There is a solitude to a lot of your street photography and you wrote about it in The Solitude of 8 Million, where you mention the camera also gives you solitude. Why is this important to you?
I am, among many things, an introvert. There are so many people in New York that trying to find total absence of people is nearly impossible. Any tool that I can use to give myself some time to think or relax is always welcome. With a camera, I can quietly observe, and no one will question why. I also spend a lot of time thinking, so walking around with my camera is a great way to unwind after a long day.
How do you approach your street photography in NY - Do you have a favourite time or place to shoot?
I really like strong shadows and night, so I tend to choose times of day that cast long shadows down the narrow streets, or nighttime, because the city changes so much once the lights go on. Much of lower Manhattan is fun to shoot, because there's interesting architecture and some narrow streets that look amazing at certain times of day.
What attitude do you meet in the streets of NY towards candid street photography?
People are very aware of cameras these days, but I've never been the type of person to invade someone else's space when shooting. I tend to photograph people as they are walking away or from an unassuming distance. Usually, if I encounter someone who is trying really hard to avoid my camera, it turns out that they are not even the subject! I've been questioned by police a few times, usually someone being a little too suspicious about me photographing an ordinary looking parking lot or street corner. As difficult as it may be at times, I just try approaching scenes with confidence. If someone sees me take their picture, they see me.
You are also a writer for Huffington Post. How did this come about?
To clarify, I am not actually employed by Huffington Post. HuffPo has a blogging platform where you can post work and possibly give it some extra visibility through their audience. I got access after going to a portfolio review and sitting with someone who was an editor at Huffington Post. We really hit it off, and she put me in touch with someone who granted me access.
Which gear do you use and do you use the same on the street and at a concert?
I am a Nikon shooter. I have two digital cameras: a Nikon D750 and a Nikon D610. I have a 50mm f/1.4, a 24-70mm f/2.8, and a 105mm f/2 for lenses. I use the same gear out on the street and at a concert venue. I also have a few film cameras, but I don't use those at concerts. They're just for fun.