Street Style: Model, SoHo

Model on Street, SoHo, NYC © Brandie Raasch

In my previous post I mentioned that I was working on doing some more street style photography. It seems like something that should be quite easy and yet isn’t really at all. For one thing, on a given day you may only see one person who really makes you want to stop and photograph them. For another, where you shoot the photo may not always be the most ideal setting. If any of you follow The Sartorialist or Garance Doré, you may have noticed that for the most part, the photos always seem to be rather picturesque, devoid of too many distractions inthe background such as passersby, cars or construction. How they manage to accomplish that in a city such as New York City, I simply don’t know. Most of the time I’ve gone out to try to photograph, I’m stopping people on the street and the background is rarely my ideal backdrop.

So, thinking about this particular problem, I decided to play with the idea of digital backdrop substitution. While out shooting one day I captured a street in SoHo, empty aside from parked cars. The above photo is actually a combination of the SoHo street shot and model, Erin Wasson. I actually just happened to see her that day, and again the next day on the Lower East Side. I was a little intimidated to ask her if I could take a photo of her at the time so I waited until she passed me and shot the above. Which originally looked like this:

Model and Dog, SoHo, NYC © Brandie Raasch

As you can see, this sidewalk shot is not as appealing as the cobblestone street combo shot. Of course this sort of manipulation isn’t something I normally do for street style photographs, but you can see from this example the difference the setting of the photo can really make for the overall impact of the photo.

What do you think? Do you care about the background or are you all about the actual style that’s featured? Do you prefer “pretty” street style images or would you rather see them exactly as shot?


About Brandie

I'm a freelance photographer based in Paris.
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3 Responses to Street Style: Model, SoHo

  1. Allison says:

    I could tell that the model was pasted into the street shot and really, I enjoy the actual shot more. It brings the feel of street photography, which isn’t supposed to be posed or set up in my opinion.

  2. Martine says:

    I like the real shot. I think the cobblestone street loses something. I like the “distractions” and I think the railings in the real picture add interest, and frame her well. Frankly, even if you couldn’t tell it was a paste job, the put together photo would be dull. Trust that people like to see what goes on in the background. It tells its own picture. I think you are missing the whole point of street style photos. They are supposed to be spontaneous. The real photo you took was great.

    • Brandie says:

      Thanks Martine, I appreciate your honesty and you make a good point. I agree that street style photos are supposed to be spontaneous, and I only did the editing on this particular photo to see the difference. I think it’s interesting how different street style photographers view the work. For example, I look at The Face Hunter and The Sartorialist both, and they both present different styles of street photography. The Face Hunter, to me, has a much more spontaneous feel, and doesn’t seem to be concerned with the background. Looking at his photos, it feels as though they were truly stopped right there on the street where they were spotted and he snapped the photos. However, again in my opinion, The Sartorialist’s street photography feels less spontaneous and is clearly interested in an overall attractive photo not just an attractive person or clothing, the background often seems to matter, and in fact I know that he sometimes takes a person to a different location or asks to meet them later at a specific location to take a photo rather than snapping one on the spot. So, I was merely toying with these ideas. Thanks for reading!

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