We hit the streets with top Swedish street photographer Daniel Eliasson, StreetPeople.se
One of the best ways of getting closer to a city’s soul is by grabbing a camera and just roaming its streets. Observing, watching, listening to its inhabitants. Watching them go about their daily lives. Stopping to interact, to learn, to share, and to capture memorable environmental portraits through street photography.
Street photographer Daniel Eliasson hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. He is behind the popular site StreetPeople where he collects and curates some of his favourite street photography from Sweden’s major cities including Stockholm. He also runs street photography workshops several times a year.
My interest in documenting social life in urban environments came early with my first camera. Street Photography is all about capturing the right moment. Unknown people become extras in a beautiful documentation of the street life.
You have to be quick if you want to capture the right shot. The moment is often over in a split second. In this short time period you still need to compose, set the camera, focus and shoot…. Daniel Eliasson
So we caught up with the photographer to share his process as well as get some solid tips for travelers who would like to try their hands at street photography while visiting and exploring Stockholm.
What is your background and how did you get into photography?
My background is in the shipping industry, but photography has always been a big part of my life. I started in my teens documenting my everyday life. My first digital SLR was a Canon EOS 300D.
I actually sold a portrait session for a big company before I owned a camera. So I had to buy one quick to be prepared for the big day. I portrayed 25 people and the photos was so bad that the only way to save them was to make them black and white.
I guess I was a better seller than photographer back then… laughs.
Why street photography?
I love people. I love to study people and get to know them. To understand how they live and what they do.
Observe. Street photography is all about observing and capturing the perfect moment. When you slow down, lift your head and start to observe people in the cities, you’ll be amazed by all the beautiful scenes that are going on that you’ve never noticed before.
How is street photography in a place like Sweden different from other parts of the world?
I know the culture and language so well, so it’s always easier to get in contact with people, to listen, and to discuss their stories.
Where are some of your favorite spots for street photography in Stockholm?
I love SoFo and the surrounding area around Medborgarplatsen. The people are more relaxed and the atmosphere is amazing.
What are three (3) tips you’d give a traveler to Stockholm who might be interested in street photography?
- Never hesitate – If you hesitate when you photograph strangers, there’s a good chance they’ll feel threatened and become angry.
- Always be prepared – When the moment comes, you’ll only have a split second to push the button.
- Know your rights and respect people – Understand that it’s legal to shoot strangers without asking first.
What is next for you? What are you working on? Any workshops?
Just finished a workshop in Gothenburg a few weeks ago, and another one coming up in November. A couple of trips are planned, and I’m really excited to visit Tokyo and a few other cities.