Beat Streuli

Street photographer Beat Streuli's style is the polar opposite of Shizuka Yokomizo. Hunter-like, Streuli seeks out his prey using a long telephoto lens so his subjects are unaware of his presence. 

© Beat Streuli. Queens, NY. 

© Beat Streuli. Queens, NY. 

This surveillance style of photography carries with it a sense of responsibility for the photographer to depict his unknowing subjects appropriately. Streuli captures the routine motions of people, from his remote position. He focuses on facial expressions, body movement and posture. Shooting from such a distance creates a very shallow depth of field, which concentrates the viewer on the subjects action and offers blurred references to their location. Angier (2007, p. 73) summarised his style as: 

"The cityscape itself becomes a generalised common space, a globalised version of downtown." 

Meanwhile Beat Streuli himself adds that:

"I think it is easier to look at things against a neutral background, and this is why I hardly ever take pictures in poor suburbs where the social problems are obvious, because in such surroundings people could become just figures reduced to their social role."  1

Streuli is adept at isolating key moments of personal contact that a split second later are lost and overwhelmed by the busyness of the city. Although the photograph is taken in secret, in hiding, Streuli often displays his final images on the city streets where they were created. The hunter returning his captured subjects to the city jungle. 

Beat Streuli's work can be viewed here.  


Angier, R. (2007). Train your gaze: a practical and theoretical introduction to portrait photography. Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA


1. Quoted in Detlev Fischer, "Beat Streuli's Paradise,"$216