Photowalk with Brian George
2023, June 23
I've been looking forward to this photowalk with Brian George for two weeks. Last week we had to reschedule because I would only have 2 hours. After today I understand why that is way too short.
Brian makes street portraits, which is completely different from what I do. So I was really interested in how he does that on the street. How does he approach people? How do people react to that? 
I had so many questions, I would experience it all in the almost 4 hours we walked through Amsterdam.
To be honest, in general I'm normally not a fan of portraits at all. But I find Brian's street portraits so pure and real that they keep fascinating me. It's not just the character of the person on the image that is interesting, but also how it is made, pure craftsmanship and a good eye.
So we met at Central Station in Amsterdam, and after some talking we walked over the Damrak towards Waterlooplein. We got ourselves some drinks and now it was time to approach people.
Although Brian has already approached and photographed so many people, it remains a challenge to address someone every time. In advance you start wondering every time how someone will react.

But it's not just addressing, everything has to be right.

1. The person must be interesting
2. The light conditions must be correct
3. The type of image that comes out of the camera and lens he is using at that moment (for today that was an analog lens on a Sony FF camera) must match the situation and person
4. And the person must also agree to be photographed

His goal is to go home with at least 10 photos. We came across some people he photographed before, so those didn't count again.
I watched with admiration how he addresses people with respect. And that he doesn't let himself be demotivated if someone doesn't want to be photographed. You have to turn that button again and again every time.
It does make up for it when you have a nice conversation with someone again.
After 4 hours I really had to stop, my children at home started to get hungry. Brian continued and in the evening I got a DM that he had found another good spot and completed his mission.
It was educational to see how Brian works. A good lesson for me that I don't always have to shoot so sneaky.
For the upcoming weekend I've been meaning to grab my old Fuji X-T1 and play with the M42 adapter and analog lenses. The fun of the camera and the lenses is allowed again!
And as Brian puts it - you can think of the lens as a paintbrush!
Brian George at work
Brian George's shot me today
Photograph by ©Brian George
I've also submitted this photo to Chip Foto Magazine where I'm lucky enough to be showing 6 pages of my portfolio and an interview next month (Issue 77 August).

Check out his street portraits at: or at his Instagram Streetsof020.
Some of my shots from today
​​​​​​​As you can see, I was totally off ...
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