The Streets of San Francisco


So, the weather was beautiful in The City by the bay today. This time of year we have the highest average number of sunny days. Winter is often rainy, the days are short, and in the downtown area, the sun doesn’t get over the buildings and down to the street in too may spots. Spring and early summer have a phenomenon known as June Gloom, but late summer and early fall are when it is really nice in The City!

So what does this have to do with photography? On nice sunny days, you get to see people without their over cloths and you get a better feel for their personal style. San Franciscans have lots of personal style! It is not like any other place in the county, either. I want to capture people expressing themselves in their dress and general personal appearance. Beyond that, I want to make a photographic series from the pictures I take.

“What is stopping me?” you may ask. Well, as far as posting the images goes, there are several things:

  • First and foremost, there is the release. It still seems a little strange to me that people walking around on the street should have any expectation of privacy and that they should not be photographed without permission, but that is reality today. Since I may wish to sell the pictures at some point in the future, the release becomes even more important.
  • Secondly, I am a little shy. People who know me know that is only a half truth. I’m a little shy about looking like a stalker or what my daughter would call “Creepy McCreeper.” I kneed an icebreaker at a minimum.
  • Lastly, I want a plan going in that will help focus the project as opposed to just taking pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I see value in just taking pictures too, but I am hoping that a clear project statement going in will get me what I want sooner and with less effort.

Those are the obstacles. So what’s the plan? Well, I think that the plan is fairly straight forward.

  • Get a bunch of photography releases printed up. Here is the link to the National Press Photographers Association website that has a good starting point. I also need to keep the release straight with the pictures that I am taking. I think the best way to do that is to take a picture of the signed release (with a sequence number) before I take the pictures of the subject. Best of all, this approach will address my propensity to lose paper, since the release will be captured in digital form.
  • Not looking like Creepy McCreeper is a matter of professionalism, I suspect. The plan is to print up a batch of business cards that have the location of my blog and other works. With smart phones being so prevalent, people can verify my credentials on the spot, if they so desire. I am hoping that using the business cards will be a form of advertisement both for me as a photographer and my blog.
  • And the project statement or plan for the series… That is a topic for another post, however, here are links of blogs that intrigue me.
  • Oh and one more thing, be religious about bringing my camera with me!

2 thoughts on “The Streets of San Francisco

  1. Malik, If you’re printing out business cards with URL links, it makes sense to make a QR (Quick Response) code as well and have it on the card. It makes much sense as it takes a quick scan of the code that takes one right to the link that typing the whole link in a browser (using phone). Here is an example of a QR generator. Use ‘Barcode Scanner’ or ‘Google Goggles’ to scan ’em from your android.

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