The Street Photography of Chris Butler


Chris Butler is an autobiographical street photographer based in Los Angeles. He shoots mainly in black and white and was selected as a Leica Explorer in 2011. I recently had the chance to ask him about his process:

“I prefer photographing everyday life. My work is largely autobiographical and about extracting photographic opportunities from the day-to-day. It’s the opposite of studio work, set-building, etc. I don’t like to invent and manufacture; I prefer to seek out what is happening around me, to be improvisational and compel an image out of the moment.”

“When I was a kid I used to spend hours flipping through a series of Time Life photo anthologies my parents kept on the bookshelf. The photos inside were monochrome – news images from all over the world, primarily from the 1950’s and 1960’s, and I got drawn into that body of photographic work. Slice-of-life photos, editorial and documentary photos, conflict photography, etc. And when I make black and white images and document daily life, the idea of contributing to that ongoing photographic story is what I find most attractive; I’m essentially doing my best to make the kind of images that most fascinated me when I discovered photography.”

Butler is currently working on The Decade Project, in which he will be taking film photographs from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2022. The images will not be revealed to the photographer or the subjects until the entire decade of photographing concludes.


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  • jason gold

    great images. been following this Butler the photographer for some years.
    always interesting. the long project wouldn’t work for me..