New York City is considered as one of the best places to practice street photography. It has a history of being the breeding grounds of many of the finest street photographers over the years.
If one is proficient with the fundamentals of photography and puts in the time, interesting photographs will emerge. Individual talent and style mean a lot but in addition to this, persistence and patience are necessary. The more one is out with a camera, the greater number of lucky circumstances will happen and result in a few photos worth keeping. The project, “Street Scenes” represents an effort to cull out some of the better photos.
About Paul Kessel
After a career in clinical psychology and university teaching, Paul Kessel began photography late in life (one month shy of his 70th Birthday). On a whim, he enrolled in an introductory class at The International Center of Photography in 2007. He continued taking classes there every semester for ten years. About twelve years ago he discovered street photography and became immersed in it. He never goes out without a camera.
He has been in about 140 group exhibitions. Additionally, he has had 4 solo shows in New York Galleries. Kessel has been a finalist in many street photography festivals worldwide. He has been the winner of a few of them. Perhaps his most prestigious award is winning the Miami Street Photography Festival (2020).
His photographs have been reproduced in a few books and he has self-published eighteen books. The books represent the culmination of various projects. Kessel has been featured in a full-length documentary film (“Fill the Frame”) and has been interviewed a number of times by various photography organizations including “Street Photography”.
Before he began the serious pursuit of photography in 2007, Kessel always owned a camera since about age twelve. However, it was usually kept in a drawer and rarely used. There were brief spurts of photographing, but it was never sustained. A latent interest was always present. He dabbled in street photography for a few weeks in the 1960’s (He was unaware it was called “street photography”). There are old photos of the original Woman’s March and even one of Gloria Steinem.
A good part of Kessel’s education in photography involved portrait photography. This included studio photography, flash photography, and self-portraits. His early work in street photography was primarily street portraits with permission. This evolved into candid street portraits, and later street scenes beyond focusing on one individual. He favors more complex scenes with layers and multiple people interacting. Such photos are more difficult to achieve but every now and then such a photo emerges. It is the quest and elusiveness of a truly good photograph with some complexity that keeps Kessel shooting even in his mid 80s. [Official Website]