Mary Ellen- Street Photograper

Mary Ellen’s street photography was published in 1988 and was published by Aperture in October 2015. Her photographs are all in black and white, and it usually shows emotion. This is effective because it shows why she has photographed them and why it is important to share to the public. Her street photography is called ‘Streetwise’ which stands out to me because it shows people’s interpretations of how to be street wise.

These photographs are all of children as it gives a perceptive of what they also know about how to be street wise. Clearly these photographs are not showing the correct way to be street wise but that is how the children have been brought up to understand what it is, copying the way their parents are or how the people around them act.

The first photo of the two boys show the tallest boy to be putting a gun into his pocket. The other boy seems perfectly fine with him doing this, as they could be used to seeing this in the neighbourhood they have grown up in. I feel that they are carrying a gun for protection or if a fight gets out of hand they can take the gun out. I also feel like they have taken the gun from their parents to show their neighbourhood friends that they now have a gun and they should be respected, and if they are not respected they know what would happen to them.

The second photo shows young girls holding babies. The youngest girl is holding two toy dolls, but the other girl, maybe her sister is holding a baby. The girl looks no older than 16 years old, whilst the other looks no older than 8 years old. The youngest girl is seeing having babies at a young age as normal and acceptable because her ‘sister’ has. The oldest does not look very happy to be sat out on the street with her ‘sister’ and her child, her face looks miserable and not interested. The two girls look quite poor as the youngest has no shoes on and the oldest shoes look worn out.

The last photo shows two young girls in a paddling pool,smoking. The girl stood up is the one smoking and is presenting her self as a teenager and not the age she is. She has probably taken the cigarette from her parents and is trying to copy them as they feel like they are more grown up if they smoke and act grown up.


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