“I just go out with a fresh mind and eyes and shoot. If I’m shooting on a project. I will plan where and who to meet but usually I always work spontaneously to anticipate what that day will offer to surprise me.”
Rony Zakaria (born in 1984) is a photojournalist and street photographer from Indonesia currently residing in Jakarta. He attended “Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara” (Antara Gallery of Photojournalism) in Jakarta, Indonesia and the “Asian Center for Journalism” at Ateneo de Manila University.
Ronny Zakaria, what was your most memorable moment shooting pictures out on the streets?
I don’t’ have any particular moment that crossed my mind right now but everyday is always different kind of experience.
Why did you become a photographer? And why street photography?
One thing lead to another and so far it’s something that doesn’t bored me easily as I’m easy to be bored. So nine-to-five jobs doesn’t work for me. I don’t classify myself as a street photographer. I just happened to work a lot outside in the field and out in the streets.
What does photography mean to you and what do you want to say with your pictures?
It’s a mean of expressing and I need to express myself to keep myself happy.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
Many works from different photographers inspired me, especially in the way they approach their subject, the way they tell the stories and most importantly them as an interesting human being.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
It’s a quote by Garry Winogrand:
“I photograph to see how the world look like photographed.”
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process?
It’s just simple. I just go out with a fresh mind and eyes and shoot. If I’m shooting on a project. I will plan where and who to meet but usually I always work spontaneously to anticipate what that day will offer to surprise me.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic voice?
I don’t think I’m not the best person to answer this. But I guess, keep on working? And always be surprised.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
I don’t know. I think it’s for other people to judge, viewers, curators or editors.
What qualities and characteristics does a good street photographer need?
You need to look ordinary and not dangerous.
What does a photo need to be a great street shot?
A great picture is simply a great picture. There is no formula, there’s no math. It’s just that photo that struck you instantly and made you stop, even in this digital era.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Movies, stories from casual conversations, dreams.
What’s the biggest challenge shooting on the streets?
Air pollution and cars and motorist who try to kill you.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
Just a regular slr and rangefinder camera.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
What book about photography would you recommend?
“Magnum Contact Sheets”. It’s just inspiring for me, the personal stories from the photographers.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a street photographer?
Listen to yourself, don’t listen to just anybody.