Photojazz Five: Dawn Hendsbee

Photojazz Five (n.) Five questions to and five photos from a street photographer.

This week’s featured street photographer is 28 year old student-spouse-mother Dawn Hendsbee, from the French half of language-bipolar Canada.

Insert Dudley Do-Right joke here.

Although studying to become a Radiation Oncology Therapist, being a mommy, and being a wife takes up all of her time, always having a camera in her bag allows here to exercise her right brain in the spaces between the ‘here’ and ‘there’.

street photo 1 Montreal Canada
In one brief statement, define street photography.
To me, street photography is capturing the human condition. It’s about seeing the beauty in people and the way they interact with each other and their environment. It’s about seeing that which people turn their eyes from, or fail to notice. It’s about appreciating the thousands of small dramas, emotions and moments that happen around us constantly, and capturing them in a single frame.

How would you define your artistic style (I.e. What defines your
visual ‘uniqueness’)

I am still working on defining my style. Above all, I think it is raw and real. My work tends to lean towards the portraiture side of street photography. I will not usually wait for a photo, or try to set it up in any way, quite often I will shoot without stopping. It’s not so much about capturing life as it goes by, but more about life as I go through it. Being a student, my budget for equipment is pretty limited, so it’s about the moment and the emotion rather than the image quality.

How did you get into street photography?
I became interested in photography after my daughter was born. I wanted to learn to use my camera to document her changing and growing. I joined a community of photographers on facebook called How to Photograph Your Baby (Nick Kelsh). One day on a walk to the park I saw a man in a wheelchair struggling down the snowy sidewalk, and impulsively snapped a frame. I posted it on the forum, and Nick told me it was street photography, and turned me on to Bresson. After that, I was off and running. I have always loved people watching, now I do it through my viewfinder.

What influences your work (can be anything)?
My city and my neighbourhood! The variety of personalities and situations you can see in a glimpse is amazing! I am lucky to have the support and criticisms of a fabulous bunch of women from the photography community (love you TS!) who inspire me every day with their strength and beauty!

Who are your top 5 street togs?
Hard to say, I don’t know if I have a favorite. I have been really inspired by the work of Vivian Maier, and of course Bresson. So many from the deviantArt community inspire me as well, like Felix Lupa and Joel Sueur.


My thanks go to Dawn for taking the time out of a busy schedule to do this. You can see more of Dawn’s work in her deviantArt gallery.

About Brian

Brian Q. Webb is a photography enthusiast from Los Angeles, California who spends most of his time in Taipei, Taiwan. He is especially interested in street photography as well as large format portraiture and pinhole photography. He also likes to shoot lifestyle portraiture and occasionally acts as an agent for foreign newspapers wanting event coverage in Taipei. He was also on the staff of deviantArt and is co-founder of PhotoMalaysia, the largest photography community in that country.