Yanidel is a famous Street Photographer, currently living in Switzerland. Here we got a great opportunity to chat with him. Hope you guys will really enjoy this interview. Thanks to Yanick for his wonderful time and please follow his website for regular tips and updates about Street Photography.
How did you choose Street Photography?
I never really chose it, I think it was the city of Paris that brought it to me. Indeed, while wandering for long hours in its streets, I started noticing scenes that I soon felt compelled to record. And since Paris is one of the hotbeds of street photography, I was able to educate myself on it very quickly by visiting the numerous museums and exhibits on the topic.
Can you share us about your project 80 Weeks around the world ?
It was born from a need to discover the world and the intent to document it through street photography. I quit my job, bought a round the world ticket with my girlfriend, and simply hit the road. Regarding street photography, my main goal was to post a daily picture from wherever we were located that, but to also write articles on technique, gear and interviews of photographers I met on the way.
How was the experience so far ?
Actually, we have just returned home a couple of months ago. It was a wonderful adventure, one of a lifetime. In terms of photography, I found it extremely challenging to apply my personal style to the different countries. The people, the environment, the light, the cultural aspects change so much from one country to the other that is was very difficult to keep some consistency and coherence in my pictures. I hope nevertheless that I will be able to edit my archive of the trip into a book that will be able to convey the spirit of this trip.
What would you usually look for on a street to capture ?
I look for scenes that have a good balance of content and shape. In my opinion, a picture is never good just because the subject is interesting. And to the opposite, a great composition does not make a good picture either, you definitely need both. In terms of content, I am especially attracted by scenes with a strong lyrical potential, though I also like to pull in some humor and mystery. In terms of composition, I often play with thin depths of field and selective colors, trying to mimick my failing memory.
How do you make the people in your pictures look so settled and calm?
I just smile and act in a way that that makes them feel I am just taking a picture. This being said, my goal is always to get a candid picture so it is better if I do not get spotted. If I do not succeed at it, then I’ll interact with my subjects and make them understand that I have no bad intentions. In street photography, the less you hide and act normal, the better will be the reactions.
Few words on benefits of using Leica M9 for your kind of photography?
The benefits of the Leica M9 are not so much related to the camera being a Leica, but to the rangefinder mechanism. I love the optical viewfinder and the frame lines that allow you to anticipate what comes in and out of your picture. I also believe that its great manual focus capability is what makes it one of the best tool for street photography. This being said, the M9 is capable of producing an amazing image quality and it does also contribute to the look of my pictures.
Your Pictures are known for excellent colors and vibrancy, any reason behind sticking with this style of presentation?
Historically, and perhaps also nowadays, most of street photography has been shot in B&W. I love B&W, but I simply see the world in colors and enjoy particularly playing with them. I also believe that it is important for a street photographer to reach a style that can be associated to his work. There are millions of pictures posted daily, having a recognizable style definitely helps standing out.
One Funny incident on street with a Photograph?
Once in Paris, I was taking a couple of snaps of a terrace. Suddenly a man looked at me in fear and rushed away from his table. When reviewing the shot, I realized he was a famous French actor. The poor guy probably had mistaken me for a paparazzi and feared to end up in a people’s magazine.
For Yanick what does it take to make a perfect street photograph?
I don’t know, perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. A picture will generate such a wide array of reactions that I doubt there is a general recipe for it. This being said, it is often the picture which are technically imperfect that end up making History.
So far in your journey which was your favorite destination and could you please justify it ?
Myanmar because it is one of the only country (together with Cuba) which has kept relatively untouched by the Western world. Most people there still live like 50 years ago, and while I do understand their aspiration for development, it is just a great place for street photographers. Add to it thousands of years of history and the friendliness of its people, Myanmar is a must go destination.
According to Yanick, what are the essential qualities/gear a Street photographer must have ?
A street photographer basically needs a lot of time to hunt the streets. There is no secret, good scenes don’t come up often so if you are not out on the street, the best gear will be of no use. This being said, I guess that some talent, curiosity and vision is needed to turn these scenes into good pictures.
- What is your idea of happiness?
Not to worry about the future.
- What is your greatest fear?
To ever regret things I did not do. And snakes.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having already lived in so many different countries during my life.
- Where would you like to live?
Tuscany, it’s got it all.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
I am very tall, which makes it difficult to be a stealthy street photographer.And stubborn.
- What do you most appreciate in your friends?
Faithfulness throughout the years.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
I don’t have heroes, only people I admire.
- What is Love?
A song sung by Haddaway ?
- Who are your favorite authors?
John Steinbeck, simple words to depict simple facts of life, just how I’d like my street photography to be.
- What is your favorite motto?
Thanks again for this wonderful interview with 121clicks, any final thoughts for street photography aspirants?
Be persistent. You’ll shoot thousands of lousy pictures during the first couple of years, but the only way to learn is being out there shooting and learning from your mistakes.
You can find Yanidel on the Web :
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Yanidel. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.