Faces of a Street

© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe
© Christopher O’Keefe

For his personal photo project during the eWorkshop earlier this year Christopher O’Keefe chose to go onto the street with his camera. He did a classical street photo essay. His intent was to make photographs along Elm Street – the main street – in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, USA to try to convey a sense of place. In so doing Christopher challenged his own inhibition of approaching people on the street – which anyone who has photographed on the street know is a very testing challenge. He did very well. Christopher has captured life as it unfolds on a couple of blocks on downtown Elm Street. His images show the many facets of the street life. Whether he captures a parade, a kid playing on the street or customers relaxing inside a café, Christopher does so with honesty and sincerity. He photographs people on or along Elm Street as the classical observing photographer; he lets the action unfold without interrupting and captures its essence at its revealing moment. For more of his photo from the street project have a look at Christopher’s blog.


48 thoughts on “Faces of a Street

    1. Christopher very successfully conveys the emotions of the people seen and photographed along Elm Street! Thank you for the introduction, Otto!

  1. Very inspiring to see the work of your workshop participants! Christopher is presenting his street with a lot of atmosphere and nice stories, we like it! 🙂

  2. so my question is – since he was in a public situation did he bet the permission of his photographic subjects to post their images on the internet – this is not a trick question but something I have been wondering about. if you shoot in a public place, where there is “no reasonable expectation of privacy” do you need permission to post the shots?

    1. Only Chris can answer what he did. My approach is generally that I don’t need to ask permission in a public place. I often go so close, though, that it would be impolite not to, simply because there is no way the people I am photographing will be unaware of my presence. On the other hand if I do take pictures candidly on the street, I don’t ever ask permission.

    2. Hello: I did both depending on the situation. In the cigar shop, I entered, asked if I could make photos and ended up having a nice conversation with the men seated in the barber chair smoking cigars. The bicycle riders and the girl jumping were candids. In the US, if you are in a public street, my understanding is that it is fair game to have your image made without your permission as long as it is not used to sell something. Here is a link to an online article on the topic http://www.photocoachpro.com/home/-photograph-strangers-without-permission. Cheers – Chris

  3. Christopher, one of the ways I overcame most (not all) of my fear of photographing strangers in public was concentrating mostly on conveying not just the story of the community but my personal heartfelt love for that community.

    Nice work!

    1. Thank you – They are barber’s chairs. Behind them, but out of frame, they also have a row os show shine chairs. It’s an interesting place worthy of a photo essay of its own.

  4. A great slice of Americana…I could come back to these shots often and feel as if I am reveling in a story of a small and brilliant township ~ backbone of the USA.

  5. I want to thank everyone for their feedback and ideas. As a new photographer, it is very encouraging to hear that others enjoy these photographs and to have exchanges about the challenges of street photography. A special thank you to Otto for his patient teaching, insightful feedback and the kind words he wrote above. Cheers – Christopher

  6. I enjoyed watching Christopher’s progress as he struggled with difficult lighting and sometimes unpredictable people. His photo essay comes together really nicely.

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