I was given a very basic Canon DSLR as a birthday gift a few years ago and started shooting some nature and landscape shots during the summer. However, living in the city of Chicago, I quickly ran out of landscapes to shoot, so I started shooting streetscapes and buildings, then moved on to people. Pretty soon, I started to realize street photography brings a level of excitement that other types of photography don't offer.
Shooting complete strangers carries the risk that any one of them could start yelling or come running after you at any moment. And I don’t enjoy pissing people off. But it also comes with the promise of immortalizing that very fleeting moment in a person’s life, a window into a stranger’s world, where you catch a hopeful glimmer in their eye, a suspicious glance sideways, or a sad, despondent look downward, opening up questions of ‘where are they headed?’, ‘what are they thinking?’, ‘what’s happening in their life right now?’. Street photography, for me, is an affirmation of life, and something I wake up every morning excited to do because for me, it shows that every moment matters in some small way, and you just have to be lucky enough to capture it.
I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia and moved to the USA in my 20s, after years of observing and idolizing American culture mostly through the lens of TV and movies. This, in combination with my studies in film theory, often inspires me to frame and edit shots in a way that feels vintage or cinematic. Most of my 'people' shots have a focus on the solitary figure, highlighting themes of loneliness, searching, and introspection. In the Place + Time series, I explore the old Americana I grew up watching from afar -- neon signs, diners, classic cars, small town churches and whatever scenes carry with them a flawed and beautiful sadness that evokes a sense of nostalgia for an era passed. My newest series, A Long Way South | The Australians, includes the characters and scenes I captured on my recent trip to Australia – a place that is no longer home, but feels very familiar. After years spent away, I am now able to see my old Sydney town through fresh eyes.
- LAUREN TREUTLER
View Lauren's photo essay on Grryo.com:
The Female Gaze in Street Photography: A Personal Story