Street Photography in New York City / by Ed Walker

DSC04674 Almost to the day 12 months ago I blogged about how I was going freelance, changing my life and embarking on a new journey, one which would bring my photography to the fore and reorganise my priorities (if you haven’t read it read it here).


Well a year is simultaneously a long time and also no time at all. A lot has happened over the past year and yet I’m still shooting, seeking out new subjects, exploring different projects and striving for essentially the same thing. What has changed is that I am no longer aiming for a Photography MA, although this possibly could happen in the future, it’s unlikely. I won some great freelance clients and survived the summer up in St Albans but money was tight, I started to take on contracts and did a couple of great stints at Pearson but the game changer was in November when I became homeless, put all my stuff in storage and flew to New York for two months.


I had no idea what to expect, New York was nothing like San Francisco, which was the only other city in America I had visited. In some ways it was just how you see in the movies, in other ways it’s just different enough from the UK to make it odd. The tourist areas were incredibly touristy, and that was fantastic, Times Square was like shooting fish in a barrel and fantastic for every manner of citizen of the world, all wide eyed looking at the astonishing electronic billboards. The hipster areas like Williamsburg are so hipster it really puts Shoreditch to shame. The handlebar moustaches, wide brimmed hats and waistcoats were very plentiful.


The result was a breath of fresh air for my photography. Not only was New York immensely enjoyable to shoot in, it was easier to find the kinds of people I look for. I love well dressed and interesting people, generally young but occasionally older, I seek out the dapper members of a crowd and New York has them in spades. Wandering down Broadway, 42nd Street, Grand Central Station all resulted in characters and situations that I could only dream of in London.


For the first couple of weeks I was jumping at the chance at any shot I could grab because I was so scared of not finding what I wanted and this expanded my shot range and then when I realised the cool people were absolutely everywhere I relaxed and utilised this wider, more experimental approach with everyone I encountered.


On the 5th of February, exactly a year after my original post, I’m flying back for another three months, this time efforts are going to be taken to a whole new level, galleries will be sought, photography clubs and meetups will be attended and new projects undertaken, this is New Me 2 ‘Coming to America’.