The Art of Street Style
Is it the outfit? The lighting? Or the location? What exactly makes the perfect street style shot?
Vincent Calderon of Your Ensemble is one photographer who has truly mastered the art of the street style image. Having travelled the world shooting all the major fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, New York and London, Vincent has an instinct for capturing colour, detail and personality all in a single frame. Whether someone is running to catch a fashion show with their phone glued to their ear, or waiting patiently for their Uber with an emerald coat draped over their shoulders, Vincent’s work embodies the idea that street style photography - in its true essence - is a celebration of authenticity and personal journeys.
‘Whenever I shoot street style, I look for subjects who are confident, have a distinct look and know their personal style. I like to shoot people's authentic style, it's important that the person commits, takes command and wears the clothes, not the other way around,’ he says.
‘It's quite obvious when people are wearing outfits just to get attention, especially during fashion week. I find that quite disingenuous and will rarely pick up my camera to shoot them.’
On place and personality
From the manicured gardens of the Tuileries in Paris, to the exhilarating pulse of Manhattan’s streetscape, Vincent is attuned to the energy of each city he has worked in over the past six years. His images express an ideal harmony between person and place, capturing a city’s unique quirks and charms through the faces and outfits of the people he shoots. Understandably, it’s difficult for Vincent to choose just one favourite city for shooting street style.
‘I can only narrow it down to two; New York and Paris, for different reasons. In New York, I find people are more experimental and will take more risks, there's a certain attitude to the way people dress in New York. I feel that people feed into the energy of the city and use that as inspiration for their outfits,’ he says.
‘As for Paris, the capital of fashion, the style is more elegant, put together and romantic. I feel like people are always in their Sunday best. I love the mix of classic and avant garde fashion in this city of love’.
Shooting the perfect #OOTD
So what tips can we learn from a pro when it comes to shooting our own street style moment?
‘Whether you are shooting with a digital SLR or your smartphone, it's important to have the best light. I normally go for even lighting so that all aspects of the outfit can be seen. Experiment with light and shade, shadows can dramatically affect the mood of your shot,’ Vincent shares.
When it comes to the focal point of your image, decide whether you want to capture the smaller intricacies, or the bigger picture.
‘Be mindful of your background and composition, what you are trying to focus on, details or the overall outfit. I like a combination of candid and setup shots. If you are setting up your subject, it's important that you make them feel comfortable so that you capture their authentic self. Don't be afraid to give direction to ensure you capture your subject in the best possible way.’