Spyros Papaspyropoulos is the founder of StreetHunters.net, a website dedicated to the art of street photography. Together with Andrew Sweigart and Digby Fulam, they’re busy creating one of the most comprehensive street photography resources on the web.
Take one look at the StreetHunters.net platform and you’ll see they’re so much more than just a street photography collective. I caught up with Spyros recently for an interview. Let’s see what he had to say…
Hello Spyros! Thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Thank you very much for this opportunity! I feel honored to have been asked.
First up, I’d like to find out about what drives you. What’s been your biggest inspiration in your career thus far?
My biggest inspiration has been the unpredictability of the streets and of people. I would always observe and make up stories about them in my mind. I’ve got a wild imagination, which leads to frequent daydreaming. So, I’d try and capture the people I observed–the actors on my stage–‘playing’ their roles in the short stories I made about them inside my mind.
At first, my street photography was just about documenting moments. I would approach my subjects aiming only to capture them, without looking for the best light, juxtapositions, surrealist meanings, and odd expressions. Those came later. I think they came around the same time I moved away from monochrome and began shooting only in color.
Which of your fellow photographers have inspired you?
At first, it was the greats of Street Photography, such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau, and Bill Brandt. However, as time went on I found myself getting interested in other photographers, such as Bruce Gilden and Daido Moriyama. Also, contemporaries such as Dirty Harrry (sic), Lukas Vasilikos, Dougie Wallace, and Pau Buscato.
Actually, whenever I want inspiration I just jump into the Flickr Street Photography group. I always find inspiration in the photos of the many amazing photographers when I’m there.
You shoot a lot on the Greek island of Crete. Can you tell us more about what it’s like to shoot regularly in the little town of Rethymno?
I suppose little Rethymno is as compelling as any other little tourist town really. We have tourists eight months a year and, during winter, we have Carnival season. This lasts a week or two, during which time we get hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Greece and the rest of the world.
In Rethymno, you actually get to shoot people from many different countries when they’re at their most relaxed. Therefore, I’d say it’s quite a good place to practice Street Photography.
Your gear list is, in a word, long! How on Earth do you decide which camera you’re taking out with you on any given day?
I really need to update that list. Even though I still own all that gear, I only use my Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Ricoh GR to shoot in the streets these days. I haven’t used any other cameras in the past couple of years. I actually quit using film about 2 years ago!
As for my iPhone, I will only use it if I find myself without my Ricoh GR, which is never!
If I said your images are playful, rarely conventional, and employ multiple styles from shot to shot, what would you say?
Thank you! That’s really kind of you to say so. I don’t know what style my images have because I don’t think about that when I shoot.
I’m an instinctive photographer, so I’d say my multiple styles come from deep down inside my subconscious.
What is your Number One street photography tip which our members here at PhotoBlog can use to improve immediately?
Stay Sharp & Keep Shooting! Never stop. Always practice. If you can’t go outside because of the weather, then shoot at home. Learn to use your camera like it’s an extension of yourself and shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot…
I’ve noticed you get very close to your subjects. This means you must get noticed often! What was the most memorable reaction from one of your subjects?
I’ve had many different reactions from people when they notice me taking their photograph. Most, if not all of them, are positive reactions. This has encouraged me to continue doing Street Photography.
One of the most memorable ones was when I photographed this girl in London. She was outside on the pavement, sipping white wine from a glass, wearing a black dress. I liked her style, so I approached her and started taking her photo. At first she said no, smiling at me.
Instead of stopping, I smiled back at her, and started talking to her as if she was my model. I asked her to pose this way and that way, telling her at the same time she looked amazing. She loved it! She did as I said, then asked me where I was from. We talked a bit and then parted ways. It was a great moment.
How did Street Hunters come to be?
For the PhotoBlog readers who haven’t heard of Street Hunters, we’re a Street Photography resource. We’d like to think we’re one of the best Street Photography resources currently on the web. The website is managed by three street photographers, Andrew Sweigart, Digby Fullam and myself. Both Andrew and Digby are also exceptional writers!
The idea for Street Hunters came to me 4 years ago. I shared it with Andrew and he loved it! Since then we’ve been busy writing away, sharing our Street Photography knowledge and experience. Digby joined us a couple of years ago. He’s equally as passionate as Andrew and myself, sharing our common vision which is to make the definitive resource for Street Photography on the web.
Finally, what are your goals for the future of Street Hunters?
This year, we’re going to focus more on promoting contemporary Street Photographers, producing videos to enriching our YouTube channel, and sharing as many tips on Street Photography as we can. We’ve started sharing Street Photography news from other sources, which is something we didn’t do before. We’re also reviewing more gear and books.
All we want at Street Hunters is to have an answer to every question concerning our favourite photography genre. I know that’s aiming high, but the higher you aim, the more chances you have of reaching your goal.
Before I sign out, I would like to say thank you once again for this interview. It was great fun and an honor. Stay Sharp & Keep Shooting!
Discover More From Street Photographer Spyros Papaspyropoulos and Street Hunters
Sincere thanks to Spyros for taking the time out to answer our questions.
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