Podcast: Intention and Interaction in Street Portraiture

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The simple theme for today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was to be “how to speak to people in the street when you’d like to take their photo.” For this conversation, we invited two of the best street portraitists in New York—Amy Touchette and Ruddy Roye, both incredibly talented photographers (and writers!) whose work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Time, Esquire, and many other publications. They are both also very active on Instagram, with work that seems ideally suited for the best that medium has to offer.

However, as good conversations often do, ours takes a winding road. We discuss personal and family histories, gentrification, race, and a range of subjects, all along tying these ideas to the fundamental aspects of engaging with people, often strangers, to produce passionate and compassionate street photography.

We ask our guests how they approach people, how they describe their work when asking for a photograph, and about the importance of body language and eye contact to convey your intention and develop trust. We also examine the differences in approach when photographing people from cultural and economic backgrounds different than your own, when shooting groups of people and, finally, we discuss how to handle pushback, requests for money, outright rejections, and even upsetting encounters. For the gearheads, we touch on working with formats from medium format to cellphone, and how that effects your approach and the interaction with your subjects. Join us for this inspiring conversation.

Guests: Amy Touchette and Ruddy Roye

Top Shot © Amy Touchette


125 St., Harlem, Manhattan, 2017 © Amy Touchette
Bedford Ave, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, 2017 © Amy Touchette
Skillman St., Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, 2016 © Amy Touchette
From "Personal Ties: Street Portraits in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn" © Amy Touchette
From "Personal Ties: Street Portraits in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn" © Amy Touchette
From "Personal Ties: Street Portraits in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn" © Amy Touchette
© Ruddy Roye
© Ruddy Roye
© Ruddy Roye
© Ruddy Roye
© Ruddy Roye
From the series “When Living Is a Protest” © Ruddy Roye
Amy Touchette © John Harris
Ruddy Roye © John Harris
Amy Touchette, Ruddy Roye, and Allan Weitz © John Harris
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Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves

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