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Taking in New York

This summer I spent 10 days in one of my absolute favourite cities. I've been back time and time again and it never disappoints. The city is ever changing and you never run out of subjects to shoot. The series of black & white photos from the cigar shop shows one side of the city and I feel like these colour photos follow a similar side of the less extravagant and more candid part of the city. It's a series of images that veer away from the glamour and "coolness" of New York City and goes straight to the heart of every day life. Nothing here is edited, all is just straight from the film, as it was shot, as I see it. 

I have to stop for a minute and tell the story of this fine gentleman. One of the things I love about New York and the US in general is that everyone is always so friendly. I find myself travelling on my own quite a bit and when you're in a strange place it can get tricky to meet new people. In New York it's easy!

This day I had been walking around China Town and needed a coffee break. I hit up old trustworthy Foursquare to find a nearby coffee shop. In no rush, I take my coffee & biscuit and take a seat outside to enjoy the sunshine. As is not uncommon, there's a group of people making a fuss next door - they're moving in or out of somewhere - I can't quite remember. It's a bit of a comical scene anyway so I strike up a conversation about it with this guy next to me. Just like myself he's just hanging out, sipping on a cup of coffee and enjoying the day. He tells me he's a musician and in my head I'm imagining a struggling artist chasing the dream that is New York fame. How wrong was I. This dude has released several albums - can be found on Spotify - even has his own Wikipedia page and has just written a TV series that has been picked up by none other than HBO. To me this felt like such a classic New York moment. There's no knowing who you'll bump into in this city and they're just like anyone else. I causally asked if I could take his portrait anyway and I'm so happy about how it turned out. Besides - a portrait is always so much better when there's a good story to it. This is mine.

All photos are developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in LA. 

Josef Szotten3 Comments