Street Photography in NYC by Suzanne Stein

Street Photography in NYC by Suzanne Stein

Suzanne Stein walks the streets of New York City, investigating New Yorker Life through intimate street photography and powerful writing. Follow Suzanne on Instagram and visit her wildly popular first blog with us: Hasidic Jews of Williamsburg.

When I Was a Street Photographer – Suzanne Stein

I know someday I’m going to be desperately sentimental about the long hours I spend every day walking the streets of New York City. I often wonder if I will live long enough to become an elderly woman, occasionally looking over my images, and miss these often tedious days with an intensity I cannot yet imagine. Occasionally I feel a sense of dread when I consider the perfect certainty, the virtual guarantee that someone I’ve met on the street and photographed extensively passes away. I don’t know if I will be able to glide through a loss so substantial. I consider the odds of avoiding assault or other violence directed at me as a lone female constantly outdoors with expensive camera equipment and try to calculate how many lives I have left as an active and productive street photographer, having been very lucky most days. I have not always been fortunate, though, and my physically damaged right eye and two concussions from assaults on the streets have removed some of my naïve perceptions that nothing bad could ever happen to me… My perception of that sense of personal specialness we all have has evolved, and I understand that the inviolate belief that we all possess for a time in our lives that says no true harm will ever befall us is a falsehood.

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New York City Architectural Photography

New York City Architecture and Architectural Photography in New York City by Duygu Tüntaş

Photography is a highly used communication method in architecture that gives us remote access to the natural and constructed environments and the ideas that enable creating them. Photography’s coincidence with architecture needs no discussion as architecture is ‘ideally stable’1 and is becoming a frequent photography subject. However, there is still a gap that waits to be filled with exploratory ways in relating these two.

Architectural photography as a critical practice can mediate creating new ideas on space, time, and architecture. It becomes a means to study forms, materials, and life through the transcription of light. While making these qualities visible, photography can lead us to think differently about our environments by creating a rapture in how we recollect those spaces.

I had a visual-conceptual plan in creating this project. I selected famous architectural locations in Manhattan and brought those diverse atmospheres together with certain visual commonalities. I aspired to push the fixed qualities in architectural photography. Instead of clarity, soft light, and tranquility, I looked for ambiguities, high-contrast, and dynamism.

In the photographs, the sharpness of building geometries is softened and emphasized through the city’s dynamism. The black-and-white enhances the built form and highlights how people’s use and movement transform those spaces. Silhouettes, shadows, motion, and reflections create a common ground within all that differs, and, through them, multilayered instances emerge for further readings and recollections.

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New York City Street Photography: Snow in NYC

Snowy New York City Streets

New Yorker life is waking up to a snow-covered winter wonderland sometimes, and I love it more than anything!

I’ve found these photos after almost 10 years and decided to post them here. They are from January 2012. It was the day Leonard Cohen released “Old Ideas.” I went out for a walk in my neighborhood, Upper East Side, at 8:30 am. After walking around in the UES, I ended up in Central Park. I met many people that day; dog walkers, parents taking their kids to the park for sledding, other people taking photographs.

NYC offers so many photo opportunities in such a short time. All of these photos are taken in about 2 hours, max. Not too many other cities are full of fantastic architecture, friendly and interesting people and of course, streets full of life. Maybe, Istanbul. I always thought that I could sit in a corner all day, watch the world go by, and end up satisfied and accomplished at the end of the day in NYC. This city is very, very special!

The child in me will never stop getting excited, running out the door when it snows, I know that for sure.


List of recommendations:


“The sight of snow made her think how beautiful and short life is and how, in spite of all their enmities, people have so very much in common; measured against eternity and the greatness of creation, the world in which they lived was narrow. That’s why snow drew people together. It was as if snow cast a veil over hatreds, greed, and wrath and made everyone feel close to one another.” ― Orhan Pamuk, Snow

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Street Unicorns by Robbie Quinn

Street Unicorns by Robbie Quinn

Street Unicorns by Robbie Quinn is now available on Abrams & Amazon.

Street Unicorns: Bold Expressionists of Style is a new photo book by Robbie Quinn, a New York City-based commercial photographer and a favorite amongst the followers of The New Yorker Life. His work allowed him to travel to more than a dozen countries and is associated with current social issues like race, immigration, gender identity, and sexual orientation, encouraging diversity and inclusion.

In Street Unicorns, Quinn shares viewpoints, aspirations, and masterfully done portraits of more than 250 style rebels, revealing his genuine curiosity in people who choose to express themselves through their style; “The conscious choices we make by uniquely presenting ourselves say we matter. It says this is me, and perhaps because we are not all quite the same, we can learn and grow from each other.”

Enjoy our brief Q&A with Robbie Quinn below. Follow him on Instagram. Order Street Unicorns on Abrams or Amazon.

Robbie Quinn Portrait.
Robbie Quinn

Q&A with Robbie Quinn on Street Unicorns: Bold Expressionists of Style

NYL: How did Street Unicorns start?

I started Street Unicorns unconsciously. It just happened. In my book, I do my best to retrace my life’s experiences to understand what drew me to the work. I think in a large part, it’s my response to the many injustices that humans needlessly inflict on each other. It’s my hope that the book will inspire people to take more risks in expressing their most authentic selves and have others gain more acceptance and appreciation for those that are different from themselves.

