In this showcase series we focus on the Shanghai street photography of Mimo Khair. Mimo has lived for a number of years in Shanghai, and specialises in street photography. This series features street portraits of the people of shanghai, captured as they go about their day-to-day lives.
Photophique caught up with Mimo to get some background to this series.
Hi Mimo, can you tell us about your time in Shanghai?
I came to Shanghai with my family in 2006 from Germany. Having lived previously for most of my adult life in New York City, I found in Shanghai an echo of the relentless energy of New York and it caused me to love this city. I found in Shanghai most of the elements that inspire street photography in me, the unusual, the contradictions, the constant hustle and bustle, the strange juxtapositions of elements old and new, run down and glitzy, this city is a moving canvas of fascinating impressions. After 7 years of living here, I still find myself compelled to walk the streets daily finding the unexpected and growing my library of images that tell the story of Shanghai, at least in my mind. A metropolis of 25 million people, growing at a remarkable speed, it never ceases to amaze.
What inspires you as a photographer?
My inspiration as a photographer comes from moments that translate into emotion and drama through the lens. I walk the streets not knowing what to expect and then suddenly a moment, a small theater presents itself, ready to be captured and I know instantly that it will be my photo of the day, an incapsulated emotion, a story to be interpreted freely by anyone’s imagination, because there is enough theater in it to allow the imagination to soar. The human element plays a big part in my photography of the streets. The players in the drama of life.
What equipment do you use?
The equipment I use is my DSLR (a Canon 5D MkIII) with mostly a 50mm lens for street, sometimes other lenses, and recently inspired by a great photographer and friend in Tokyo (Michael Kistler), an iphone. It was a great revelation to me to realize how much you can do with any camera in the street, as he demonstrates with his incredible mobile images of Tokyo streets. So, I guess any camera will do in the streets. The mobile offers amazing freedom, the chance to take your images anytime, a full intensity, not depending on when you are out with your main camera.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Mimo Khair retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.