Sean Allen was born in West Belfast in 1967 and first began taking photos in the early 1980s using his sister’s point and shoot camera. Sean used to go and photograph the political parades in his native West Belfast and even then just shooting with a point and shoot camera he felt the Photography Buzz from raising a camera to his eye.
Learning how to use a 35mm SLR camera in 1986 with the newly formed Belfast Exposed Community Photography Group was a major change in Sean’s photography. Belfast Exposed was founded by Sean McKernan and Danny Burke and you can check out a video at the bottom of this article where Sean talks about how he got into it and how much of an impact Photography had on him.
Sean’s photography encompasses the genres of Street Photography, Social Documentary and Press Photography at their most authentic
Learning the ropes from photographers he met through Belfast Exposed, Sean also learned from observing the images of local Belfast photographers such as Street photographer Vinty Dargan, Buzz Logan and Press Photographer Brendan Murphy (past picture editor of Irish News).
Sean is greatly Influenced by photographers such as Robert Doisneau, Bert Hardy and Don Mc Cullin and his most recent photographic exhibition titled Fancy a Dander depicts in gritty black and white, the humour, geniality and rawness of a working-class community whose sense of humanity prevails through troubled times.
Over the years Sean has now an archive of over seven thousand images in his collection dating from 1986 -2018 and you can view some of his collection here.
Sean has taught photography to over six hundred participants from a wide section of the community through numerous workshops as well as private one to one tutorials across Ireland and the UK and contributes to his YouTube channel Rambles with My Camera where he shares weekly videos on photography related topics and has gained a large international following.
Although the majority of Sean’s images online encompass Street and Social Documentary photography, Sean does not call himself a Street Photographer he prefers to be known as a photographer as his photography encompasses many genres of photography.
The video below is taken from Sean’s YouTube Channel Rambles With My Camera