When I re-joined Instagram few months ago after a five years long gap, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I started following people randomly, according to few mostly unconscious rules: contrasty black and white (or interesting use of colour), urban/street photography, good composition and geometries. In less than one month, I had unwillingly selected most of who are still among my favourite photographers – not just on Instagram but generally speaking: people I now follow on other social media, whose personal website I’ve browsed and for whom I’d book a plane ticket to attend an exhibition. In this, Instagram was indeed a surprise.
The very first one of these people was Craig Reilly.
This picture made me think: “I really need to keep an eye on this bloke”
After him, it was a matter of days before I discovered the rest of the Street Photography International Collective (→ website): Alan Schaller, Walter Rothwell and, last but not least, Emily Garthwaite. And it was love at first sight.
Stagnation and timing
After my first timid attempts at street photography last Summer – at the cost of an incredible amount of stress – I retreated to more comfortable experiences. It was an interesting year but my push was fading, comfort was increasing too much and as a result I fell in total lock down. I needed a spark and couldn’t find any. In the meantime – as I often do when I’m in lock down – I kept devouring images (and, inevitably, SPi photos).
When I discovered that a workshop was planned in London for those very days when I was supposed to be around, I joined immediately. I’d never attended a workshop before (nor I received any “formal” photography education) and I tend to be uncomfortable in unpredictable social situations: joining was an impulse, an internal voice telling me: you need to catch this train now.
Here is how it went, why this was the best thing that could happen to me and why you should really keep an eye on their next workshops.