All Images (c) Alvin Valentierra
The art of street and urban landscape photography is often strenuous and lonely, and for the most part unrewarding from a monetary standpoint. So why are these styles so popular among newbies? If I had to guess, being a newbie myself, I would say it is partly due to Instagram and the fact that all it really requires is a camera. No fancy equipment needed, just you, your camera and the streets. I also feel that it is a great way to learn what type of photography one would be interested in, you come across so many characters and situations on the street that you start to learn what your eye is attracted to. Whether that is fashion, architecture or events, it's all out there on the streets. Maybe my perception is slightly skewed because I live in New York City and we have a bit of everything going on. I like to shoot when I'm feeling less than great, because shooting makes me happy. It's my form of therapy and my way of expressing myself freely. You can usually tell how I'm feeling by the amount of time I'm spending shooting.
I tend not to shoot as much when I'm feeling joyful, unless I'm feeling extremely inspired by something or someone. I believe the best art comes from some sort of pain or feeling of anxiety, and I've had a hell of a year and as a result I have produced some of my best work to date. Though I am still relatively a newbie and my best is yet to come. For me there is no better feeling than leaving my apartment blasting my headphones and roaming the streets for hours on end taking pictures and coming back home and viewing what I captured. Though more often than not the results are not great, but when I capture that perfect moment it makes it all worth it.
Whenever I tell people I do photography the first question that often follows is, what type of photography do you do? I reluctantly respond with I'm a street and urban landscape photographer, only because I hate to label myself artistically. Yes, they are my preferred types of photography, and yes, much of my best work has come from both street and urban landscape photography. However, I feel that I am capable of much more, and let's be honest, this type of photography does not pay the bills. To this date none of my current clients reached out to me requesting some street and urban landscape shots. I just haven't been that lucky thus far. I do it for completely selfish reasons, I just want to capture beauty how I see it, and if people appreciate it that's a bonus. So If I ever asked to photograph you just know that I saw your beauty and I wanted to capture it. I'm not trying to change the world with my photography. I just want to add more images to look at when I get older, to which I can reminisce over.