plethora of free information.)
So, when he was hosting a workshop close to my home, I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and learn from the Master.
So, this is my overall impression of the master workshop:
1.) Where We Met
So, several other photographers and I met outside of Culture Espresso. Before that, I was a bit intimidated and I considered bailing out. But, it’s a good thing that I didn’t because I had a wonderful time and learned a lot.
2.) The Other Photographers
So, while these other photographers were kind, I kind of wish that there were more women who pursued this type of photography.
Anyway, we were a varied bunch. Some were studying at universities while others pursued this as a passion. Yet we all came together because of our love for photography.
3). The Assignments
Assignment #1: Layering and Rows of 3s
After the brief meet and greet, we paired off with each other. First, I paired off with the Master Eric Kim. While I was a bit intimidated hanging out with a pro, he was pretty chill and friendly. The first assignment involved photographing in rows of 3s and layering.
He gave me a bunch of pro-tips that I still keep in mind today:
- Engage with your targets/subjects.
- Don’t be afraid to be right in their faces.
- For candid shots, walk slowly and don’t make eye contact.
- Make a street photography music playlist. You can either listen to it with headphones or not.
“I believe that music should be shared,” he told me.
(Er, I don’t know if I’m yet comfortable blasting high-pitched k-pop music out loud by the public library.)
After the first assignment, we re-grouped in a cafe and talked about what we learned while some of us shoved sandwiches down our throats.
Assignment #2: Manual Focusing
Following that, we were paired off again and with a new partner. This time we photographed using 1.0 meters with manual focusing. So, that was really tough to do because we had no idea what was going on.
But once again, we just snapped and snapped away.
Assignment #3: Getting a Stranger’s Photo
After about another hour, we regrouped again and were given a new assignment and a new partner.
For this assignment, we had to get at least five people to say “yes” and five people to say “no” to being photographed.
This became my favorite assignment because I’ve enjoyed doing the 100 Strangers Project in the past.
While asking a stranger for his or her photo can be a daunting task, it’s still fun and it definitely boosts your confidence. And plus you get to meet some interesting people.
In the end, we ended up getting more “yes” than “no.”
The only downside to Eric Kim’s Street Photography Master Workshop was that it was too short. Maybe it would have been better to have had another day.
But, I’m so thankful for this experience. I had the chance to meet other photographers and I further engaged my senses. I think it also further built up my confidence in taking photos of people (which I’ve always enjoyed) both in a candid and permitted situation.
Have you done a photography workshop before? What’s the most challenging thing about street photography?
I hope you’re well. And keep on shooting photos! (: