Street Photography Secrets by IMAGO’s Mika Volkmann. 

Street Photography Secrets by IMAGO’s Mika Volkmann. 

How can street photography be pushed past the obvious? IMAGO’s independent photographer Mika Volkmann sees what many do not. IMAGO spoke to him about his street photography secrets and what drives him behind the camera.

“It’s a bit like driving a car. It is so in the flesh and blood…Aesthetics, play of light with shadows, silhouettes or interesting lighting conditions and color relationships,” said Mika Volkmann in an interview with IMAGO. For this month’s series Colour, Candid & the Street, we asked him some of his street photography secrets and inspirations for capturing unique angles and overlooked moments.  

He is no rookie. Based in Cologne and raised by photographers, Volkmann has dipped his toes into various types of photography from sport, with a focus on para-athletes, to events, portrait shoots and of course street photography. 

“To photograph means for me to live in a free way, to meet people, to be open and to develop myself. With street photography I like to capture the soul of a city, or a part of it, as I see and experience a place.”

imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Tokyo, 2021. 31 August, 2021.
imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Porto, Portugal. 12 April, 2022.
imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Porto, Portugal. 11 April, 2022.

“To photograph means for me to live in a free way, to meet people, to be open and to develop myself. With street photography I like to capture the soul of a city, or a part of it, as I see and experience a place,” said Volkmann. 

One of his street photography secrets lies in the art of patience and anticipation. He does not look for anything specific, but rather surrenders himself to the place he is photographing: “I just go out and the motifs tend to find me.”

Volkmann said that he finds a lot of his inspiration for street photography in foreign countries that offer a new aesthetic environment. “I also get inspiration from exchanging ideas with other photographers. Next on my agenda is New York, photographed a thousand times by others, but not yet through my eyes!” 

Recently, his street photography from outside the Tokyo Paralympics venues were nominated for the Fine Arts Photography photojournalism award – but it is the athletes he said, who impressed him the most. “I want to capture people’s stories and bring them closer to others. If I could take a page out of their book, then I would be a top photographer.”

imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Cologne, Germany. 18 February, 2021.
imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Cologne, Germany. 5 May, 2022.
imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Porto, Portugal. 11 April, 2022.
imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Barcelona. 9 June, 2017.
imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Streetwear. 22 February, 2004.
imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Cologne, Germany. 17 January, 2021.
imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Sauerland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. 20 February, 2021.
imago images/Mika Volkmann
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Cologne, Germany. 18 February, 2021.
imago images/Mika Volkmann Street photography secrets
IMAGO / Mika Volkmann | Cologne, Germany. 5 May, 2022.
Other recent articles on street photography include:
Photography in the streets of Hefei, China. Interview with Liu Tao and “To stand up and tell your story is an act of power, strength, and courage.” – Gulnara Samoilova on Street Photography. 
All photos by Mika Volkmann. Discover his IMAGO archive, or find him on InstagramArticle & image selection by Sofia Bergmann. Part of this month’s Colour, Candid & The Street series. 

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