Street Focus 77: Q&A and Street Challenge

Street Focus 77: Q&A and Street Challenge

This week my guest co-host is travel photographer Rick Sammon. Together we answer questions about interacting with subjects on the streets, how to handle a complaint and whether or not we have an objective when we hit the streets with our camera and much more. The questions were submitted by Sheila Bodine, Chan May Soe, Leidov Magelssen and Andy Murdoch.

A few words about Rick Sammon:

Rick Sammon
Rick Sammon

Canon Explorer of Light and award-winning photographer Rick Sammon loves his day job. A tireless, prolific and inspirational image-maker, Rick, called by some “The Godfather of Photography,” is one of the most active

photographers on the planet – dividing his time between creating images, leading photo workshops, and making personal appearances. Rick’s enthusiasm for digital imaging is contagious. He is a man on a mission – a mission to make digital photography fun, creative, exciting and rewarding for others.

Rick’s latest book (April 2015) is Creative Visualization for Photographers.

 While Rick describes himself as “evolving,” he hesitates to categorize his work. “I’m an A-to-Z type of photographer. I do it all – and I enjoy the freedom of not specializing.”

 With nearly 40 years of experience, this self-taught photographer has many accomplishments – and many more anticipated for the road ahead.  As Rick suggests, “When you are through changing, you are through.”

 Visit with Rick at Rick can be contacted at

And the winners are…

Hans Eckardt

©Hans Eckardt
©Hans Eckardt

Michael Tristram @bending_pixels & @miket_street

©Michael Tristram
©Michael Tristram

Hans and Michael will both receive an ebook from RockyNook.

NEW STREET CHALLENGE: ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS. Listen for tips on the show and enter one photograph in the comment section below on or before March 31st. Good luck!

PICKS OF THE WEEK: Both Rick and Valerie invite you to meet them in Chicago in June for the Out of Chicago Conference

Examples of Environmental Portraits by Rick Sammon:



  1. Love this episode. You two make a great team. Awesome! I have four of Rick Sammon’s books and have been on four of Valerie’s workshops. Great tips and inspiration. Cant wait to see you both at the Out of Chicago event in June!

    1. Yes I have some catching up to do! I plan to get them all for sure Rick. I love your work! =B-)

  2. Great episode.
    About the first topic – I would rather prefer to give them something physical than just emailing a file. In regions where printed photos are worth a lot to the prople I would carry something like the little Fuji printer that uses polaroid film. Such a print can mean so much for those people.

    Here in Europe I’ve alwaya havr a postcard app on my phone. MyPostcard, Touchnote … there are so many that do really nice quality postcard prints. Of course I don’t do it for every photo but if there is a special moment or person I like to offer that. Just copy the file through wifi to the phone, let them enter their adress and a day or two later they’ve a beautiful print. They’re also not that expensive … less than 2€ .. more like 1€.

  3. Great show which I follow since the beginning. Very informative and good presented. Like to take part in this challenge with an image I actually took yesterday. My title: “It”s getting hot.

  4. Hi Valerie, love the show! Keep it up.
    This is the first time I participate in your street challenge. I hope you like my shot.
    Street workers in Bangalore India

  5. Thanks, as always, Valerie, for giving us something new to think about each week and for encouraging us to challenge ourselves. Here is Vancouver’s Chinatown newspaper vendor sitting in her little cubby hole.

  6. Thanks for another great challenge, Valerie! This is my attempt at an environmental portrait. It took some courage to ask for the shot, but I was rewarded by a nice conversation with this man as we listened to street music. I thought he fit the setting perfectly.

  7. Bonjour. Love Street Focus. Love my X100S. Here’s my street challenge photo. Bill Brown

  8. Another great podcast! For my entry, I chose a shot of a bus driver who was parked on the side of the road, waiting patiently for his riders to return. As I passed him, I noticed this beautiful beam of light coming through his front window. The illumination of the driver created a scene so captivating that I had to stop and ask him for a photo.

  9. Another great podcast! For my entry, I chose a shot of a bus driver who was parked on the side of the road, waiting patiently for his riders to return. As I passed him, I noticed this beautiful beam of light coming through his front window. The illumination of the driver created a scene so captivating that I had to stop and ask him for a photo.

  10. Istanbul Shoe Shine, he didn’t speak English but understood my sign language with the camera. 🙂

  11. Yet another enjoyable podcast thank you.

    I haven’t had a chance to try and shoot something for this challenge so went back through some old images. Rick talked about being able to identify the photographers mood from an image. I had so much fun taking photos of these kids in Bhaktapur in Nepal. Little Miss on the right was such a character and had so much fun rounding up all her friends individually and collectively insisting they all had a photo either with or without her. Finally she managed to get them all together. The older girl in the back didn’t really want to be involved but she was also roped in so it worked quite well that I have a shallower depth of field. As for Little Miss, I got her just at the moment where she was showing off her gregarious personality. She was an absolute delight. I still smile when I think of her.

    And now off to finish listening to this weeks podcast.

  12. Last Karneval in Cologne, all the people have together so much fun on the street, no matter how old they are…..

  13. Great episode Valerie and Rick!
    Here is a street portrait from my “I met 100 people” project series.
    I met Naqee on a recent visit to Chicago last June. Naquee makes NFC art and embeds an NFC chip inside the jewelry that you can program to include contact info, phone numbers, or business card/website info.

  14. “Lady in Red”
    A beautiful lady passionately plays a cello in Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul all dressed up as if she were in a symphonic orchestra. I met Lady in Red on several occasions in different locations around Istanbul, always performing magically with her cello.

  15. I usually use black and white for my street photography but this shot of the two boys approaching the mouth of the ´monster´ just cried out for colour…

  16. Street Portraits
    Banjo Nick
    Protest sit-in outside Australia house London

  17. Snapped this picture while on the way to my weekly coffee with my best friend today. Used two tricks from Valerie to “steal” this shot: First, walking very slowly and second, pretending to do something on the phone.

    A random business man in front of a quite exquisite and expensive store in the “Inner city” of Vienna/Austria.

    Shot with the Fuji X100T @ ISO 1000; f/8.0; 1/250sec; B&W+(R)

  18. Hi Valerie – Particularly good show with Rick Sammon, look forward to more with him in the future.

    Here’s my entry for Environmental Portraits – this Hare Krishna supporter was out with a few others, on London’s Waterloo Bridge. As you’ll see, he was very happy for me to take his portrait! [Taken with my trusty X100s]

    Keep up with the good work!

  19. I enjoy listening to you and your guests every week. I appreciate Rick Sammon’s work, so it was a treat to hear him on your show.

    Children in Harare, Zimbabwe, one of the least liveable cities in the world. (Rated by the Economist’s Intelligence Unit)

  20. Hoi Valerie, I enjoyed this episode very much. My entry here taken in front of the University Hall in Utrecht. The Dutch Red Cross is always out and about with their eerste hulp fiets patrol (first aid bike patrol) ready to spring into action. These gentlemen were pleased that I showed interest to request a photo. Shot on a Canon 650D with a 40mm pancake.