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Street Photography in Jakarta

Mobile photographers are all over the world and Indonesia is a country where there is a concentration of talented street photographers.

Three of them have initiated a collective series of urban street shots of Jakarta.

I am very pleased to present the work of :

Erik Mahendra / @embohpokoke (on Instagram)
Prass Prasetio / @prassprasetio
Akbar Makarti /@shutdagizm

The collective is called #EYESeeJKT / A smart play of words which expresses their vision of their hometown.

In this post, you will discover a lot about these guys passionate about photography, mainly Street Photography.

Akbar, Erik and Prass talk about photography, mobile photography, cameras, apps, editing, photo sharing, influences,…

To discover more, visit their powerful galleries on Instagram.


Erik Mahendra

30 years old.

He loves photography, although he’s not a professional.

Works in a telecommunication company.

He just bought a film camera for his birthday !


RELATIONSHIP TO PHOTOGRAPHY : “I’m  just very fond of it !”

CAMERAS : “I have a dslr (old one, Nikon d40) but I only use it for some family occasion. I used to shoot some street, but I’m not comfortable with it. I used to shoot some with my mobile phone, but I’m really into it with my iPhone. I used my iPhone about a year… Since I’m into Streetphotography with my iPhone, I try to give myself a chance to try film photography, so I bought some old cameras.”

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY : “I think it’s the future of photography.. It’s a new breed of it. It’s more simple and faster : Shoot and share !”

PHOTO SHARING :  “I have some accounts in others photo sharing platforms : Eyeem, 500px, flickr (embohpokoke). Also I have a blog :

APPS :  Pro camera : “I love this app.. I used to bought some camera apps but I really like this one. I like the control of focus & exposure.”

EDITING : “I used to love black and white, but right now i’m trying to push myself into some colors. For bw, i use simply bw. For color, I like doing adjustment on Photoforge2.”

INFLUENCES / EMOTIONS : “I always look other works, but I always try to interpret them in my own ways…”

FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHERS : “Thomas Leuthard, Aik beng chia, Alex Webb, Thomas Hawk, and many more out there…”

PROJECTS : “Right now : #EYESeeJKT”


Prass Prasetio

33 years old.

Since 2006, Prass works as a professional photographer, working on all kinds of projects : Commercial Photography including Architectures, Interior, Products, Food, Fashion, Illustration, wedding photography as well as pre-wedding shots, Candid journalism, Documentation and also Videography. He regularly lectures and gives  photography workshops for public and children. IDS (international design school) is one of the schools where he’s used to teach.


RELATIONSHIP TO PHOTOGRAPHY : “I got my first SLR camera Nikon f2 from my grandfather when i was 15, suddenly i’m falling in love with photography. I’ve embraced learning how to take better photos. Technically I’m a better photographer because of age. I’m still hungry to take more photos and for the next photo to be the best I’ve ever taken. I started focus on taking photographs in my years of college in 1998, joining a photography community in campus called POTRET. it was merely two years ago that I’ve got my iphone 3Gs, and I started taking photographs with this tiny lofi camera.”

CAMERAS : “I’m a professional photographer. Taking photographs with DSLR cameras is a must for my job. Until now, I still have a Nikon f4, Canon et rangefinder and Ricoh 500GX in my bag, shoot occasionally in my spare time. Film photography always brings my sensitivity about concept and melancholic feeling :)”

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY : “Two years ago, my iPhone became the camera of choice because of convenience and practicality…but the more I used it the more I realized that not only did it capture what I wanted to capture but it actually opened up. It wasn’t until I started exploring mobile photography with street photography angle, which is my “interest”. Once I realized I could shoot with a device that fit in my pocket, there was no turning back. The innovation of mobile photography makes me eager to build an independent portfolio from social media sharing sites, exploring the new mobile era of the digital arts.”

PHOTO SHARING : “I’m such a social whore :) Posting my photographs on many social photo sharing sites, such as flickr, EyeEm,, Streamzoo, but IG is still my landing site for my iphone photos.”

APPS :  “Mainly I’m using ProCamera and AlmostDSLR app for shooting, its give me very fast respond when capture a photograph, and I love the way they locked the exposure.”

EDITING : “There is not much editing process in my photos :) although I’m still using Snapseed, Crossprocess, Filterstorm for minor edit.”

INFLUENCES / EMOTIONS : “I do poetry too, so it makes a bit influencing for me to choose frame by frame and photos that I posted on IG. I love @starrush work, @koci, @eros_sana, @sionfullana. Today I’m following Theodore Kaye (@_meanwhile) his photos are very speaking, @timcadman @fisheyedreams they are good too for streetphotography. A book called curious moments by Hendrik Neubauer also moved me into street photography.”

FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHERS : Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vivian Maier, Alex webb, Matt Stuart

PROJECTS : “I do fine-art, surrealism when i got nothing in the street and it very helps my poetry project with iphoneography called #AntologiHumanisasi (on going project) i love making a contemporary series such as #Arif_theJAK #ironicomedy (on going project), #Chaing , #surealisunday (on going)”


Akbar Makarti

Early 30’s :)

Currently works as a foreign service officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He takes photographs in his spare time.


