Oliver Merce was born in 1977. He lives in Timisoara (Romania) for over 15 years and he is a graduate of the Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering.
2010 is the year Oliver Merce starts photographing in a conscious way; after about a year, he comes to realize which photographic style suits him best.
He is especially attracted to documentary and street photography, everything in shades of gray (without totally excluding color photography), because he sees black-and-white photography as the most appropriate for representing the unique moments in the lives of the characters he meets. Many of his shots show a dramatic world, slightly hopeless, full of cruelty, realism and irony. He sometimes tries to compensate for this dramatic character of his photography by showing a sincere sympathy and –sometimes– humour.
He is author of book “The Anatomy of Decay” (2016) and co-author for the book “5 Years of Shooting Street Photography” (2017). In “The Anatomy of Decay”, by series of black-and-white photos, he created an unique painting of two forgotten districts (Crivina and The New City), which belong to Anina, a city in the South-West of Romania.
I chose street photography because I’ve lived most of my life in the city, I didn’t have many options. In the end, I think I was forced by circumstances to take photos where I had the chance. But going beyond this space limitation, I do street photography because I enjoy it, I like people and capturing their reactions and concerns in a spontaneous way, each photo being a small piece of the huge puzzle of the social, cultural and political life.
If we were to analyze my psychological profile, it would probably show that I am a bit ‘inquisitive’ since I am interested in the lives of strangers, although this word can also have a negative connotation, making you think of paparazzi. A street photographer is ‘a disclosure hunter’, I believe.
I try to capture the moment, everything that is here and now, real, unique glimpses of the lives of people that I meet. I go out on the streets without planning beforehand, so everything happens unexpectedly, you just have to be in the right place at the right time and make the best of it. The timing, as well as luck, are – to me – important elements in street photography. [Official Website]