The Best Way To Get Assaulted With Street Photography

Recently Petapixel featured a rather amusing video of photographer Fabio Pires out of London. Fabio is a street photographer who shoots spontaneous photos off the cuff. Unlike the video we featured of Clay Enos's street setup, Fabio's approach is more in your face, candid, and potentially more risky. In Fabio's opinion, the best shots come from strange and interesting people who aren't expecting to have their photo taken. I dunno, maybe in England this isn't frowned upon as much as it is in the United States?

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Eeesh...Bruce Gilden gets away with this approach....but this dude might be kind of obnoxious.  On a positive note, I dig the instrumental of Mobb Deep's Shook Ones...

i think it's too much and this style ultimately ends up giving photography a bad rap (scuse the pun).  He gets away with it because he looks intimidating and knows he's unlikely to receive confrontation. Is relying on another's fear and surprise a good thing? .  I hope to see the photo of someone knocking him on his ass one day.

I don't think he looks intimidating. He actually smiled at a couple people. To each his own. Some people don't have the balls to use anything less than a 200mm and ultimately get shots where no one is looking in their lens. I've done this in NYC plenty of times and no one really makes a big stink.

Unfortunately, the brash and rude behavior of this guy is going to continue the negative reaction of the public on street work. He is almost attacking the people by violating there personal space. I am a photographer who love to work the street, but I do not approve of this. 

I like the track sample too, classic joint!

Too bad his shots suck and are out of focus most of the time. Leave those shots in color and you will see just how crappy they are. Black and white photos make terrible exposures look fine. Oh wow you blew out the high lights, no problem, put it in black and white and call it High key. Now its ARTSY.

OK, the vibe on PetaPixel and Google+ is this guy is an untalented moron. Can we please stop posting his video and mentioning his name? I'll bet his lens gets stiff just seeing how many times the video has been watched.

Hah very true, but it does start a conversation doesn't it? I don't understand street photography anyway and this makes me hate it even more. 

You shouldn't hate it just because of morons like the one in this video. Street photography is wonderful and can be very tasteful if you know what you're doing.

It's morons like this that ruin it for the genuine and talented street photographers.

To be honest videos and photographers like the one in this video shouldn't be getting any attention at all on such a quality site like fstoppers.


I believe GrKTcB, Lee was speaking about the attitude of that moron, not the style.
And I strongly think, even someone sit with him and try to explain this is bringing bad reputation to this AMAZING style of photography, he won't change his behavior. 
If I had change to sit him (onto a flagpole through his a**) FOR sure he won't listen, due so many slaps I will "apply" on both his ears ... 
Wanna be "intimidating" punk? Let's show to you what IS intimidating ... ;)

Patrick Hall's picture

Hey Lee, want to go out to the Market tomorrow and take photos of complete strangers acting awkward?  Okay, 9 am it is!

arturotorres's picture

Random, but are you guys in San Francisco?

Patrick Hall's picture

Nope, both in charleston at the moment

It's more ballsy to ask a stranger if you can get a pic of them...really...walk up to a complete stranger and ask to take their photo....much harder than the above...

I like street photography but I hope this guy gets punched.  I had a blast last year in Bangalore walking around a crowded market taking photos.  I'd make eye contact and smile and people would smile right back.  I got some great portraits of some very interesting looking people.  This guy is just sticking his camera in people's faces and shooting blind.  

This is seriously garbage.  The point is to capture someones true personality, life, character in a great image.  He speaks of his "images" cockily as if they each tell intricate stories.  No.  What he's got is thousands of worthless images of shocked and annoyed people.  ANYONE is going to give you the same look if you're rude and throw a camera in their face after tapping them on the shoulder.  That's not art, that's not documenting anything.  It's just plain rude. 

Maybe after 98% dislikes on his video and tons of comments he'll have to 'review', he'll start to understand that?

I completely agree. Point of street photography is not to create scenes but capture them. Provoking a reaction is just a cheap way of getting snapshot portraits of unsuspecting people.

Adam Weathered's picture

I'd say that is equally as frowned upon in England as it would be anywhere else in the world...notice he doesn't try that technique on anyone who has the slightest chance of retaliating.  I don't think Fstoppers should be promoting intimidation as a method of getting a response from a 'subject' (or victim?) 

I think this is a good example of a photography niche not many are willing or able to fulfill. Personally I don't like pissing people off, but I'm glad some do. Who else captures this emotion of surprise and insult? No one, and as photographers we document the human condition. Everyone is so down on this guy and his style but he provides valuable insight into who we are and even if his photos suck and are out of focus they provide valuable insight into humanity, which is the true goal of photography. 

I think photographers need to be able to work on the street, and with the "heightened awareness" (paranoia) resulting from terrorism it's becoming more and more difficult to do. That said, I don't think this guy is helping the cause with his methods. Aside from being rude, it comes off as incredibly creepy as well. Honestly, if anyone did that to me, he'd have to go home and extract his camera from his ass to get to his CF card.

yuck's picture

Fabio Pires might be pushing it over the limit but street photography still is a great part of the "industry". I like more the ideas promoted by project, and I definitely like Thomas Leuthard's style more as it is far less aggressive. For Lee and those not getting the feel of street photography, Thomas has two free e-books on his website ( giving an inside view on street photography

Anything that gets a reaction is good for me!  I think I may try this just to piss yall off! 

Total garbage. I agree with the comments about this giving street photography a bad name. I walk up to people and ask their permission, I don't think this guy has the balls to do that. Causing distress to people isn't right and least of all in the name of street photography. He claims you get better images by startling people. Has he ever tried speaking with people to ask first?

Look at my street portraits and compare them to his, which ones are better?

Majeed Khan's picture

Nasir Hamid,
I love your photography style, thats the way to go!

I could not get away with this kind of attitude here in the Netherlands. One of the first 5 people would most likely use me as a punching bag haha. I did a photoshoot in the centre of my town last year. Just put up a white background and asked people to stand in front of it. Got alot of positive reactions and great pictures.

None of these people actually asked me for a photoshoot though, so it was just a fun day, not a solution for a lack of income through photography.

Joop van Roy's picture

What town was that?

I second that :) I like the video that was linked in the intro to this video, the one by Clay Enos.

so sad that you even featured this stupid video. This guy do not deserve any comment. 

If you search interesting London street photography please check blog of this guy :

Andreas Feustel's picture

From my point of view this is just bad behaviour and nothing else.
If this guy would do this to me on the street I would kick his butt.
And I'm pretty sure that if I would do this to people here in Hamburg (Germany) the same way this guy is taking his photos, someone would let me swallow my CF-Card 5 minutes after I took the first shot.

arturotorres's picture

I was expecting more at first glance. But the images are pretty bad. And not in a good way.'s picture

Sorry but this is a worthless video about how to take out of focus pictures and piss people of. This not street photography it has nothing to do with photography.