This past Saturday, February 27th, we spent the afternoon in our studio with talented instructor, Achim Soelter. Achim is a passionate photographer who has tried his hand at many different styles, and found his niche in Street Photography. After a glimpse into his work and a discussion about tools and shooting style, we followed him to the streets for a hands-on workshop.
Street Photography is by no means new to the photography art form. However, it has received new interest among photographers with the growth of digital cameras, and particularly the strong mirrorless camera segments available from several manufacturers. This reemergence of interest in the street photography style has left many searching for advice on many aspects of the form, and luckily for us Achim was here to point us in the right direction.
Get inspired by Achim's multifaceted photography talent on his website!
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The afternoon was split into two different sessions – a classroom seminar, and a hands on workshop in downtown Salt Lake City. A full classroom confirmed what Achim has been telling me for a long time…many photographers are incredibly interested in street photography, but don’t know where to start. Through his presentation, Achim addressed both the history of the style, and covered how to get more proficient while shooting. Topics covered included gear best suited to street photography, camera settings, technique, and what I found most valuable, overcoming your fear. He finished with 20 tips to making a successful start in street photography.
As we learned in the seminar, street photography is often practiced in very close quarters. For many new to the style, this close interaction with total strangers can be very intimidating, uncomfortable, and the single most limiting factor to success. However, Achim presented several suggestions and solutions to the most common fears facing street photographers.
After the seminar, it was time to put his knowledge to the test. A small group of us met in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. A more in-depth review of camera setup, technique, some live demonstrations, further encouragement, and we were off. Splitting up into small groups Achim challenged us to get close to our subjects. Be willing to talk and chat if questioned, smile, remain friendly, and not feel like we are "taking" a photo, but "making" art. As he bounced from one group to the next, he would often offer us challenges. Talking to the guy with the interesting beard, the couple with the bright clothes, or anyone with a dog…literally nobody was off limits, and he pushed all in the group to face their fears immediately to get a good shot.
The hands on workshop was an incredible success. One and a half hours of photo instruction and shooting felt like twenty minutes. All in attendance had a great time, and left as better photographers. Sadly, Achim is relocating to the Bay Area for his next venture, but not before we squeeze another workshop out of him on the streets of Salt Lake City! Achim is taking another small group on a Salt Lake Street Photography tour on March 12th from 3pm-5pm to give one-on-one instruction on capturing golden-hour city shots. You won’t want to miss it.
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Achim's Shots From the Workshop