I call myself a Street Photographer, though once upon a time one would have simply said “I am a photographer” and that is what it would have meant. Most of my photographs originate in the random chaos of the public space of the street, in the ambient weirdness of everyday life. I expose frames nearly every day and always carry a camera. These images are my personal visual diary. They are not staged; reality is plenty strange enough.
Throughout most of my career I’ve been more drawn to black and white because of the level of abstraction it brings, the distilled monochromatic essence of a frame without the distraction of color.
Since 1984, I’ve built a career and reputation from my black and white work, and often said “In black and white you look at the faces; in color you look at the clothes.” But when you’ve been working a long time in one way, you have to ask yourself “Am I in a groove or just caught in a rut?” Turning to color seriously in 2010 has been a way to shake myself up and to give myself a new challenge in my work. Color is much harder to do well: one must deal with the new set of variables that color brings, in addition to all the problems of composition and moment that are always there. It has re-invigorated me and my work.
Born in Philadelphia in 1952, I grew up in Ohio, Utah and Arizona, where I finished High School, College and Graduate School, earning degrees in Political Science and International Business. A series of lack-lustre jobs led me to Louisville, Kentucky, where, in 1984, I lost my head and decided to pursue photography full-time as a vocation. I built my early career in public relations, public events, performance and portrait work.
After moving to London in 1997, I concentrated on street photography and other personal photographic projects. In July of 2008 I returned to the States and now live in New York City. My work is in institutional, corporate, and personal collections, including the Museum of London, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography.News Stories by Richard Bram