Sidewalk view of a style photographer around a fashion show.
I remember walking up the New York Fashion Week stairs for the first time at Lincoln Center ten years ago. Equipped with a camera and a new zoom her lens purchased for this occasion. I didn’t expect it, except for the fact that a friend of mine thought it would be a nice boost to my growing love for collecting portraits of strangers on the street.
The people hanging out around the show were better dressed than anyone I stopped by on the street a few weeks ago, and there was a cool energy in the air, as if I had stepped into a party outside. Did… my league.
I spent the day away from almost everyone, and when I got home that night and looked at the photos, a sense of disappointment overwhelmed me. I’m sorry.
I decided to bring home a small plastic 35mm lens. It was cheap, but I had to interact with people to take pictures with the lens I had been shooting portraits with before.
The timing was incredible when it arrived the next day. As I passed the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, I realized that the show had just started and I was swimming in a stream of people rushing in the opposite direction. Everything happened so fast that I had no choice but to pick up my camera and start.
When I sat down later that night and loaded the photos into my computer, I was delighted to see singer Solange Knowles, and it was the first portrait I focused on.
About three years ago, I decided to stop shooting traditional street style and return to the kind of street photography that excited me when I first started.
This is a discipline I picked up from browsing party photos on the internet. Pictures of people posing for the camera are almost always the least interesting. But I love a proper portrait. It will always be the foundation of my work.