Written by Glo(w) | Photos embedded
It’s easy to lose touch with reality in this 21st century life. Most of the information that is ingested comes to us in technicolor and is accompanied by the sound of keyboard clicks. The internet provides a means to connect with various communities. Each community collectively shares information. Opinionated statuses and viral memes allow like-minded individuals to gather and share human experiences. Knowledge is often obtained from technological sources. Social conditioning occurs within social media message boards. Each image that is seen contributes to our understanding of life. As a photographer, the man behind ISRphotos intentionally uses street photography as a means to highlight realities within humanity. By connecting people through images of St. Louis, ISRphotos reminds each individual that genuine beauty lies within authenticity.
The visionary behind this platform is decidedly anonymous. He allows his work to remain the focus and removes himself from the spotlight. In an effort to connect photographers, models, and general creatives, ISRphotos hosts monthly PhotoWalks. Though his personal image may not be displayed publically, the man behind ISRphotos provides an outlet for artists to be raw. When art imitates life, reality is confirmed and true understanding can be received.
View some of ISRphotos work below and get to know the man behind the lens.
What mediums of art do you partake in?
I do mostly digital, and I also do a shoot a lot of film, like 35 mm film and sometimes medium format.
How long have you been creating?
I’ve been creating for about going on 7 years.
What inspired you to start using your creativity on a regular basis?
I was always fascinated by street photography when it comes to people and their surrounding and how the human condition is and how we overlook certain aspects of emotion and what we do every day. I think capturing that essence kind of shows how we as human beings react to each other.
What’s your creative process like?
I’ll either have an idea pop in my head or I’ll go through different portrait Instagram pages. If I see certain lighting or positions in a movie, I’ll try doing that. In general, if I have an idea in my head and I think it looks good, I’ll just go for it and see how it turns out.
What have you learned about yourself through creating?
I learned that I can be more open and comfortable with people. Being kind of socially awkward and not being comfortable with large crowds, it helped me broaden my horizons to approach people more and to be comfortable in larger gatherings.
Why is it important for you to remain anonymous even though you capture other people?
Well, first, I’m not really big on popularity. I don’t like attention towards myself. If my photos have a bunch of attention, I will be completely happy. The photo tells the story itself. The photo is the focus.
How do you feel about the fine line between artists sharing themselves and remembering that they are the product? Is there any way this can be done successfully?
I think it depends on the artist and what they do. If their lifestyle is more involved with their work, then they should showcase that. I slowly started showcasing what I do in my life on my Instagram feed. Like not a lot of people know that I do food photography. That’s one of my passions that led to me doing photography.
Can the public be too intrusive in artists’ lives?
I think so. That’s where the individual who is putting out their work should have an understanding of what should be private and what should be public. Sometimes, some clients won’t hire me because they don’t know who I am. And then you have others who understand that it’s about the work and not the individual. I like that. It’s less stress on me. It’s less pressure on me and I can relax when taking pictures.
Is there an important factor or lesson you want people to get from your art?
That you can have fun taking pictures. You don’t need to be professional and you don’t need to have to have 10-20 years of experience. Anyone can take a good photo. Always capture everything you see regardless of if you think it looks silly or sad or unconventional because you can always look back on it and there may always be some sort of good memory linked to it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep shooting and don’t give up.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I have a lot of people saying that I inspire them a lot to do different things. I think when I started doing street photography and started doing the Photowalks, I started seeing more people do that. Two years ago, I didn’t see anyone on Instagram posting street photography for real, the authentic shots of people in their own surrounding and things like that. So, I started teaching people with the photo walks and it slowly lifted off from there.
Where are you from since you mentioned bringing Photowalks here?
I grew up here. When it comes to street photography, it’s more popular in Chicago, LA, and New York where there’s more people and more diversity than in St. Louis. St. Louis is slowly getting there. We are more of a beer, food, and music city.
How do you think the creating process would be different if money wasn’t a factor?
If I was only worried about money and commission work, I think that it would make me lazier and more rushed on projects. It wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is right now. I’m not big on charging people a ton of money. You just lose a lot of creative and love aspect of it when it comes to photography.
How important do you think it is for artists to congregate and work together?
I think it’s very important. Everybody is able to learn something new from someone else. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. There is always something you can learn from someone else. It’s beneficial for everyone.
What do you think about mainstream beauty standards?
I don’t think it’s right. When I take a picture of anybody, anybody—you can be blind, you can be bald, whatever, in people’s eyes you can be ugly—I think everybody is beautiful in their own way. I don’t like how the media always think that beauty is always skinny, big boobs, whatever. Like there’s this model in France, and she’s anorexic. She’s the top model over there. I don’t like how it’s subjected to women. I wish we lived in a world where everyone would just be themselves. Who cares about anyone else’s opinion? If you think about it in nature, like with birds, it’s usually the female bird that’s bland and normal and the males are pretty and trying to catch attention. Humans we are the exact opposite. Everyone should just be themselves. Don’t give two shits about what people think of you.