A lot of your images include rain, water, or fog – what draws you to this element? How do you think it impacts your work?
I do love shooting in inclement weather, because it adds multiple layers of variables that I can work with. A successful photograph lies at the confluence of these different variables – the more unique the ingredients, the more room you have to create new images and try new ideas. For example, fog is a medium that fills the air and catches beams of light, making the invisible visible. Rain holds the color and creates reflections on the ground, turning a normal city scene into a stunning watercolor painting. I often prefer to work at those rare times where the world just looks more cinematic to my eye.
Shooting candid street photography seems like a lot of waiting around for the right moment. What is the most challenging part for you?
I think the most challenging part of candid street photography is being a passive observer and not interrupting the moment by documenting it. I seek to show the world as it is, from my unique perspective. Once you are noticed, you can no longer get that truth from a scene; it becomes posed – we all react when we know we are being recorded. In a city like New York, people are on camera 24/7 due to city surveillance, but it’s so ubiquitous that no one ever thinks about it. Therefore, it’s a bit easier to make a good street photo in New York than, say, in some small town, but that is still the biggest challenge.
You do some great work with artificial and ambient light. How do you make light sources outside of your control work for you?
Ambient and artificial light are, again, just another set of variables I incorporate into my photographic equations. I love working with them because each scenario is a puzzle with various solutions. There is an infinite amount of combinations – nothing gives me more of a thrill than successfully navigating these scenarios.
How important is storytelling in your photography? How do you ensure your shots communicate a strong narrative?
Photography, essentially, is storytelling. Even when we read words, we process them as small images. There is a lot of truth to the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” except, perhaps, it’s more. So, every frame is its own story, and you can link multiple frames for longer narratives. The key to photographing a story is to include contextual elements. A story isn’t just a subject, it’s the context that they are surrounded by, as well.