Street style secrets from photographer Dan Roberts

By Anna Lee

Dan Roberts (pictured below) is the Auckland-born photographer behind the popular street-style blog threadslike.com. Now based in Melbourne with a move to NYC in the pipeline, the 26-year-old has snapped everyone from Kanye West to Rihanna, Anna Dello Russo to Karl Lagerfeld on the streets of Paris, Milan, New York, London, Sydney. Dan, who also contributes to Elle.com, shares his tips on street style.


Street style photographer Dan Roberts. Picture / Supplied
Street style photographer Dan Roberts. Picture / Supplied


Either an outfit or a moment catches my eye, always. Personally, I'm into that kind of tomboy, sporty, chic look. When it comes down to it though, someone with natural style will catch my eye.

It's really important that people wear what they feel comfortable in. A lot of it is about body language: if you're wearing something you feel comfortable in you'll look a million dollars!


Little random moments happen all the time while I'm shooting and can make for the best photos.

Like last season in Paris, blogger Susie Bubble was wearing this head-to-toe Kenzo print, and a bus just happened to drive by plastered in the exact same print. I try to be aware of what's going on around me as well as focusing on what people are wearing.


My favourite fashionistas are Veronika Heilbrunner, the style editor of Harper's Bazaar Germany and fashion editor of mytheresa.com, because she consistently has some of the best style during each season, and Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele because she's just so damn fun to shoot and I always find myself laughing by the end of it. I remember stylist Chiara Totire from my very first day shooting internationally, she was my first obsession. Fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell - her style is what dreams are made of. And this coming season, I'd say the one to watch will be model Larissa Hofmann!


Music gives me a lot of inspiration and is a big part of my life. While I'm away shooting I'll always have my headphones on for the first few hours of the day. It helps me get in the zone. You know it could be a live Sonic Youth album from 1985, or Future Islands, Son Lux, Wu Tang, Neil Young or Joy Division. The list could go on and on, but it's all contributed to inspire me and my work over the years.


I love the work of Helmut Newton, I can spend hours going through books I have of his. Hedi Slimane and his portrayal of the rock 'n' roll world, both in his design and his photography.

Tommy Ton was my initial inspiration into the street style world and ended up being a huge help to me when I decided to go international. Plus he always knows where to find the best gelato wherever we are!


One of my most memorable moments was in Paris; both Tommy [Ton] and I had missed this shot of model Hanne Gaby Odiele in this really cool jumpsuit, so we decided to go to an evening show that she was walking in and shoot her outside.

When she finally came out of the show it was dark, and the only lights were coming from cars on the road. So, naturally we put her in the middle of this busy street, which seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. The best angle was from ground level, which meant you had both Tommy and I lying on the road, Hanne Gaby also lying on the road lit by the cars around us and her jumpsuit turns out to be reflective! The whole thing was ridiculous and still makes me laugh thinking back to it. But it was totally worth it.

I got an amazing shot, which I've actually saved and never published anywhere. Maybe it will be in an exhibition one day.


For those who want to be photographed I'd say a good place to start would be looking and acting like you don't want to be photographed (I wish you could insert emoji into interviews, because I'd put that winking one with the tongue poking out right here!).


For those starting to get into street style photography, the best advice would be to get an angle and have a personal point of view while you're out shooting. Get out there and shoot as much as possible so you can learn what works for you. Always be considerate of those you're photographing. And even though social media is important these days, don't forget that the quality of your content should be your No1 priority. If you're shy like I was when I first started, trust me, the first person you ever approach is definitely going to be the most nerve racking.


- VIVA

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