Colorado Street Photography

I had a brief amount of time downtown Colorado before my flight home, and had a few frames left in my camera to expose so that I could have the film hand checked instead of going through the TSA x-ray machine. I’ve not really found that it affects the film all that much, but maybe I’m just not seeing it. Either way it’s better to be safe than sorry?

I’ve been really interested in approaching people lately as it’s one of my biggest challenges at times. The timing, location and individual has to be just right for me to make the sometimes split second decision to approach them and engage with them to make a photo. Compliment, introduction, and question, or CIQ are the rules that I have been applying to most of these photos.

I typically look for someone who is interesting, or has good style and then approach them with “Hey, how’s it going…I like your style. My name is Evan McGinnis and I’m a portrait photographer and am making photos with this old film camera. Do you mind if I make a photo of you?” I’ve only been denied once now out of the 15 or so portraits that I’ve made, so this technique definitely works when applied.

Bianca and Shawn

This is the first photograph that I made on 16th Street. I had seen this couple walking while I was on the bus and figured I wasn’t going to catch them because I had already passed them. Once I got off the bus I saw them pass again and I stalled a bit to get them in a location that had a good background. I realized I wasn’t going to get a good background because there was a building that took up the entire block and there were people around everywhere, so I dismissed all of that and approached the couple who turned out to be Bianca and Shawn.

Initially Shawn kept walking as I started with the compliment, and once I introduced myself and complimented their style they stopped to listen to my question. It was difficult to tell if Bianca and Shawn were in a hurry, but they were patient and compliant with me making the photo of them and then were on their way, and sometimes that’s all I need.

This is the second image that I made on 16th Street. Honestly making photos of homeless people isn’t my thing, and is something that I frown upon when seeing others doing it. I don’t see any value in photographing people who are down on their luck and living on the streets, however when I saw these gentlemen sitting here all I saw were two men playing chess. It wasn’t until after I made the photo that I realized that they may be homeless, but heck maybe that’s just me assuming too much. They didn’t seem to notice that I was even standing there, and the Mamiya C220 camera has a waist level finder so that I’m looking down into the camera which may be why they didn’t notice me.

Benjion Wynkoop St.

This last frame of the afternoon is of Benji who is a Merchant at a local hat shop in downtown Denver called Goorin Bros. I noticed Benji locking up his bicycle as I came around the corner from 16th St. on to Wynkoop Street, and knew right away that he would be an excellent subject based on his outfit. After Benji heard what I was working on he told me that I may be able to find some interesting people at Union Station across the street who would be arriving from Boulder.

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