Paul Russell

01.11.2012 in21:21 in Street Photographer -->


I’ve been a big fan of street photography for over 20 years – I can remember buying a poster of Doisneau’s ‘Les enfants de la place Hebert’ for my student accommodation wall, and I probably still have that poster somewhere. I’ve been photographing on and off for the same length of time, mostly in black and white with cheap SLRs, going through a wide range of subject matter without much success, as far as producing images I liked was concerned.

My interest in street photography was re-ignited when digital came along. Having gone from taking a couple of rolls of black and white film every month, in 2003 I bought a point-and-shoot digital camera and took thousands of photos in the first few months. Looking through all the dross and using the instant feedback that you can get via digital, it became clear that the pictures that worked the best for me were generally those containing people. The point-and-shoot camera soon got upgraded…

Overall, I’m interested in examining how human behaviour is affected by our environment. I studied animal behaviour and evolution at university, and I think of my photography as a sort of pictorial natural history and ecology of humans. We enjoy traditional nature documentaries about other species, and birdwatchers will often spend hours waiting for a small nondescript brown bird to leave its nest, for example, but we rarely stop to examine and consider our own everyday behaviour in such detail. Familiarity can make us forget that humans are quite an interesting species as well!

When I’m out shooting I have certain themes at the back of my mind, but above all I just enjoy the chance wanderings in order to see where I end up – both geographically and photographically.