‘Young Enough’ – An Inspirational Story Involving Street Photography

‘Young Enough’ – An Inspirational Story Involving Street Photography

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The enthusiam of a group of boys in front of a camera, in Laos

At Street Hunters, we love it when people get in touch with us to tell us about projects they’re working on – there’s a world of readers and photographers out there and it’s impossible for us to keep our ears to the ground for everything!

Last week we had an email from a fan in Brazil called Felipe Sant’Ana Pereira, who had a really amazing and inspirational story to share with us. It was so interesting that we wanted to share the story on the site, so here goes!

Two years ago, at the age of 19, Felipe embarked alone on an 18 month around the world trip, visiting over 30 countries. He funded his journey by selling the various prizes he’d won from online contests. Most of the contests asked for a creative answer to a question, and Felipe clearly had a creative knack for the right kind of answer – over the course of 2 years he won over 20 contests, with prizes ranging from TVs, phones, videogames and clothes!

Namaste, the popular way of greeting strangers in the Himalayas
Namaste, the popular way of greeting strangers in the Himalayas
A first encounter with local kids, in Tibet
A first encounter with local kids, in Tibet

Felipe wanted to use his travels as a means of studying and examining youth, and ways of preserving it. He did this by interviewing and photographing children from the various countries he visited, throwing himself into their daily lives to learn all about their circumstances, fears, and dreams. The result was an amazing series of portraits of kids from all around the world, all very different and diverse, but all united by Felipe’s skill as a photographer to really capture the life and world of his subjects. Just looking at Felipe’s shots, you can really tell that he lived with and became friends with these children – he wasn’t just a tourist taking snapshots. As Felipe said: “My purpose was always to rediscover youth through their eyes and words.” He began compiling these stories into a letter he was writing to his best friend back home, who hadn’t been able to join him on the journey.

Cambojan friends ignore the fierce mud fight happening behind them
Cambojan friends ignore the fierce mud fight happening behind them
A Peruvian boy and his unmistakable innocence
A Peruvian boy and his unmistakable innocence

On returning home, Felipe realized that this mountain of amazing material from the photos and stories he’d collected shouldn’t just be in one letter to his friend, it deserved to be in a book that anyone could read. So he turned to the internet again, making a video to promote a crowdfunding campaign to publish the book:

What happened next is astonishing. Felipe’s campaign became the most successful literature project in the history of crowdfunding in Brazil. His book ‘Jovem O Suficiente’ (‘Young Enough’) was pre-ordered almost 1,000 times across 19 states in Brazil.

To celebrate the book’s printing, Felipe released another YouTube video:

The video shows Felipe’s journey to Honduras, where he tracks down and is reunited with one of the children he lived with when he first visited there. Felipe describes his whole story as having “a lot to do with street photography, getting in touch with unknown people and discovering their own stories”, and I couldn’t agree with him more. His portraits and his interviews are a great testament to the documentary power of street photography, and particularly in its ability to celebrate and showcase peoples’ daily lives.

Purity in child's play, in India
Purity in child’s play, in India

So congratulations to Felipe, and we’re grateful he shared his very inspiring story with us. There is often a chance pursue a photography project if you can find the right audience! With that in mind, I’ll leave you with Felipe’s advice: “Whoever says it’s too hard or complicated to pursue a dream might have not understood, yet, the potential of some tools available online. My story is only one of many examples”.

“Jovem O Suficiente” is available in Portuguese in Physical version and Digital version.

The little girl's eyes sparkle as she receives a gift, in India
The little girl’s eyes sparkle as she receives a gift, in India

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