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Jürgen Bürgin: The story about how to become a Street Photographer

7/14/2011 ISO 1200 Magazine 4 Comments

Today we are blessed with an exceptional partner Jürgen Bürgin he talks about how he became a street photographer and something about his workflow.

 My name is Jürgen Bürgin, I was born in a small town called Lörrach in Southern Germany in 1971. Later I was studying German literature, linguistics and economy in Freiburg.  I began to work for movie business in Berlin in 1999 as public relations manager for a film PR agency. Some weeks ago I also started to do public relations for a new book publisher calles Ghost Press,

 Very late I started to discover my passion for photography, it was roundabout in 2009. Before I did not do more than any mediocre holiday photography. I soon started to photograph people in the street, months later I came to know that people call this 'street photography'. And I also started to discover that street photography was a major part in the development of photography as an art.

  And in my public library I found lots of photobooks of mainly French or American photographers who started to be my teachers - although some of them are already dead. Lets say, the best way to learn something about photography is look at thousand and thousands of photos. At least that's what I did - and what I'm still doing. I leave my library every week with roundabout 20 kilo of huge photobooks. And I devour them. And the other best way to learn something about photography is: Show your photos to lots of people and ask them to tell their opinion about them.

 So that's the reason why I started to publish my photographies on my facebook page,, and I have vivid exchange with the followers of my page - they tell my their opinions and they even invent whole stories about my photos, and really makes me a little bit proud that I have more than 2.800 fans on the whole world. The same is on Twitter, on I'm talking about all kinds of photographic topics on Twitter, and I have nearly 5.000 followers now. Recently I started to publish them also on my own webpage,, but I'm still developing it. So my followers and their feedback on the different Social Media platforms are really responsible for my still growing passion for urban photography, so since i started I was shooting for example in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, London and New York.

  This year I even was shortlisted for a Sony World Photography Awards in the category 'After Dark.' As I'm still working on my style it's not easy for me to talk about how I'm shooting and how my workflow is. It's still a lot of 'try and error'. I think an important part of my work is to have some ideas in mind before you go shooting - and then try I try to find the situations to carry out my ideas. But to be exact: I don't think that I really go for shootings. I simply do what I'm doing - go to any events, walk through cities as a tourist, meet people, go shopping and so on - but I always carry my camera with me.

 Afterwards a part of the workflow starts, that is as important as the shooting itself: I select my photos which is really a hard process. What is important for me in the selection process: Does the photo tell a story in one picture? Does is it have the strength to evoke own, subjective stories in the viewer? Does it surprise the viewer? Is it far from having photographic stereotypes? I thank answering those questions for myself is the most important part of my workflow. Then comes a final part of the work: Can I improve the impression of the photo by doing any changes regarding colours? Sometimes I work in black and white which is for me a way to alienate photos, to depart from reality. Black and white is no realistic experience, black and white does not have to do anything with reality - but watching a black and white photo it makes you think about perception, about perception of reality and about artistic alienation of reality. But that's what I'm doing with my colur photos too: Trying to alienate them. Only a little bit, but enough to disorient the viewer a little bit, enough to make him think about reality, perception, alienation. So what I'm doing is to slightly reduce the colour saturation, and to change slightly the colour tones of my photos - I found that I love to give the photos a little bit more blue and yellow than in reality.

 But the whole thing is still about a deep satisfaction I'm receiving in getting in direct exchange about my photos with the viewers. It's the fundamental thing about what is new with Social Media: My photography is giving me a possibility to get in contact with people in the whole world who are intersted in photography, or in arts - or in life.

Here is a selection of some of his photographs:

Thanks for your time Jürgen.


Enjoyed reading your article Jurgen and some great images. Love the one of the girl and dog.

Anonymous said...

Great reading, Jürgen. I really like how you process your colors - it gives your images just the right amount of umpf. And by the way, the latest stuff I´ve seen coming out from you are really excellent. Keep em coming!


Thanks a lot for your compliments, wow!

Allan Sturm said...

Such great photography.