PTS 002 – Daniel Schaefer

Daniel Schaefer

Daniel was a social media consultant at Leica, Los Angeles. He used to shoot in the streets of LA and recently moved to NYC. He has a particular knack for portraits. His strength is engaging strangers as well as people he knows. We talk about film versus digital, the advantages of medium format, shooting Leicas, working on projects and many other things.

Find Daniel’s work at

2 Replies to “PTS 002 – Daniel Schaefer”

  1. Very cool podcast. Listened to all of them keep them coming. I was looking for a podcast like this, now I found one.

    I agree, as a still photog, with a lot of what the photogs had to say. And there were also many things that the photogs said that I did not agree with it. That’s the great thing about freedom, we have the freedom of speech, and the freedom to disagree with things that you feel strongly about.

    Perello’s interview was interesting. I find he has a preoccupation with layering, I find it important yet, imo, an over preoccupation of it can do damage when a photog is trying to express something in a project that may not call for layering. Alex Webb’s suffering of light was brilliant yet I felt that there was a preoccupation with the layering, in other words I felt (and I may be wrong) was the layering the main subject than the subject. However, I would believe that the layering in Webb’s work intensified the subject, but I could understand when viewers may mistaken the layering as the main subject–where form swallows the content. I’m all for layering, but I rather have a passion for the dramatic human drama spinning off the streets which layering may rightly capture (among other forms) than a passion just for layering. I hope that made sense. This is my opinion and where I stand others may have their own about layering, and I’m cool with that, just wanted to get my opinion out there.

    I like Robert Bram’s interview the most, it was hard to find things that I disagreed with. I love how he mentioned the Winogrand photographs and how his initial and later reaction to them. I love how Bram mentioned the importance of street photography being “candid.” There were some things I disagreed with but I don’t remember.

    When I think of street photography, two names come to mind. 1.) Winogrand (although he wouldn’t call himself that) and 2.) Jeff Melmerstein.

    I hope in the future their are more purists in street photography.

    These two are most the purest imo, studying them. They shoot purely candid–off the cuff for their personal work and they do not camp, but walk, walk, and walk. IMO there is nothing wrong with camping, yes the great HCB did this often–and it’s important to camp. Yet I feel a preoccupation with camping in street photography has more to do with design than street photography, I maybe wrong–correct me of I am wrong.

    Documentary photography camping is crucial–how I define documentary photography generally, broadly with a brush stroke/in a nutshell is asking permission and than blending in with that environment.

    The verb “walking” I find to have stronger association with street photography than “camping” waiting for the subject, although camping is a part of it, but walking should be imo the preoccupation. Listen to the interviews of winogrand on YouTube he is not like HCB where he waits for the subject to be in the right position, my assumption and developing thesis is that it has something to do with what Papageorge stated that winogrand did not see HCB’s type composition
    as canonical. (Check out papageorge’s lecture on YouTube about winogrand, it’s very informative).

    Also interesting interview with Schaefer, after listening to the interview with him I went to his tumblr. I would agree that he has talent–in capturing and editing from what is evident on his tumblr. Yet, I feel from the interview and many of his photos are in the documentary category and not the street photography category. From listening to the interview, what he was describing was straight up documentary photography (or dominantly documentary photography) that he was describing. And not the kind of street that was in the same vein as winogrand, Melmerstein and company.

    Eric Kim, I like the dude–imo, I think he is doing a lot for street photography, in promoting it and pulling out what we could learn. There is a lot that I don’t agree with, yet there is a lot that I do. I find him to be a hodge podge of diverse information, yet he does stand firm on his commitment to film (I think this is important), 35mm and less, also I wish that he would keep representing the candid aspect of street photography as he has been doing, he asks permission which to me that is fine, he has the freedom so why should anyone take that away from him (he could do what he wants to do), he mentioned that he shoots 80 candid and 20 percent of his photographs he directs or asks for permission. I think eric kim has a latent interests for documentary style work, which I believe is honorable. I would label eric as a mixture of both street and documentary. One thing I disagree with that was indirectly applied is the idea of collaboration (correct me if I misrepresent his view), I think if photographers who collaborate with their subjects is fine In the documentary sense but if their is collaboration in the sense of permission asking or direction i believe strongly this is not street photography. If the photographer believes that their collaboration some how justifies their photography is a philosophy that goes contrary to the essentials of candid street photography. For example on YouTube check out Winogrand’s Q&a at rice university on YouTube (at the 20 minute mark), where winogrand critiques bruce davidson’s work before subway. Winogrand states and davidson wrongly interprets Arbus and HCB. Before I heard that winogrand Q&A I oddly thought the same and wrote some stuff in regards to davidson’s weird contradictory lecture for strand bookstore. I love davidson’s subway book post winogrand’s critique, if davidson held to his own philosophy the one that winogrand could not stand instead of going against it you wouldn’t have subway.

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