Gauntlet: For the Love of Photography

by Gary Fong
Photographer: Skippy Sanchez,

What does a well-seasoned professional photographer do on his European vacation? Take Pictures! 
Skippy Sanchez is a 29 year veteran of practically every assignment a newspaper can throw at him, news, politics, sports (both professional and collegiate), features, portraits, fashions, picture stories, weddings, children, studio setups, pictorials, video, audio, commercial, architecture, aerials, and humanitarian. 
He’s in love with photography. Everyday, it’s a new adventure, meeting someone interesting, having an opportunity to walk in their shoes for a moment, and seeing what the world would bring before his lens.
On his latest tour of Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, he did what he has done everyday at his job…but he shoots personal pictures for fun and to continue honing his skills. Personal pictures are for his pleasure, not the daily demands of the editor. There’s a certain air of liberation coming back to the pleasure of photograph.
His personal slideshow view of Europe is a delightful look at people unaware their photos are being made. Some people call it candid cameras, while others call it street photography. Whatever it’s called, it’s an unabashed, voyeuristic look at the world through his lens.
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Often Skippy will literally shoot from the hip with his Lecia. His choice of camera is as much a choice of his style. Lecia cameras have traditionally been uses for clandestine coverage, where its shutter sound is almost imperceptible when the exposure is made. It’s as if the camera is invisible.
Now for the nit picking. Flattery is not a word his subjects would use in a friendly way. Many out of focus grab shots wouldn’t score high in the sharpness department. If one would examine a single image, the composition would feel out of balance, the lighting would be in he wrong place, and the attention to the background context would leave the viewer with an assortment of questions. But it’s this raw style that is intriguing, as it catches a frozen moment of the everyday. 
As I gaze over Skippy’s vacation set, it leaves me with a feeling of a world I’ve never seen before, yet I see every time I walk down the street.