Street photography in Little Havana – San Lazaro

Miami Street Photographer - San Lazaro

Miami Street Photographer – San Lazaro

As a street photographer in Miami, I am continually amazed at the variety of scenes I encounter on a daily basis.  Miami is truly a city split into unique and somewhat separate neighborhoods and the most well-known is Little Havana.

I absolutely love visiting this neighborhood and particularly it’s main commercial street “Calle Ocho” i.e. 8th Street.  Calle Ocho represents the cultural identity for many Cuban Americans.  I can wander Little Havana for hours and each time I discover something new.

Last Friday I walked on the evening of Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) which is occurs on the last Friday of every month.  Many of the store fronts host live music, street vendors, the galleries are all open and, in general, it’s a social night for the community.  And for me it is one of the best nights of the month for street photography.

In the photograph shown above, you see a man taking a “selfie” with an effigy of San Lazaro.  The Rincon de San Lazaro church from Hialeah has a mobile van which brings Saint Lazaro to the people – in the streets – to worship him.  I had to Google San Lazaro and found an excellent term paper written by Miami Dade College student Alanna Pugliese which you can READ HERE. I learned that San Lazaro is worshipped by both Catholics and people who practice Santeria.  And some people consider him the protector of dogs – I think I like him already 🙂

What is a street photographer?

According to iN-PUBLIC (a street photography collective), a street photographer is someone who has:  “… the ability to see the unusual in the everyday and to capture the moment. The pictures remind us that, if we let it, over-familiarity can make us blind to what’s really going on in the world around us.”

SP (another Street Photography collective) says that the street photographers “… capture un-posed moments, interpreting life around them and challenging our perceptions of the world.”

And how do you define street photography?

Wikipedia’s definition of street photography:

“Street photography is photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. The subject of the photograph might be absent of people and can be an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.

Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment. Much of what is now widely regarded, stylistically and subjectively, as definitive street photography was made in the era spanning the end of the 19th Century through to the late 1970s; a period which saw the emergence of portable cameras. The portable camera enabled candid photography in public places became an issue of discussion. Street photographers create fine art photography (including street portraits) by capturing people in public places, often with a focus on emotions displayed, thereby also recording people’s history from an emotional point of view. Social documentary photographers operate in public places documenting people and their behavior in public places for recording people’s history and other purposes. Services like Google Street Viewalso record the public place at a massive scale. Photojournalists work in public places, capturing newsworthy events, which may include people and private property visible from public places.”

Encyclopedia Britanica’s definition of street photography:

“Street photography, a genre that records everyday life in a public place. The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge. Street photographers do not necessarily have a social purpose in mind, but they prefer to isolate and capture moments which might otherwise go unnoticed.”

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