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Get Your Work On: Mambo Ferido

mambo ferido street photography

I’ve mentioned more than once how much I like street photography projects.

Standalone street photographs can be very good, but I always think having a running theme makes the value of a collection greater than the sum of its parts.

With this in mind, I’m very happy to present the latest edition of Get Your Work On, which features the beginning of a street photography project by one Mambo Ferido.

I’ll let Mambo himself explain what it’s all about and then give some further thoughts of my own at the end.

Mambo Ferido’s street photography project

“Hi, I’m Mambo, a street photographer currently based in Singapore.

Recently, I started a project with a theme mostly revolving around people reading newspapers, books or magazines as well as people writing on a piece of paper, notebooks or whatever.

The concept of the project is about the realization of how much time has changed by comparing people who are still reading newspapers and the people who prefer to indulge themselves in smartphones or tablets.

Either by preference or practicality, it’s documented through photographs.

One thing I noticed as I go deeper in this project is the lack of younger generations reading a physical book or writing in a notebook. Everyone’s faces are stuck on the smartphones, tablet, and laptops.

I’m guilty of this as well.

Most of the subjects that I took are from the older generations. Those who grew up with books and newspapers as a resource of information and entertainment.

I have yet to find someone younger with a book covering his or her face rather than a smartphone.

It’s somewhat alarming yet comfortable for a person who lives in both eras. The books and the eBooks, the library and the internet, the newspapers and the social media (which apparently favors a chunk of the population despite how falsely the news is written there).

I didn’t actually plan on doing this project.

One day I realized this recurring theme on the photographs I took plus a friend commenting how I always take photos of people reading.

That, I guess, sparked the idea of this project.

I’m not sure how this project will pan out. I’m allowing it to organically grow and mature with a strict rule of staying within the theme. It’s still pretty raw but I’ve provided some photos here to give you an idea of what I have in mind.

Suggestions are gladly appreciated!”

Lee’s thoughts

I really like what Mambo is doing with this street photography project – because it’s a street photography project.

As I said at the top of this, projects elevate the individual shots by allowing them to work with each other.

The final photograph here is a prime example of that.

There is a nice symmetry to the composition, especially with the hands either side of the newspaper. But if we consider the photographs as standalone images, I find those with people’s faces more engaging.

However, I think the newspaper-in-the-back-pocket does a better job of closing the set than any other photograph here.

That’s how a street photography project can bring more value to each image; by allowing them to tell part of a bigger story rather than just their own.

There are a million themes you could choose for your own street photography project. The most important thing is to actually choose one and make something around it.

Just like Mambo did.

Kind of.

As he explained, Mambo’s project didn’t even come from a decision to start. It just happened organically.

It doesn’t matter how yours begins. The important thing is that it does.

To see more of Mambo’s street photography, including articles and book reviews, go check out his blog over at The Most Vulnerable.

You can also follow his Instagram and Twitter for regular uploads and updates (and to give suggestions on his project, as requested).

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Go here and see how you can. 🙂

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