The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker cruising the streets, a stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of people and situations. watching with empathy, wandering in and out of cafes and bars, through market stalls and taking photos that capture that one unique and magical moment.
I believe street photos are a window into the city’s soul, where you see its people going about their life, and yet that one snap in time immortalises them in our imagination.
Hanoi is a city of contrasts, and this is why I love street photos that capture the beautiful and unique lives of Hanoians and their city; from the overflowing market stalls, the tiny tables and chairs sprawling along the sidewalks, the street vendors, impromptu barber shops and the architecture of old buildings crusted with paint in every hue, the colours, the lanterns and flags all of which I fear may disappear one day as Hanoi and its people become ever more modernised.
The loss of local customs and dress, dining habits and the freedom to set up a mobile cafe on the road side, make the street photos we can take here and now in Hanoi even more special. I believe that whether you see young or old, wearing straw hats and carrying a bamboo pole slung with two baskets or wearing jeans and carrying a cell phone they still have something within that is unique, vietnamese and beautiful.
I’d like to share some of my favourite street photos, or what i consider to be street photo genre, even though they’re not all in the street and some are more ‘portrait’ but I hope they will inspire you to get out in Hanoi with your phones or your cameras and start shooting.
Marco Sarli is an Italian living in Hanoi, he has a wonderful emporium of imported mediterranean foods & locally grown organic fruit and vegetables and a catering service, Oasis Hanoi For several years now I have been following his posts of street photos, which you can see on his Facebook foto page Marco’s Fotos
Below are some of my favourites:
Nguyen Qui Duc is a Hanoi based Vietnamese-American author, artist, translator, and owner of Tadioto Art Bar Events, a Performance & Event Venue. Behind Tadioto’s traditional bold red doors, the dimly lit interior reveals a series of interconnected, atmospheric rooms. A decor of concrete rendered walls, salvaged timbers, vintage furniture and bold contemporary artwork. It hosts regular events: weekly live jazz, discussion groups on topics such as art, music and literature, the occasional film screening, art exhibitions, conversation and a quiet drink. Tadioto provides a base for local artists to meet. For Thinkers. And Drinkers. Tadioto
Below are some of my favourite photos from Nguyen Qui Duc’s collection.
Jon Sanwell is a British photographer who moved to Hanoi in 2008. In 2016 he had a photography exhibition at the ‘Vietnam in focus cafe/gallery’ in Hanoi, entitled Mirror Cities: Hanoi / Yangon, which was a collection of street portraits from the two cities. Recently he moved to Yangon. You can visit Jon Sanwell’s website and see his amazing photos. Jon Sanwell There is also a ‘Book’ page where you can purchase his photo books in soft cover as an awesome gift for yourself. I’ll say no more as his photos speak for themselves, only to add that I had to stop myself from adding more and more to the favourites below.
The ‘Vietnam in focus cafe/gallery’ in Hanoi, Vietnam in Focus At the cafe gallery you can meet up with friends and view the latest photo exhibition; if you check out their event page you’ll see they hold photography exhibitions every month, which are fabulous and also they offer Photo tours around Hanoi and across Vietnam.
The Hanoi Photography Club, run by James Howard White, is a group based in Hanoi where people interested in photography can get together, take photos and share ideas. Please feel free to post your photos to this page. Hanoi Photography Club The club Facebook page holds weekly photo challenges where you can post your photos and swop ideas.
Inspired by so much great Hanoi street photography I’ve managed to capture a few shots of my own, which I’ll share with you 😇
HOPING YOU’RE FEELING INSPIRED!!!!