I feel inexorably attached to New York streets for many reasons. For one, it’s where I originated my eagerness for photography by candidly photographing people in diverse neighborhoods in spite of having never really reached an adequate comfort level with it.
My inclination, I should point out has always been to routinely challenge myself with my photography and “shooting from the hip” or “sniping” people on the street, no matter how “interesting” or “beautiful” the subject might have been, didn’t do it for me anymore. The act itself allured, engulfed and changed me. I still care for wanting to share interesting stories and bring them to people’s attention but in a way where the subject is in on it like a compensated actor and not a stand-in extra with no dialogue.
My greatest debt aside from my mortgage will invariably be to the individuals on the other side of the lens. I’m not saying that stopping people on the streets is anything novel but it’s certainly both taxing and uneasy which are two ingredients that can very well make the entire experience well worth it.
Having read and obtained a measure of inspiration from Eric Kim’s recent article entitled 5 Lessons for Living in Street Photography (and Life), I wanted to dabble a bit more into the deep waters that ripples when it comes to asking a stranger to share something personal about their life with you. Regret is the emotion we experience when we think our present plight could be better or happier if we had done something differently in the past. While I commend those who don’t have any current regrets in their lives, I posed the question to 6 random strangers on the streets of New York and I capture their responses in a 6-photo series shot entirely with my iPhone and published on Instagram.
I was tense on whether the people I approached were taking me seriously in view that I was shooting with my iPhone but I believe the apprehension quickly subsided when I handed them each a rather distinct business card that detailed how they can reach me and where the photos would be published. I like to think that gesture alone legitimized what I was doing.