How often do you take yourself out of your comfort zone with your photography? How often do you really challenge yourself to try something new?
Rarely would be the answer in my case, however that is exactly what the attendees of the IGersBirmingham ‘Street Workshop’ with Kris Askey had to do. The workshop, held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI) on the 11th of February, was squarely aimed at getting people to try something new – Street Photography. Kris, a well known freelance photographer in the city, has been shooting on Brum’s streets for over 4 years now and has amassed large body of Street Photography work, a large following on Instagram and other social media platforms, and a wealth of experience in this challenging field.
The 40 attendees were treated to a 30 minute lecture by Kris on his life and work as a freelance photographer. Kris took the attendees through the history an inspirational journey that lead to him giving up his full time job as a graphic designer so he could focus on his passion for photography. From the 2013 photography film ‘Everybody Street’ which inspired Kris to focus on street photography, to his use of his daily commute to his design job as a source of photography, Kris gave the attendees a window into his drivers and lifestyle. Undoubtedly loaded with talent, Kris also explained the rules of photography that he always takes with him that help him to produce the great images that we all see on his page regularly.
- Rule of thirds
- Leading lines
- Balancing elements
- Use of patterns
All things that when applied correctly can really make an image special.
At the end of the 30 minutes presentation and Q & A session, the attendees were sent out by themselves to try and get some shots of everyday life in Birmingham. At the end of the one hour adventure on the streets of the second city, the attendees returned to the BMI to feedback on their experiences and to edit their images with Kris. The feedback from everyone suggested that being a street photographer was A LOT harder than anyone had appreciated! The thought process for lining up a shot was completely different from what most people were used to with landscape and urban photography. Most people would never go and approach a random stranger on the street with the aim of taking their picture, but that is exactly what was required for this field of photography.
It was clear that everyone left the workshop with a renewed zeal for their photography and a willingness to get out and try something new. What the attendees also left with was deeper understanding and respect for the challenging work that Kris does everyday on the streets of our city.
Some of the comments from the attendees of the event can be seen below:
“When you need inspiration, a challenge and a kick up the proverbial, along comes and igersbirmingham instameet” @poppybead
“Pushed myself out of my comfort zone today and loved it!” @lifethrougha_lens
“Today was my first street photography workshop with @Krisaskey and @igersibrmingham and I got a bit of inspiration about street photography and different styles. Thanks guys!”@nikoskulu
“Loved my second instameet” @kellymariesifleet
“Had an amazing time… Made me think differently about a lot of things… A different perspective to my work and the way I approach things… thanks again” @lucaaaagram
“It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone!” @marcosborne
“Had a real treat yesterday attending a workshop on street photography by the supremely talented @krisaskey. Passion is infectious, so I found it a very motivating couple of hours. It’s a style of photography which I like very much, although I have no experience of it and haven’t yet got over the hurdle of not being terrified of pointing a camera at somebody I don’t know. Kris explained that he turned his daily commute into time set aside to capture moments around him. An hour a day becomes 5 hours a week, becomes 20 hours a month… I like that ethic a lot and I will keep it to heart. This is a picture I took on a little walk around Birmingham as part of the event. There’s so much to learn but I look forward to learning some of it! Thanks (of course) to @igersbirmingham for organising the event” @jimpanda
“It was really bloody interesting. I struggled with doing “street photography” but I guess that’s because I’ve just never done much of it. Certainly something I’ll be trying to do more of… I think.” @notthetalkinghorse
“Always learning new styles and techniques within photography. I’d rather do the usual and hang over bridges and rooftops than take pictures of strangers but after a while I got the hang of it and started not to care anymore. In a space of 1 hour I have learned so much about this style. Big thanks to @igersbirmingham and @krisaskey for a great day!” @callumthomasbourke1997
All of the images from the event can be see on Instagram by clicking this link: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/igb_meet_street/
Kris Askey is launching a solo exhibition from the 18th of February to the 18th March at the Print Room at 70b in the Parkside gallery in Kings Heath. For more information about Kris’s ‘Split-Second City’ exhibition, click this link www.krisaskey.com/split-second-city.
Words and images by Fraser McGee