Featured Street Photographer #2 – Sean Breadsell

Sean has a very well curated site where he posts his best images. There is very little image clutter due to loving all his creative “children” equally. Having the decisive mindset to pick only your very best images from each shoot is something to aspire to. Forced choice is often my go to tool – one or two images per roll is what I expect to make the first short list. Any more than that, and I find I am being a bit vain…

Perth in Black and White is featured heavily in Sean’s website. Sean shares some of the stories behind his best shots, which is a great chance to learn how someone else does it – and the knowledge that most of us share the same fears, curiosities, and wants.

You can check out Sean here.

Developing an eye for potential images is a skill that is evident in Sean’s images. He has a particular knack for seeing a composition, and then getting the shot pretty much right by waiting for the right moment and right subject to come into frame.

Let’s get to know Sean a little better…

Why Street Photography?

I am a people watcher from way back and I find people of all types interesting in their own right. I like how people interact with the environment and with other people around them. Often when I walk I see scenes before my eyes forming with people in or entering the scene, objects and acts of nature like the wind, the rain or shadows from the sun….I love it all, potential photos everywhere. Black & white helps see the scene for what it is without the disturbance of colour, but when the colour screams out to you….trust me you will notice!

What do you shoot with?

Honestly, a camera and any camera. I have bought into the whole, discrete small camera only myth, but I have used anything from a small camera like a Panasonic GX1, OMD series of cameras and big DSLRs like Nikon D90/700/800. I often or maybe somewhat often shoot with film, I currently have a Nikon FM2, F90X, Olympus Trip 35 and other various cameras that I have used. Lenses, you need to get up close and shoot in people’s faces haha….no you don’t, this is my journey and I see scenes through my eyes, I shoot with whatever I have……even iPhones.

Your best tip?

Be your own person, photograph what you like and make up your own rules. Share photos and get feedback, but don’t take it personally because everyone has an opinion. Most of all, enjoy!

What’s your favourite “go to” spot?

I don’t have a favourite but I love walking the streets of Perth, love my city.

What got you into Street Photography?

I am not sure what made me start in the streets, probably because I walk a lot around the city. I have worked in the city for the last 20 years and it is what I know. I see scenes, and once I got more into photography, it was just something that I started doing…I will say, buying my first DSLR got me into photographing more seriously, even though I had always had a camera of some sorts since I was a kid.

Here are my three favourite images from Sean’s website which demonstrate his decisive moment skillz!


I suspect this wall is very popular in Perth with Street Photographers! It is a pearler… Starting off with a colour shot is probably not representative of Sean’s work – but shows how important waiting for the right subject is.

The solid blocks of colour of the wall look striking and create dynamic lines in the image. Even the yellowy colour (I am red green colour blind, so don’t judge me too harshly if I get it wrong!) is quite a passive colour to my eyes, along with the others.

The angular lines in the image add to the dynamic feel.

Contrasting against this is the strong and bold red of the subject’s shopping trolley. She is wearing plain black which only helps highlight the trolley even more. I only wish she wasn’t looking at her phone! But that is not Sean’s fault… Kids these days…

This image is the perfect example of one of my favourite quotes

“There are the two basic controls at the photographer’s command – position and timing – all others are extensions, peripheral ones, compared to them.”

David Hurn

which you can read more about here.

I am quite envious of this image in Sean’s portfolio… I have been looking for my own version of this moment for just about forever, inspired by this image by Robert W. Kelley a Life photographer.

Photographer : Robert W. Kelley

Photographer : Robert W. Kelley

There is much to learn from the team that photographed for Life Magazine.

Again, seeing the potential for the image, and then having the patience to wait for the right moment has created a wonderful image. The repetition in the image adds to the feeling of “calm before the storm” you can imagine the subject feeling in both images.

life (1)

The final image I am going to feature today is this one, titled “Life”. I probably like some of Sean’s other images that feature a contrast between movement and still, but there is something to learn from his commentary about this image which you can read here.

How often do we all see a composition with our eyes, but keep walking. What keeps us walking when an image beckons?

Fear of strangers?

A feeling the moment has already passed?

Momentum has pushed you past the opportunity?

Sean saw this opportunity and kept walking. This time, however, he broke the mental cycle that was a barrier to his creativity. He stopped and went back and asked for a portrait… And got this great shot that he loves.

Ask the question. Go back and get the shot. The worst thing that can happen is that the opportunity has disappeared or the person refuses. And then you just keep walking anyway.

Here is an opportunity I saw, but for some reason, kept walking. I managed to stop my stumpy little legs moving and went back and asked for a portrait. I am glad I did…

kodat 400tx h1 80mm366


One Response to “Featured Street Photographer #2 – Sean Breadsell”

  1. It’s wonderful to see Sean’s work featured and recognised for the fantastic shots that they are. I’ve been privileged and honoured to have had many photowalks with Sean where he has been very generous and insightful with his photography knowledge and skills, especially street photography. Very proud to have him as a friend. Keep shooting buddy!


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