People are awesome! Mostly… by Becky Frances

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.  


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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


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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.


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Eventually, they became tired of modelling for me and I started to photograph people on the streets of London instead.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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4 thoughts on “People are awesome! Mostly… by Becky Frances”

  1. What can I say, you deserve this moment. We have communicated and followed each other for sometime now. Boy have you changed, I remember the difficulty for you to get close to the subject matter. My gosh now look at your work!

    I proud of you Becky. a big hug to you. Let see some more pic soon.

    Ed Regan

    1. Hi Ed

      Thanks so much for your comment. You were pretty inspirational to me in my quest to get closer to my subjects. Hope youre well

  2. Hi Becky,

    I’ve seen your name in photography circles not least in Manchester.

    Your idea’s and concept of photography are very interesting. I admire your honesty and
    agree with you entirly in not subscribing to the opinion that every photograph should tell a story. Photographs mean different things to different people and I feel quite angry sometimes when other photographers try to lay down the law in telling us what a photograph should be, especially regarding street photography. There are no hard defind rules.

    Photographs are purely visual and mean different things to different people, it may be there’s a story there but it may just be the colour, light and shade, the interaction, the patterns, a strong definition or even a mystery and many other things.

    I’m not a good photographer myself but I enjoy the participation and I’m still to realise what genre of photography I belong to but I love them all. It is when I look at your’s and the work of others I’m reminded how much I need to improve.

    Some peole are natural photogrphers like yourself which is obvious in your work flow, they see things many of us don’t, myself included being far from a natural photgrapher even by amateur status.

    I think you’re very brave in your persuit of street shots and it’s a skill all of its own to capture an image on the street without making it obvious to the subject. I can’t take such images on the street without making it obvious for the most part and find it almost impossible to take a picture using the flip screen, relying entirely on the viewfinder. All my images whatever the genre are taken this way.

    I enjoyed reading your comments and viewing a sample of your camera work.

    Keep it going.

    Kind regards

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