From The Archives


Prints of New York City from college

Over the weekend I was cleaning up and ran across my portfolio boxes from college. I'd forgotten just how long I hadn't opened them so I decided to check it out and see what I even still had. I was surprised because one box is FULL of negative film strips and the other is filled with hundreds of prints! As I was going through my prints I found some from I project that I had to do. The project was that we had to choose a topic/place/person and create a cohesive work out of it. I chose New York City because when I wasn't working that's usually where I was going on the weekend and choosing it for the project would give me a chance to explore the city more than I normally would. 

When I came back from my first trip and showed my professor my work he thought it was good but not great. The reason being because I was only photographing things. He told me to go back with the rest of my film and photograph ONLY people. Not only that but talk to them and get a story. I was so nervous because who does that besides Brandon of Humans of NY? I'm already in introvert so talking to strangers really isn't my thing. But I knew he was right. When I looked at the buildings and neighborhoods that I photographed I didn't really feel anything. They were just aesthetically pleasing in terms of contrast, exposure, etc. So  I did what he said and went back to the city the next weekend. I went to my regular spots, Washington Square Park, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center. Between those three places I photographed some of my favorite black and white film photos to date. I think I love them so much because they're raw. They are just moments captured from every day life. People waiting for the subway, a person taking in the view from Top Of The Rock, musicians trying to make a dollar. 

I did speak to some of the musicians in Central Park and snapped a photo of them as a portrait but all of the other photographs are just moments captured. I love that I kept these photographs for two reasons. The first is because it's the first time I ever really photographed people. Once I developed the film and saw what I'd captured I knew it was something I wanted to continue to do rather than just photograph landscapes or buildings or neighborhoods. These images made me feel happy and when I found them this weekend they made me even more happy. I posted a snippet of this on Instagram on Sunday when I was looking through the photos and a classmate from college commented and told me that our Professor, Anthony Velez, had passed away about a month ago. So my second reason I'm happy I kept these prints is because I'll always remember who told me that I needed to start photographing people. Professor Velez was a great photographer, hilarious, and honest about our work. If it was bad he told us how to improve it and so thankful he did. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without his advice. Because of that I'll cherish these photos for a very long time. 

If you have a story about the first time you knew you what you wanted to photograph whether it be weddings, seniors, landscapes, ect. I'd love to hear your story in the comments below! 


MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE...