A fun evening at Leica Kyoto last night as Matt Stuart held a student review of the images taken during his five day Japan workshop. Eight students with all shots from Kyoto except one day in Osaka. Matt also took the audience of about 50 through some of his best photos.
At the end he took questions from the audience and the best one was last: What is the most important thing in street photography?
Matt had a direct answer: Be relaxed, being on no time frame as you are shooting, which makes him happy. This state lets him blend into the scene with no drama and he can shoot away. Great advice I think, as I notice a similar vibe when in the zone shooting. Happy, chilled and relaxed.
When I look at Matt's work, it seems fun and light, just like him. His color work is really super but it is the capture of gesture that really makes his shots come alive. Reminds me of Jay Maisel: color, light and gesture.
Matt also talked about editing, sequencing and selecting photos to be sent to Magnum, as he applied for membership. When asked about how to do this his advice was to make sure the portfolio flows together, shot to shot. How to do this: by gut feel. 50 shots submitted.
As a bonus Matt signed his book for me and I got to see Chloe again from the Magnum Tokyo office, nice!
Pro tip: I need to get back into shooting more gesture. As I have been in the black and white world for a year + it is easy just to look for light, contrast, shadows, etc. Adding some color and gesture to this light work would be good.