June 29, 2022

Leanne Staples

Discussing sharing creativity with Leanne.


Describe your journey with photography.

Photography is a very important tool of communication for me. It is an artistic adventure. People often ask me what kind of camera I use. My response has always been, you don't ask a carpenter what kind of hammer they use.

Street photography is my happy accident. Once upon a time I thought that I would become an architectural photographer. The problem was that people kept walking into my frame. I lost my patience as I'm prone to do and I continued shooting. One day, someone saw some of those photos and said "cool street photography." My response was "what's street photography?" I didn't study photography and this was years before digital and all things internet. So I was surprised to later discover the history of street photography.

I have been providing street photography workshops in New York City for 12+ years. The beauty of photography is that I am always learning something new and I have the great good privilege to help others see photography in a different light.

What have you learned along the way that you wish you knew earlier?

My mantra to people taking my workshops is shoot often, experiment and don't be afraid to make so-called mistakes. I was able to learn this in hindsight. Photography is a creative pursuit and unlearning the rules is important to personal expression rather than imitation.

What's been the most rewarding part of sharing your creativity with others? How does running workshops impact your own creativity?

The process of sharing my photography with others is important, but it's also important to see what others are doing. It is a reciprocal process. That is not always easy to achieve on social media platforms. Creativity is a process without rules or recipes. It is wonderful when others like my photography in the truest sense and it provides a sense that maybe I'm moving in a good direction.

We all see the world differently and in providing workshops I work with others to help them communicate in their own way. I can at times, see how they see. It is very rewarding to help people get beyond the preconceived ideas about photography should be and how it should be practiced.

Photography is a rewarding form of communication and, without sharing it with others, it is merely a monologue.

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Post photograph by
Leanne Staples

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