Chicago Street Portraits & Urban Scenes

The ChiTown Storyteller – Kevin OConnell

Chicago Street Collection

Chicago has been Kevin’s home for over 56 years, and 40 of those years as a photographer. Kevin moved to the Chicago south loop in 2000 and started his successful street photography career.

His style of urban street photography is more in the fine art genre, taking general street photography to a whole new level. His approach and style is about telling the stories through fine art street portraiture, or thought provoking scenes that take place instantaneously throughout the city. One of the reasons Kevin’s street portraits stand out among the very best is, he actually gets to know his canvas’s on a very personal basis and knows them all by name. He doesn’t take random images that catch or exploit a less fortunate group of people. In fact, Kevin asks permission to take a persons image if he thinks they fit into his style of photography.

The stories is what its all about. Kevin says that after shooting street photography for almost 20 years, its not hard to figure out who is real, or who is just on the street conning passers by for money. He says that it took him six months in the beginning to figure this out, otherwise his portraits would just be good pictures, instead of compelling stories of the streets.

Street Portraits

This past year Kevin has noticed a huge change in the type of people and stories he photographs. The type of people he has always been drawn too are street people, recluse individuals who have led very interesting lives, and the emotion shows in their faces. Its all about the emotional connection between the photographer and the canvas. 

Kevin has been photographing the streets of Chicago now for almost 20 years. He still walks certain areas of the city, fining his next urban scene and portrait. He has a knack to find hidden places to photograph with odd compositions in places corners all around Chicago. Kevin says; These urban scenes are what its all about. “I seem to be attracted to these odd type of places and like to make an interesting composition from them”.

If you see Kevin on the streets, stop and say Hi!.


Chicago Street Scenes


Upcoming Shows

Kevin will be displaying a fine art street photography series of nine portrait images at the curated international art show Artprize in Grand Rapids, MI from Sept 19 – Oct 07. His work will be displayed at the Fountain Street Church. Stop by and have a look. Pretty much the whole city turns into an art gallery, showing works of art all over the city, inside and out. Its the largest international art show in the world.

click link below to see his full street photography collection

Street Photography Collection