An Insider’s Take on Street Style Photography
For over two years, Maree Turk has been capturing the stylish looks of strangers in the streets of Sydney for Cocktail Revolution. She came to street style photography with Cocktail Revolution after a stint with other publications. That included covering the style scene at Australian Fashion Week. While they may look the same, the two kinds of shooting are quite different, as Maree explains.
“I’ve always loved photography. From the time I first I picked up my parents Nikkormat camera as a teen, I would direct my cousins in mini fashion editorials. I’d be trying to evoke vibes and styles to capture. Fast forward to my first taste of street style photography. I photographed for Living Local, a Sydney magazine that was covering Fashion Week. So, along we went.
It was my first time at Fashion Week and we were to cover the Australian designer runways. It was fun capturing the latest collections in the squishy media pit. However, it was the style happening on the street that was most exciting. Prior to this experience I was photographing content for business socials, websites, portraits and weddings. None of these was as exciting as capturing the outfits on people as they arrived at the fashion shows. Those attending would often be kitted out in homage to the particular designer on show, wearing a piece that they’d put their individual spin on. They looked amazing and I just loved capturing their style.
Spotting the Head Turners
There are so many ways to express yourself. My fave is seeing how people do it through their clothing and accessories. The stylists can do a great job collaborating with models and creating beautiful inspirational looks. When someone can do both and you catch them on the street, it’s organic, authentic and I love finding them.
Beyond Fashion Week Street Style
Capturing at Fashion Week was a great experience. I was able to build up my portfolio and it led to me contributing to Street Smith in 2017. Capturing in and around Sydney proved to be a lot harder than capturing at Fashion Week. At Fashion Week almost everyone attending seems to be ready for the cameras to be pointed at them. Outside of Fashion Week, I realized I’d have to do things differently. I had to be patient, I needed to toughen up and I needed to be confident. My camera settings had to be ready and I needed to approach strangers who weren’t expecting me.
Approaching Street Stylers
It helps that I love documenting style. That motivates me to confidently approach people and tell them that they look amazing. I then show them where the imagery will go so they can quickly understand what I’m doing. Most are flattered and share my passion for fashion. However, not everyone is keen, so some opt out. Soon after photographing for Street Smith ended, Cocktail Revolution contacted me via Instagram to see if I’d be interested in shooting and I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been capturing street style with them since mid 2018.
Advice for Budding Street Style Photographers
Street style photography is currently limited due to Covid19, but I don’t think it’s lost. It’s about finding where people take time to express their style through clothing and capturing it. To start, I recommend going to your personal hotspot. Perhaps it’s a street with some great people traffic. Then eye off a few backdrops on the street that will help the outfit stand out. You’ll want to avoid distracting cars, garbage bins and the like. Maybe grab a coffee at your local favourite. Get your camera settings prepped. When someone walks past and their style catches your attention, you’ll be ready to tell them they have great style and “would you mind if I captured your outfit?” ”
All images: Maree Turk
Follow Maree on Instagram: @mimmaree and via our street style galleries when we return to capturing your looks on city streets, once we’re safely on the other side of Covid19.