Founder of the Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales, explains what street photography means to him.

Founder of the Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales, explains what street photography means to him.

“The more I do it, the less I know what street photography is. I don’t like categorising photography as the boundaries between genres are rather hazy and fluid. But after years of shooting in the streets, I came to the conclusion that street photography is simply “photography with a twist”. Even a posed portrait can become a street photograph if suddenly something quirky happens in the background. So street photographs are the photographs that have this unusual element in them, something unexpected, surprising, ambiguous. The genre is very broad for me and isn’t restricted to photos taken in the street; street photos can be taken anywhere.

I am inspired by new places. The first days in a new place always produce the freshest work. I also like revisiting my favourite spots and hunting for images there. I don’t really know what inspires my photography, I simply like doing it and I like sharing my work with people, I am the kind of a person that shares a lot and the response from the viewers motivates me to work more and harder.

Photography in general is my life. It’s my job and my passion and I am very lucky to be able to do this for a living. It’s a simple life, as I do not have much, but it is full of adventures and unexpected events. And street photography is my passion, just because it is so difficult. A good street photo does not come easy – and it does not come often; they are very precious, because there are so few of them. But at the same time everybody can take a great street shot, often even by chance or pure luck. You just press the shutter at the right time, anywhere.

In photojournalism when working on a project you often to have to do quite a lot of research, phone calls, meetings, whatever, and the actual shooting might take just ten per cent or less of the overall time spent on the project. When doing street photography you just take your camera and go out shooting. Many street photographers fall into a single-photo trap and never produce a project or story. I love strong single pictures, and street photography is about these, but I think photographers should work on projects too; to tell stories with their images and not just hunt for perfect decisive moments, as these do not happen very often.”

You can see more of Maciej’s work on his website.