I am not sure which came first, being nosey or an interest in ‘street photography’, but a fascination with people and the way they live their lives is why I enjoy the business so much.
I can’t hide behind lights and technology, I am reliant on a small camera, patience and lots of optimism. But what I get in return is the chance to make an honest picture which people know immediately is a genuine moment and which hopefully burrows deep into their memories. (All photos copyright Matt Stuart 2015)
How long have you been shooting on the street? 18 years.
What film camera do you use? I use a Leica MP with a 35mm f1.4 Leica Summilux lens
What film do you use? Fuji Superia 200/400
How many rolls of film do you use a week? At least three rolls a day. I never go out of the house without my camera.
Do you use digital? Yes I do, for commercial work.
What digital camera do you use? I use a Leica M240 & Canon EOS 5D mk 3
Do you stage or digitally manipulate your photographs? No, I spend a great deal of time walking the streets trying to capture moments. The only photographs on my website that are staged or digitally manipulated are the photographs clearly labeled as ‘adverts’ in the commissioned section.
Who are your photographic influences? Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Leonard Freed and Tony Ray-Jones
Did you learn photography at college? No, I assisted a photographer for 3 years.
Do you need an assistant? I don’t work with an assistant on the street, for commercial work I already have an assistant.
Do you have a book of your photography available? I am working on a book of photographs taken in London. I hope to have this published before Christmas 2015.
Do you run into any trouble taking photographs of strangers? Very rarely. I have learned to be quick and discreet photographing in public. If I am ever stopped or asked about what I am doing, I try to be polite and move on as quickly as possible.
What advice would you give to someone starting in street photography? Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes, have a camera around your neck at all times, keep your elbows in, be patient, optimistic and don’t forget to smile.