Street Photography in the Queen City | by Lucas Ayres and Dionna Bright
Lucas: With nothing to do on Sunday, Dionna and I decided to meet-up at the Old Concord Lynx station and head downtown to shoot. We rode the Lightrail to the Epicenter and with no real destination in mind we decided to follow the sea of panthers fans heading towards the stadium. Our mission for the day was to simply go out and shoot anything and everything. We wanted to see what we could capture on the fly without any real planning.
As we walked through Romare Bearden Park, I began scanning the crowds and framing different shots in my head. It was slow at first, but as I started to immerse myself in the energy around me and got into my rhythm, I started taking shot after shot.
Dionna: I had no clue where to begin. Lucas was scanning the crowds for the shot but I was both excited and overwhelmed from the energy around me that I felt somewhat crippled to shoot. As a portrait photographer I’m used to the intention behind a shoot. I always know who, when, where, what I’ll be shooting and I can envision and frame my shot before the session even takes place.
Lucas: We worked our way towards the stadium, weaving in and out of the crowds, capturing photos as we went.
Dionna: Street Photography is very new for me. My eye began capturing shots that my camera would miss because of how quickly those moments would pass. The person/people that I was trying to capture would move, someone would walk through the frame, or my focus/settings would just be completely off leaving me with a photo that had no meaning.
I won’t lie, executing the translation of what I was seeing to the camera successfully in a way that would tell the story in front of me was incredibly challenging. But, as we continued to walk around, I was definitely able to capture some shots that I love.
Lucas and I continued to work our way around the stadium and I was slow about getting my shots while also smiling excessively at the people who were staring at me taking a picture of them. I had never been so intimidated by a strangers gaze into my camera as I pressed the shutter release.
Lucas: We made our way around the stadium to the Legacy Union parking deck for a birds eye view of the stadium entrance.
Photos by Lucas Ayres
Dionna: I’ve personally never seen a view of the city like that before so at first my camera just sat there around my neck as I took in the sights and sounds of the moment. I could hear the city buzzing below me; it was such a cool feeling.
Lucas got some great shots of the stadium while I headed to the other side of the deck to snap a photo of the city and I loved what this angle provided for me.
Lucas: Overall, I am very happy with how my photos came out. Street shooting is something that is very new to me, only having done it once or twice prior. I’m used to having time to thoroughly see what’s in front of me, frame it in my head and then capture it in a photo. With street shooting, it’s the exact opposite. One second you can have the opportunity to capture an amazing photo and the next second, there’ll be a group of 37 people walking in front of you. It really challenged me to be quick at getting the camera up, framing the shot, focusing and then capturing what I was going for.
Dionna: In conclusion, exploring and trying something new promotes growth and opportunities to switch up your perspective. When I was shooting I did not feel entirely confident but as I processed my photos in post I could see the stories taking shape and realized that I did get some really dope shots that I could be excited about. I was so nervous capturing the buzz around me this time that I definitely held back but next time I go exploring I’m going to dive right in and be less intimidated, rather, more daring about capturing the stories around me.
It’s worth your time to push yourself to try something new and if you’re nervous you can always take a friend. You’ll grow to know it’s either something that you’re not interested in at all or something that you definitely want to learn more about and dive into. I’m so happy about how my photos came out and so glad that I had the opportunity to try something new in a city that I am growing more and more to love.
Lucas: If you’ve never been street shooting, I’d highly recommend it. It is something out of a lot of people’s comfort zones, myself included, but grab a friend and push yourselves to break through the wall. The reward for what you will learn and the photos that you’ll capture are well worth it.
Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings while out shooting.
- CLT Shooters
Written By Lucas Ayres, Dionna Bright
IG Handles: @shotsbycla, @dionna_bright
Photos By Lucas Ayres, Dionna Bright