Hi, I’m Jill Maguire, a retired technical writer and admittedly fair-weather street photographer. In 2020 I moved from the Seattle area to southern Maine (USA). Moving here was a dream come true, but it’s been challenging to start new street photography projects from scratch. I moved from a big city that bustles year-round to a tourist town that is crazy in the summer and dead in the winter. I love the kitschy beach towns here but I’m still figuring out how to “see” them and what to photograph during the off season.
My technical writer brain is always looking for visual data that I can use to compose an interesting shot. Although I prefer to create complex images that contain multiple stories, I also enjoy shooting quieter scenes of figures within a landscape. Sometimes the only subjects I can find are serendipitously arranged people with minimal overlaps. If I can’t find any human activity, I look for dogs and animals (both real and unreal) and urban landscapes.
My favorite places to photograph are annual events, like state fairs and parades, as well as tourist hotspots and places that recreate the natural world, such as zoos. Conveying a sense of place is important to me, and a 28mm lens works well for adding context about the location. I also carry my camera when I walk around local beach towns for exercise. I like the challenge of seeing a familiar neighborhood in a new way each day and being delighted when I encounter curious or unexpected activities in progress.
The fairs and events I photograph are all held during the warmer months, so that’s when I do most of my shooting. I’m picky about the quality of light and typically shoot in the mornings (preferred) or after 4pm. Although a lot of photographers like to shoot brash light and shadows as sunset nears, I’d much rather have blue skies with a slight haze to soften shadows and even out the exposure.
For me, a big part of street photography is going somewhere unique, fun, and memorable. I’ve been to some really cool events with my camera that I still think of fondly. I consider myself lucky if I take a single great photo while there, but this is never guaranteed, so I might as well have fun and eat well in the process. Some of my favorite memories include the people I’ve met at street photography workshops who are still friends to this day. I’d like to think I could visit any country in the world and have a photography friend there.