I’m a New Yorker born & bred so I may just be a bit biased but I think summertime in New York City is unique. I know that there are many reasons why summer days and nights spent in any large cosmopolitan city can be special, most large cities have beautiful parks & museums, historic landmarks, wonderful shopping and great nightlife but what sets New York city apart is the people that live here.
New York’s population is made up of so many people with different ethnic and economic backgrounds that it defies stereotype. And the place where that is most apparent is the borough of Manhattan where people that come from all over the world to work, vacation and live, intermingle with native New Yorkers to create one of the most diverse and interesting communities you will see anywhere in the world.
People of many different races, religions and lifestyles come to Manhattan to work or play and they bring with them a sense of Cultural identity and individuality that you can see, hear and feel. The city is full of people that express themselves differently, dress in different styles, speak different languages and have different tastes in food & music. The diversity of the people and the faster pace of everyday life here combine to create an energy that is both hard to duplicate and exciting to experience.
Before I started to carry my camera around all the time, the fast pace that plays such a big part in creating the atmosphere I love so much was the very reason I missed a lot of the hidden and obvious beauty of the world around me. Just like most city dwellers I ignored my surroundings to beat the crowd and rush to my destinations. But carrying a camera and looking at things through a lens changes the way you see the world. The camera slows you down, it forces you to stop and pay more attention to your environment. Everything and everyone becomes a potential photo opportunity. You start to see stories and beauty in everything around you no matter how large or how small.
I decided to embrace Street Photography in 2011 when I started carrying a camera on weekend walks through the city. Now I carry my camera every day because I’m afraid I might miss the perfect shot. I only recently started shooting candid street portraits because I became fascinated by the melting pot nature of the city. Suddenly instead of avoiding the crowds I started to spend time in the places where people gathered. Places like Union Square, Central Park and Times Square.
I shoot with a Nikon D7000 so when I set out to take street portraits I make sure to carry my 55-300 mm zoom lens because it enables me to get close to my subjects from a distance that doesn’t invade their space. At higher focal lengths, the shallow depth of field also helps me isolate my subjects when the crowded environment makes it difficult to control the busy cluttered backgrounds that come with shooting portraits in crowded places.
The portraits being featured here are from a gallery called “Sundry” which literally means various or diverse. Hopefully they display examples of the colorful style, beauty and sometimes extremely unique characteristics of the people I’ve photographed all around the city.
A photograph only freezes a small fraction of time but every single photo is capable of telling us a story. What that story may be is open to your interpretation and the freedom to experience it any way you would like is the photograph’s gift to you.