They call me a New York City Photographer
Although Mindy Kaling probably should author a book of quotes, she unfortunately, has not. I will instead be forced to quote from the books she has written:
“I love New York, and it likes me OK” – Mindy Kaling
This is perhaps the most accurate thing I’ve ever heard about New York City. Full disclosure, I’m actually from Los Angeles, so I actually may not have a voice in this conversation. To be fair, I’ve always heard people say – you’re either an east coaster or a west coaster. I thought that was dumb. Why can’t I be both? Why can’t we all get along?
I may have changed my views on this since spending a reasonable amount of time in New York City. As a photographer, I have the opportunity to travel a fair amount and every time I step off the plane at JFK I have a scene that plays out in my head. It involves fall in New York City (no matter what time of year it is), or Christmas, something that seems magical and New York-like. I’m easily walking into my hotel with my luggage. My Uber picks me up on time. I drink great coffee and I most certainly don’t get splashed on when the Uber pulls up.
That’s me loving New York City.
Let me tell you what actually happens on most trips. New York City is a place that is known for its bustling energy, diversity, and unique character. As a photographer, wandering through the streets of New York City provides endless opportunities to capture stunning images both on digital and film. If you can survive the non-magical aspects of traveling in New York City. See I think the problem is, I love it, but it just kinda likes me ok…
Again, in full disclosure, I am from Los Angeles and I do think that’s part of my problem. But I’m determined to be bicoastal and have it love me back. To know the right coffee shops to go to. And pick the perfect restaurants. To not accidentally walk 24 blocks (maybe a small exaggeration) to find out the restaurant you were trying to find is closed and Google had forgotten to tell you.
See this is the problem. The amount of incorrect information on Google I tell you. Oh, AND it’s a walking city. Again, LA… We drive two hours for tacos. In all fairness, they need to be really great tacos but we will absolutely make the drive. When I’m in New York and I realize that it will take me 1.5 hours to get a cab or 40 minutes to walk I decide I’m tough, I’m going to walk.
This is where things get iffy.
My journey started early in the morning as I set out on foot to explore the streets as a New York City photographer. I always try really hard not to look like a tourist. After all, I’m a wedding photographer, I’m there for work. I can do this. Try not to make eye contact. Try to walk in front of cars. All the risky things I see my friends the locals doing to blend in. The problem is that New York is GORGEOUS. So I think I just look a little too… happy when I’m there.
Skyscrapers towered over me and the sounds of honking cars and bustling crowds filled the air. As a photographer, I was immediately drawn to the contrast of the old and the new. On one hand, there were the towering modern buildings. On the other, there were the historic brownstones and cobblestone streets. As I wandered through the streets, I captured a range of images that showcased the unique character of New York City. I captured shots of street performers, food vendors, and people going about their daily lives. I also photographed the iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park. Each shot had its own story to tell, and I was thrilled to be able to capture them on both digital and film.
My favorite thing about this city is people-watching. You can truly be invisible and just one of the crowd here in the very best way. An elderly couple sitting on a park bench in Central Park, to me this is perfectly New York. This is everything I love about New York City. People live their lives, both fast-paced and slow. Being who they are. While the city stands in as a beautiful backdrop behind them.
This is why I’m determined to make New York like me. We will be friends. We will skip through the autumn air together. And we WILL figure out how to avoid getting splashed on while we’re walking down the street. Whether it was the convenience of digital photography or the soulful quality of film, both had allowed me to capture the unique character of this incredible city. Here are a few images for past visits. I can’t wait for my next one.
I’m sure it can’t wait to see me…