Spotlight on... the students of Street Smart.

As an in-home documentary photographer the past 10 years for both clients and my own children,  I quite frankly was drained creatively.  We all get in ruts, but this one wasn't a rut. It was a need for change to push myself creatively as a photographer.

I discovered street photography about 5 years ago and was hooked.

Street photography is definitely a genre that is picking up steam.  Street allows you to be totally present in the moment creating images solely for you.  Not for your client, not for your kid's memories, but 100% for YOU.

I am thrilled that Illuminate has given me a place to share my love of street with the community. The first run of Street Smart earlier this year was an incredible eye-opener for the students, most of which had never hit the streets before! I was blown away by how quickly they produced captivating images of the society around them and pushed through fears to get to the other side.  There is no greater photography 'high' in my book than nailing that fleeting moment on the street.

Another thing to note? Street can be shot ANYWHERE. I'm lucky, I live near NYC, but I also shoot suburbia where I live with my family. On the beach, a boat, downtown, suburbia, a park, the possibilities are only limited by your own mind. Street puts a mirror up to society whatever that society may be and the students of Street Smart did just that, and well.

Here's a sample of some of the work a few of the students produced as we cycled through the lessons on overcoming fear, composition, juxtapostion, what makes a great street photo (versus a snapshot) and that critical decision of presenting your street photo in B+W or color.

Jennifer Tonetti Spellman | Instructor of Street Smart

Julie Bishop.jpg

image by Julie Bishop

Rebecca Hannicutt.jpg

image by Rebecca Hannicutt


image by Rhianna Sgardner-Meems


image by Susan Hayes

Erica Kenecht.jpg

image by Erica Knecht

Nicole Graziano.jpg

image by Nicole Graziano


image by Hallie Paulson

Kenzi Tainow.jpg

image by Kenzi Tainow

Dawn wessman.jpeg

image by Dawn Wessman


image by Ariel Dolfo

Ann Leaver.jpg

image by Ann Leaver


image by Jaime Mitchell

Street Smart will be offered again this fall, starting September 10. Click here to register.