RELATIONSHIP TO PHOTOGRAPHY : “Photography has always been a hobby of mine from a few years back.  Other than in love with taking pictures, I’ve always enjoyed reading photography books and going out to photography exhibitions.”

CAMERAS : “I’ve been taking photographs for about 6 or 7 years now. I started shooting using a compact point and shoot camera (Canon Ixus), then upgraded to a DSLR (Nikon D90), and I have now found the ultimate joy in using a camera phone (iPhone). I started shooting with the iPhone about a year ago when I came across the work of Greg Schmigel on I was fascinated with what he was able to do with a camera phone and I started thinking about its possibilities, too. Not long after, I started taking pictures with my iPhone and the rest was history.” It’s really weird that I have zero interest in film photography. I do however like the idea of using a micro four-thirds for my street photography lately. I’m currently in the process of saving money to get me one soon :)”

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY : “I think the real-time aspect to mobile photography has really been ground-breaking (shooting and sharing images in a matter of seconds), which is a function that is at the core of photography itself – capturing a slice of reality for other people to see. Not only is it great but also important that mobile photography is gaining recognition in the world of photography at large. Strictly mobile photography exhibitions can now be found in many cities and unique places that were never imaged before.”

PHOTO SHARING : “Although I don’t really care what medium the photograph is taken with (if it’s good then I’ll like it), I just find it funny that anyone would want to post DSLR or non-camera phone images on IG. There are way better platforms out there to showcase such images (Flickr for one) so it still puzzles me to this day.”

APPS : “ProCamera and AlmostDSLR. These two I’ve been using interchangeably because it has great exposure and focus lock implementations. The use of exposure lock is really essential to my style of street photography – I love to play with colors, shadows and highlights. And with the exposure lock, I’m able to isolate those elements with good control.”

EDITING : “I try to minimize the editing process just for simplicity and time-saving purposes. For some time now, my editing process has only involved color, contrast and level adjustments. I also do sharpening to some of the images but not all. Three essential apps that I use for these types of editing are Filterstorm, Photo fx and Snapseed.”

INFLUENCES / EMOTIONS : “In the mobile photography world, I look up a lot to Misho Baranovic, Oliver Lang, Benedicte Guillon and so many others. I try to learn from these talented people just by looking deeper into their work and trying to understand the elements that make up each of their photographs.”

FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHERS : For street photography in general, I am a huge fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliot Erwitt.”

PROJECTS : “In the long term, I’d love to travel to other cities of Indonesia and capture its unique street life. That would be an epic project.”



P : Pierre
E : #Eyeseejkt (Akbar, Erik, Prass)


P : When did you meet each others ?

E : We first met each other about a month ago. We’ve always been good friends over on IG and maintained active communication through private conversations. So when Akbar came back from Australia, we decided to meet up. The meeting went so great that we decided to go for a photowalk that night. Everything just seemed to click right away for the three of us.


P : How did you have this idea to make a collective series of urban street shots of Jakarta ?

E : The whole idea came about really quickly, to tell you the truth. It was during our first meeting and we were just blabbering and throwing ideas around. By the end of the night, we were really solid on wanting to start a project that summed up our passion – street photography. To that end, capturing Jakarta’s urban street life was just the perfect start.


P : Do you often go into the street to take photographs together ?

E : We’ve actually been out for a photowalk twice but there’s definitely plans to go out again, mainly because we want to explore other parts of Jakarta and, of course, to try to complete our project. It’s an ongoing thing but we hope to finish it up very, very soon.


P : How do you select the photos tagged #eyeseejkt ? alone or together ?

E : We basically chose the images for ourselves because we wanted them to represent our own distinct brand of street photography. This was all in the plan and we thought it panned out pretty well. If you look closely, you could tell right away which images belong to who.


P : How would you define your city ?

E : Jakarta is a pretty vibrant city, but in a sort of chaotic way. There’s so much going on, not just during rush hour but almost for the whole 24 hours. In that sense, we’d like to think Jakarta is the New York of the Eastern hemisphere. LOL.


P : What is “the other side of Jakarta” ?

E : In relation to the #eyeseejkt project, the idea was to depict the raw side of Jakarta. Not just the ones you often see on brochures, posters or whatnot. So for us, the challenge is to see the unseen and present images of Jakarta that’s never been shown before.


P : Each of you have his own style, but I feel some similitudes. I don’t think this is only because you live in the same town. What do you have in common ?

E : We’re big on street photography :) hard core, actually.


P : Is there a photographic school of JKT ? :-)

E : There are an abundant of them but few prominent ones are ‘KelasPagi’ established by Anton Ismael and also a photojournalism class conducted by the Antara news agency.


P : Do you know other mobile photographers in your town ? Are there instameets sometimes ?

E : There’s definitely a lot of mobile photographers in Jakarta, and Indonesia in general. You could say that mobile photography is the next big thing around these parts. iPhonesia, for one, is perhaps the biggest mobile photography (iDevice) community in the world. They’ve currently amassed an insane amount of listed members and conducts instameets at least once a month. Then there’s also “istrie” which stands for Indonesian Street Photography which the three of us (among few other friends) are a proud co-founder of. It’s a growing community and we’ve also conducted several instameets since its inception.
P : Thank you very much guys !