Becky Frances is from South East England. She moved to London in 2012 to pursue passion for street photography. She studied photography at college when she was 17 but stopped taking pictures for a long while.
I became a contributor of a website in 2006 and began taking photos again with my camera phone. I entered a landscape shot into a national competition and received a highly commended image award and was exhibited at the National Theatre on London's South Bank
I decided that I would like to take photography more seriously and bought a Fuji bridge camera. I started travelling to London on a regular basis, left the landscape photography behind and wandered the streets of East London taking portraits of my daughter and nephew.
Eventually, they became tired of modelling for me and I started to photograph people on the streets of London instead.
I moved to London and bought a Canon 450d and a long lens to go with it. I spent a lot of time walking around and aiming my long lens at people from a distance. Although I liked some of the results at the time, I felt as though I was too distant from my subjects and missed the rush of adrenalin I got when I had to get up close with my camera phone.
With advice from fellow photographers on Flickr, I bought an Olympus OMD-E5 which has a 28-50mm lens and a flip screen – I've never looked back.
The thing that excites me about street photography is being amongst the diverse, colourful, interesting people of my city and there is no better way to do that than with a short lens and a smile on your face. Im a shy person at heart but with my camera round my neck, all my fear disappears and excitement takes over.
This is not to say that all experiences are positive. I had the misfortune of being chased once by a guy who took exception to me photographing him and it was a scary situation. It did put me off going out on my own for a long time but now, with hindsight, i've learnt to try to read people a bit better.
I've had a couple of other incidences of men getting angry and aggressive but luckily ive been with other people and haven't felt so nervous. Mostly though, people are awesome and you get to learn something new every time you go out and shoot.
Sometimes I feel as though I haven't found myself completely in the street photography genre. A lot of my work is still portrait based so I tend to switch between that and anything that I find striking visually. I don't subscribe to the storytelling aspect of street photography.
I admire those who do it well but its really not something I'm good at. I try to look for interesting people doing interesting things, light, shadows, lines etc. I try to include something in the shot that shows it was taken in London, but I'm not too worried if it doesn't.
If i were to give advice to an aspiring street photographer I would say; go with your gut, don't take too much notice of the rules and most of all get out there, get shooting and have fun.
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