Shoot a lot, walk a lot, shoot some more, keep shooting.
I digest many blogs with similar interview sections and I frequently end up taking something valuable away from them, therefore these Q&A’s have a clear objective in mind; to get more of an understanding of how other street photographers think, how they work and where they find their own inspiration.
I was delighted that Yuri Rasin agreed to be the first interviewee here, a street photographer who I was introduced to via Twitter and who has more recently been included in the top 115 most influential street photographers on Street Hunters.net.
What was noticeable to me about Yuri is how active he is across social media and his overall enthusiasm for street photography really stood out, helping to run a StreetChat group and a weekly #MondayMasters inspirational theme that just so happened to get Erik Kim’s approval recently, so I highly recommend taking a look at his work and what he’s up to.
Tell me about yourself Yuri. Where are you from and what do you do for a living?
I’m originally from Almaty (Kazakhstan), at present I live in Montpellier, France. I work in an Italian Traditional Pizzeria, the rest of my time goes to my family and photography.
When did you first get into photography and particularly what led you to Street Photography?
I’ve enjoyed taking pictures or making videos for as long as I remember but never got into it seriously until about 3 years ago. I got myself a DSLR and started learning, reading everything about Digital Photography and how you “need” the best and the most expensive gear in order to make money and turn Pro… Months later I stumbled upon Eric Kim’s blog where I found lots of inspirational and educational articles about Masters of photography etc. Following his blog and shooting more and more I realised — I found my true passion and creative output.
In your own words, what is Street Photography to you?
Creating something beautiful out of nothing
-Truly experiencing life around you and appreciating the little things
Who’s your favourite photographer and how do they inspire you?
Its really hard to pick just one. I love the artistic and poetic approach of Gueorgui Pinkhassov and also admire the work of Matt Stuart and his ability to capture unbelievable street scenes.
What camera(s) do you own and what do you take with you when shooting on the streets?
I own a Canon 650D with a 24mm (38mm full frame equiv.) on it. I also shoot on my smartphone at times. Hope to get a more compact camera like Fujifilm 100S 100T one day as carrying a bulky DSLR gets in the way at times.
What camera settings do you favour?
I mostly shoot with P mode. This allows me to focus on composing, catching good light and telling a story. In low light situations I’d use Manual and find the settings that would suit me.
I see from your photos that you shoot around 50% colour and 50% black and white. Is that fair to say, do you have a preference and how do you make that decision?
Good question. I shoot in colour most of the time. However while editing in Lightroom, I see images that would only work in B&W. You kind of know which images they are when you actually shoot. Having said that, I do share both b&w and colour work.
Are you working towards any particular style of photography?
No. I try different things as I go along. I think it will come naturally.
You’ve lived in a number of countries, which is your favourite for street photography and why?
The only regret I have is that I haven’t started street photography earlier (when I lived in those countries), it would have been fun as these countries are very contrasting. I’ll hold this question for after I go visit there again :)
You do a weekly Street Chat and #MondayMasters on Twitter, tell us more about that.
I’m glad you asked. It’s all part of a little online community of photo enthusiasts that Chris J Wilson from www.streetto.gs and I kicked off together a few months ago. On weekends we organise a Twitter chat, using #Streetchat hashtag where street photographers of any levels can jump in and connect. The topic and the meeting time is chosen beforehand and a live discussion takes place. Its great to connect with other photogs, share opinions, experiences and learn some things.
Also during the weekends we take turns and nominate a master of photography. On Monday everyone shares their point of view, lessons they’ve learnt, and a favourite photograph from the Master. Anyone can join, find us on Twitter with #Mondaymasters hashtag :)
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone new to street photography that you have learned along the way?
Shoot a lot, walk a lot, shoot some more, keep shooting. Will have to add another crucial advice — study the masters!
What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or plans?
I have a couple of long term projects that took off last year as well as few ongoing projects. The important thing is to keep busy. Apart from that I do enjoy blogging and connecting with photogs around the world online with possible collaborations in mind.
A possible mini exhibition at the end of this year is also on my mind.
Finally, where can we view more of your work?
On my main website — www.yurirasin.com
My blog — https://yurirasin.wordpress.com/
Instagram — @yurirasin
Flickr — https://www.flickr.com/photos/yurivalerie/