Jose Flores: The Camera Is Your Social Passport, Use It

16-year old high school senior Jose Flores’ love for street photography started after he decided to upgrade from his iPhone camera and move away from composite photography.

Flores says that it was only after buying a Canon Rebel t3i from Craigslist that he began experimenting by blindly shooting strangers on the street. He tells Hudson Reporter:

“When I bought the camera the colours and how I edited started to change. And then the things I started to shoot started to change.”

However, his view on street photography only shifted after watching the documentary Everybody Street. Since then, Flores has progressed toward building relationships and ‘bursting personal bubbles’ with his camera.

Speaking at TEDx, Flores recalls how he learned that rather than being seen as a hostile tool, the camera can also act as social passport by giving you a reason to talk and document the lives of people—that’s when you dig into the heart of what street photography is about.

It’s about interaction, stories, and finding a beat on the street; for Flores, it was capturing the grittier side of urban New York.

“There are a lot of characters on the street that people turn a blind eye to…I want to tell their stories. I want to find out about their life.”

To see Flores’ street photography on the streets of New York, follow him on Instagram here.

Video and screenshots via TEDx Talks