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:
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?