June 8, 2020

The death of George Floyd and subsequent reaction has brought home to me the privileges I've enjoyed as a white man with or without my acknowledgement in all aspects of my life. Thinking about it in terms of my photography feels like an indulgence that illustrates exactly that position of entitlement. To have the time and means to pursue my passion in a public space that for a lot of people is a hostile environment that needs to be negotiated everyday cannot be ignored.

I've been really pleased to see the rise of groups promoting the work of women street photographers. I need to wake up to the liberty I enjoy, especially in my most recent work taking pictures in residential streets and shopping areas in the early morning across my London neighbourhood. Little notice is taken of me as a suspicious person in the better off areas. Conversely on some streets I pose a threat as some kind of state snooper.

Apologies for the public hand wringing. I know I need to use my privilege so those structures are changed. Education is a start. Action has to follow.

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Sean McDonnell

I've been pursuing a style of photography now called street for a number of years. A south Londoner by birth I am pre-occupied with the West End and spend too much time there taking black and white pictures on film. I nurture a hope that one day London will be recognised like Paris, New York and Tokyo as a great city of street photography but secretly like the fact that it is still the underdog. For someone who enjoys the solitary practice of his work I am surprisingly talkative about it - although not at the same time. Here's a collection of idle musings and distracting links.

These posts are a sample of my current blog PORTRAIT OF A STREET PHOTOGRAPHER. There are 10 years of posts so please visit!

Portrait of a Street Photographer archive

link to Portrait of a Street Photographer blog
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