Photography: Tell me...with Wallace Chapman

...When and how you got into photography.
Wallace Chapman: That’s a really good question because I came late to it and it wasn’t part of growing up. I’ve always loved film and images, and I always loved looking at the window on the world and just observing. I think I was on the bus looking at people go by, and I just saw each window as the frame in a camera. I realized slowly that I was extremely drawn to the single image –a moment in time, rather than moving film. It was almost an epiphany – “ I am going to get a camera. “ In 2005, instead of going out to buy a digital snap, I ventured out and bought a 35 mm rangefinder camera – a new model of a fairly old way of shooting photos. A voigtlander bessa L. Entirely manual. I use digital now, but it is still a manual digital camera.
...How you got into street style photography.
Wallace Chapman: I have always loved street photography, using cities and urban-scapes as the backdrop. I really is the ultimate canvas – there is a lot going on, yet at the same time, you have to find THAT moment to make it work. So it isn’t necessarily easy. Around early last year I moved to focusing on people in the street and portraits, and then by extension street style. But for me it’s always the people first and the fashion second. I’d be lost at a fashion show, but a gorgeous person in the street? No problemo !
...What it's like walking up to strangers and asking them for pictures.
Wallace Chapman: At first it was downright frightening to be honest. And there is always that element of having to psyche oneself up for going out on the town. As a guy I always try to make people aware that it’s for a street style site, and that I’m not a stalker or a freak or wanting to convert them ! Ninety five per cent of people say no problem.
...The best and worst part about being a streetstyle photographer.
Wallace Chapman: The best part is knowing you’ve captured something really special in the day. The worst part of knowing you’ve captured something special in the day but the light has been too shit, too bright, too dull. There are so many variables in the street photography- that’s part of what makes it very exciting !