SP.CO is very honored today to feature national and international award-winning photographer Yan Grinshtein. Yan has enjoyed four solo exhibitions of his work and participated in several joint exhibitions both in Israel and New York. He has served twice as the Head Judge of an Israeli National Photography Competition in 2012 and 2013— and has lectured on the subject of Street and Documentary photography in several settings, most notably at Tel-Aviv University, Israeli National Museum. Yan’s passion for photography and giving back to his community led him to donate much of his time teaching youth photography basics for several months at a youth organization in Israel. He has also executed such projects as — Realities of Life, Shoshana, 35 Years in a Car, and Life on a Train. Yan is a published photographer through different newspapers in Israel such as, PDN One Life Book, National Geographic Italy Online as well as many others. Let’s welcome Yan Grinshtein as our newest World Member.
sp.co: Hello, Yan, tell us a bit more about your background, your photography and roots?
Yan: I’ve been photographing for the past almost 6 years. I fell in love with photography pretty much from the first click, and loving it ever since. I entered the scene of documentary and street photography around 2011, when while living in Israel and seeing all the problems and issues of everyday life. That made me realize that I would like to show others how hard life in Israel can be beyond the beautiful beaches, great dining out and tourists destinations. Most people didn’t even hear or see the missile attacks on civilian cities from Gaza Strip, poverty and homeless life on the streets, illegal immigration from Sudan and Eretria, struggle to survive and so much more. I started documenting through photography the most relevant problems of 2011, and project Realities of Life came to life. It became more successful than I could imagine.
sp.co: Why street photography?
Yan: I believe that it is a privilege to be able to capture unique moments of everyday life on the streets, moments of people in their most natural habitat, record history that will never be the same ... so I guess I consider myself a history recorder, someone who is there, to see, capture and record. I do many types of photography, fashion, nature, wildlife, architecture, nude art, portraiture, and more, but my heart is with the streets!
From the project: 35 Years in a Car
sp.co: Any upcoming projects or business goals?
Yan: Nothing planned for the next 5-6 months, but that can always change.
sp.co: What are your thoughts on black and white vs color?
Yan: Both have a place to be, each has its unique pluses and minuses, but personally I love black and white, somehow black and white photos speak more with less color at least for me, and my most loved black and white medium is 35mm Film, even though I shoot a lot with digital, I still have my film camera with me and try to use it more for special situations or projects.
From the project: Realities of Life
sp.co: Do you have specific goals when you go out to shoot? Certain subjects or themes?
Yan: Yes, I do, to have fun! To enjoy the streets, and maybe meet interesting people and be lucky enough to capture interesting moments.
sp.co: Best advice for beginning street photographers is to ...
Yan: always stay yourself, and always accept others as they are, be polite, and respect other people.