Mobile Street Photography by Luis Rodríguez

This article originally appeared on Grryo.




Mobile photography has meant a real revolution in my life, both at a personal and a professional level. Since I started mobile photography almost six years ago, I have watched and enjoyed the world in a different way from before I bought my first iPhone. I've always said that, before, I used to wander around the streets like an automaton, looking in front of me but not paying attention to whatever happened around me. However, since I've had my iPhone and, above all, since I fell in love with mobile photography, my perception of the world has been totally different.

Backlit smoke

Love is in the air

I´m an architect, not a photographer, but I feel myself as such. Maybe I had the soul of a photographer and I wasn't aware of it; maybe it is something I have developed, thanks to my phone. I don´t know, but the truth is that I wander now with my eyes wide open, phone in my hand, camera turned on, alert to whatever happens around me, making sure not to miss any scene worth being captured.

Morning leisure

Fixing the world

A tough day

The natural evolution from architecture to photography, starting with capturing deep perspectives of streets, sun lit façades, buildings from an impossible point of view, has turned into an uncontrollable passion for people, capturing peoples' faces, for gestures, glances, or in a few words, for what is called "street photography". It has been like adding a zoom lens to the way I look, going from focusing on wide urban spaces, to the people who are part of that scene, to making those people the main characters of my photographs, where now, the city is now the background: the stage where people play out their lives. It has been a switching of roles.

Matching yellow

Reading mates

Despite everything...

I believe it has been a natural evolution, without forcing. It has been the result of an inner meditation that has given birth to more intimate photography; less focused on huge frames, on great light/shadow contrasts, but rather, a focus on the character, on their eyes, on their hands, on their wrinkles. I´m not that interested in the place, as much as I´m interested in the human being. To me, the greatest compliment I may receive when somebody views one of my photographs is when the observer tells me they can imagine the story of the person captured; their life, their circumstances.

My iPhone has played the main role in this evolution. I must confess that what interests me most is "candid" photography; in which the person captured is not aware of being photographed, thus transmitting a naturalness that a portrait doesn´t transmit, in my opinion. And I love to shoot at a close distance; I need to get close to people, in order to capture them properly, but also for a certain excitement I feel when I´m close to the people I capture. And I can only have that sensation with my iPhone. It would be easy to use a big camera, with a good zoom, stay at a certain distance and then shoot. But I´m not interested in that. I believe there´s a certain magic in closeness that I don´t feel when using the zoom. I have already shot with my phone for a certain period of time, and I have already developed an ability for camouflage, pretending to do something else, which helps me to be unnoticed. I think it is more difficult to slip past with a camera, whereas in the end, I am nothing else but a citizen with a phone in my hands, something very common nowadays; which allows me to get close to people without raising suspicion.

A distressed face

Such a proud woman

A concentrated face

This is why I´m so grateful and happy to have found a new passion thanks to a mobile device. A passion that has to do with life, with people, with making beautiful scenes last forever. A passion that makes me have my eyes wide open every time I go to the street, longing to witness new scenes. A passion that makes me analyze people just by looking at them, that boosts me to photograph them, to share those images, that wakens peoples' imagination and figure out what the life of the people photographed is like. A passion, in a few words, that makes me feel alive.

My parents


"Courageous, despite age" My humble tribute to my friend Óscar. R.I.P.

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