Photographer Jacint Juhasz's pleasingly crafted, careful yet natural compositions of daily life – both street and documentary – make a huge impact in his visual storytelling. Captured in black and white, through the use of shapes and forms, his photographs bring in an eccentric depth from the print and become larger than life.
Firstly, how are you lately as a photographer?
Thanks for asking! First of all, I don’t consider myself a photographer. This year has been tough from this point of view. I spent the last 10 years traveling and during this period I picked up the camera. This year obviously traveling stopped and it changed a lot how and what I’m photographing. Just to give you an idea, normally I shoot about 100-120 rolls a year, in 2020 I’m around 40 and it’s almost over.
Ah, we see! How did you get into photography? Do you remember the first time you used a camera?
I’m not the “I’m shooting since I was a kid and I found my mom’s camera” type of guy. Indeed we had a very basic Russian viewfinder camera (Vilia) and indeed my mom was very passionate about taking family photos. I shot 2 rolls with a borrowed camera during a European tour with my class when I was 17 and that’s about it. When we got together with my wife, we purchased a digital bridge something and that followed us for 15 years documenting births, trips, birthdays, etc, without an understanding of the technics or composition. When this thing broke on the Christmas of 2014 I promised myself to buy a serious camera and learn to use it. So this is how my journey started in 2015, two years later I was shooting film, and ever since 2017 I only shoot film, mostly black and white.
How about street photography? What was the first place you photographed, if you can remember?
As I was learning using YouTube Academy (haha) and I discovered the genre of street photography I believe looking at lens reviews. As I was traveling that time for 5 years already I quickly realized this is what I needed. The next trip I had was Athens, Greece, so I went there with my camera for the first time and started to take walks when I had time outside of work. This changed my life completely, after this trip this was the way to travel, with the camera looking for opportunities to shoot.
Most of your photographs are of your city. How would you describe Budapest? What do you love about the city?
I love Budapest, living here for almost 20 years now. It’s an interesting city with a mix of everything. Of course, you’ll see the modern buildings, office, and bank centers but also there are some of those older districts where you can be lost in the small streets. I don’t have a lot of photos from Budapest, because the majority of what I did was during my travel. But I like to go out and discover new places within the city I didn’t see before.
Any personal tips you follow for your street photography grind?
Don’t force it, it’s more important to enjoy and have a good walk with a few photos rather than rushing through the city. I think of it as a way of mediation, I don’t think about the daily problems I have. Also don’t think too much. If you see something shoot it, you can think later.
Do you have favorite cities or streets to take pictures of?
Oh yes! In Eastern Europe where I spent most of my time, my favorites are Athens and Sarajevo but to be honest the whole Balkans is fantastic from a photographer's point of view. Once I’d like to spend a full summer from May to the end of September to do a road trip across all the countries of the Balkans, take a lot of photos, meet people and enjoy the great food and atmosphere. I more like southern cities, so if I think about Europe, Barcelona and Lisbon comes to my mind, I love them! I was also lucky enough to shoot in the US, probably two of the most photogenic cities, New York and San Francisco, loved them both!
What do you usually look for in an image?
Something unusual. Something strange. The beauty of street photography is the more you do it the more you’ll recognize interesting or strange things on the street most people don’t even see. Every single day of your life becomes a movie and you’re in the first row to enjoy it even if you don’t have the camera with you. I have a collection of photos in my head from moments I didn’t have the camera with me or had no opportunity to document but these are still mine, I just cannot make a print of them :)
Where do you get inspiration from?
Mostly from photos. Books and online both. To be honest, it would be much better to only look at books, but to buy all the books I would like to have, especially as the prices are going up, I would probably need to sell my house. So the beauty of the internet is that you can still enjoy and learn from the work of the great masters. I know I could go to the libraries as well, but most of them here don’t have the books I’m interested in and also with 3 kids I only have time before 6 am or after 10 pm when libraries are closed, but the internet is available.
Lastly, what are you up to nowadays? What's next for you as a photographer?
Trying to figure out my new life without traveling from a photographer's point of view. I spend most of my time now to document my family and I don’t go out too often to shoot the city which I should change. Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse and worse, we will have another round of lockdown probably very soon which doesn’t help either. I’m looking for opportunities to take photos and enjoy the process, results will come later
Photographs courtesy of Jacint Juhasz. For more of Jacint's photography, visit his Instagram.