Living In New York City As An Amateur Photographer

There have been just about a million of these kind of posts about amateur photography. And living in New York City. How sordidly cliche, right?

Well, let me take you on a little journey.

I was raised in The Bronx up until I was in 7th grade. My family and I moved up to Westchester and I graduated high school in 2007. Went to University at Buffalo for my undergraduate degree, and now, I live in Brooklyn. I’ve always lived in New York and I’m proud of it (and also getting real tired of it).

I took up photography to try and see the city from a different perspective. You know, feel the small details of the city, fall in love with the minute intricacies that hold this city together, marvel at the details of the gothic buildings…you get the idea.

So, in December of 2016, I bought myself a DSLR camera, a Canon T6i (why I didn’t get the T6s, don’t ask! And if you’re going to buy a camera, I suggest you DON’T buy the bundle. You will get second-rate items that will oftentimes not be worth the money and the trouble!), and started taking photos of the city. I think I’ve gotten better as time progressed. I’m even doing film photography now! I had bought a Canon AE-1 in a flea market while in Lancaster, PA and I figured, “Hey, let’s use this!” and I bought 10 rolls of Kodak Tri-x400 and managed to fill out just two canisters.

Here are some photos I shot using analog film:

I believe this is somewhere around SoHo.

The below photo is the Chanel store on Spring Street. (It was a rainy day and I think my shutter speed was set to 500 because I’m an idiot.) I felt really good that day walking around and snapping photos with my AE-1. I felt authentic. I don’t know, it was that having an analog camera in my hand, instead of a digital one, changed the way I approached things.

Does Corner Bistro need any introduction? (I stood in the middle of the street waiting for the man to be framed by the door, but you can’t even see the door in the photo.)

And finally, looking up Broadway (I do a lot of walk-and-shoot photos. This is one of them. I guess I’m trying to capture the motion of NYC, mine included.)

Once I get the hang of managing the settings on my AE-1, I think the photos will look significantly better (less underexposed).

Here’s a shot I took using my digital SLR:

Recognize the setting? No? It’s Williamsburg!

And this one:

I really love the tones in this. It was taken during the Women’s March in NYC.

Having caught the photography bug so late into my 20s, I feel like I need to catch up. I would go out every single day and try to capture at least something. But now, with my workload and my personal life workload (learning Spanish, getting a teaching certificate, learning coding), it’s been relatively difficult. As my therapist says, though, it’s all about how you prioritize your passions and your time.

You can also check out more of my stuff on my Flickr account!

In case you’re interested in what I use:


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