I'm a compulsive photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Although trained in the traditional dark room in the late 80s, I didn't start taking photography seriously until 2012. And although I started taking candid shots on the street in 2014, I didn't really start feeling comfortable doing it until the end of 2018.
More than just a creative outlet, street photography allows me to live in the moment, make order out of chaos, and to see the world anew. It's therapeutic for me.
There's a certain charm to doing it. Empathizing with the emotions of strangers, witnessing the absurd, and experiencing the thrill of successfully capturing those blink-and-you'll-miss-it occurrences. They may seem like just small moments, but it helps me make sense of our increasingly odd experience.
In many ways, street photography is a paradox. I try to let the images come to me, yet I have to put myself in position in order to be found. I'm a detached bystander, yet I'm intently surveying everything I can. Things seem to fall into place when I'm a blank slate, yet it also helps to envision things before they happen.
I love the humor, humanity, and irrationality of it all. It can feel synchronistic to find wonder in the ordinary and trivial. Watching real life unfold in this way rejuvenates me.
When not taking pictures, I spend my time assisting students as a community college counselor.
-Tony Van Le