NYL: How did you meet the Unicorns?

I’ve met some of the Street Unicorns on social media, some have found me, but mostly they are chance encounters. Whenever I see one on the street, I compliment their style and it often leads to an impromptu photo session. Things are very rarely planned. I’m photographing individuals wearing what they put on that day in the place where we met with natural light. That’s what makes it authentic and special.

NYL: Photographs are stunning! Aspiring photographers will want to know about your equipment.

When I’m not photographing commercially, I always have a camera with me, usually a Sony a7R IV with either a 35mm f/1.4 or an 85mm f/1.4 lens. I started using the 85 more when we wanted to keep more distance from each other for Covid reasons, but now I really like the look of the 85.

However lately, I’ve been using more film too. I learned photography using a Minolta x-700, but I recently started using a Mamiya rz67 pro ii with a 110 2.8 lens. It’s a medium format camera and made for the studio. It usually requires a tripod; it’s a bit heavy, but I like using it handheld on the street. Definitely a bit more conspicuous, but that has some advantages.

NYL: What did you learn in the making of Street Unicorns?

Meeting all these different Street Unicorns from here in New York and the rest of the world has expanded my understanding of self-expression. It has brought into greater focus the idea that we all deserve the freedom to be our unique selves. Rather than building walls, connecting with someone quite different from yourself is an opportunity for growth and learning more, not only about them but also yourself.

NYL: Do you have future plans?

For the future, my only plans are to have no plans. I like to stay open to what life brings. I do know I’d like to travel more and not simply to tourist stops. I want to meet more people and keep exploring. There’s something to be said for staying in one place and putting down roots, but for me, I enjoy the stimulation of constant change.

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New York City Street Photography: Dogs

dogs of New York City

I searched “dogs new york” on Amazon for Christmas gifts for a friend with two dogs, and I was blown away by the variety and the coolness of options! From sports jerseys to books, treats to squeakers, choices were endless. I bought two adorable plush toys; one is a New York MetroCard, and the other is an NYC yellow cab. They are so cute that I want my kids to have the same designs in their beds, only in bigger sizes.

New York City has 8.5 million people and more than 600,000 dogs. Dogs are as big a part of the social fabric in the Big Apple as their human counterparts. They ride the subway, jog along with their owners in Central Park, walk down the 5th Avenue all dolled up, and sometimes sleep rough on a bench with their humans. Even if you are not a dog person, you get to learn about Shiba Inus, Alaskan Klee Kais, and Chinooks; they are just all around you! There is even a book called Canines of New York! (it’s like Humans of New York, highly recommended if dogs and NY are in your favorite words)

The brilliant photos showing dogs and their New Yorkers in this post are by Ohad Kab, a New York City-based photojournalist and a dear friend of The New Yorker Life. He is a dog owner too. Unfortunately, he recently suffered a dog bite in the lip while petting one of the little monsters in an NYC park. He’s much better after a few weeks and some stitches, luckily.

Please enjoy the beautiful photos by Ohad Kab and follow him on Instagram. He is walking the streets of New York and working on different projects, which we will share on NYL soon. Sign up for our newsletter for occasional updates from us.

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Barbershops of America by Rob Hammer

photo by Rob Hammer from “Barbershops of America”
photo by Rob Hammer from “Barbershops of America”

Barbershops of America is a photo book by Rob Hammer, a Los Angeles, California-based photographer and a new contributor to The New Yorker Life. In his book, Hammer offers a unique look into the world of traditional barbershops throughout all 50 states of America, and he does it masterfully. You can order a copy on his website or Amazon.

BARBERSHOPS OF AMERICA

It occurred to me at a young age that barbershops were a special place. The sounds and smells alone can cause a feeling of nostalgia. Set them aside, and you are still left with so much more. They are a cornerstone of every community, a safe place to laugh with friends, and a beautiful piece of American culture. As I got older, it became apparent that the traditional barbershops I grew up loving were starting to disappear, which made me sad. So in 2012, I began a personal project photographing shops around Southern California to preserve a dying trade. Time went on, and my love for the project ballooned while more shops continued to close. Three years later, I had visited and documented barbershops in all 50 states. At that point, there was a shift in the industry. Barbering became cool. New shops were popping up on almost every corner. Most of them, in my opinion, was not worth a damn. Fortunately, though, some guys still believe in carrying on the old traditions while adding their modern twist. The contrast was beautiful and something I had to capture. So the project continued and still does to this day, 9+ years later. The result is “Barbershops of America – Then and Now” – a 180-page hardcover coffee table book filled with traditional and “next-generation” barbershops from all 50 states in the nation. Even though the book has already been published, my fascination continues. I still make cross-country road trips, and on everyone find myself at one point or another inside a barbershop, camera in hand. -Rob Hammer

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New York City Street Photography by Ernst Haas

New York City Street Photography by Ernst Haas

Edit: Our readers loved Ernst Haas: New York in Color. This post has been incredibly popular with over 65k visits in a month. Thanks!


Ernst Haas was an Austrian-American photojournalist who invested in color photography at a time it was considered inferior to B&W and left incredible photographs behind, documenting The New Yorker Life.

During his 40-year career, Haas closed the gap between photojournalism and photography as a creative medium. His innovative use of shutter speed added a blurred effect to his images, producing a unique sense of movement. He was the ultimate “Instagrammer” 50 years before Instagram came to life.

This post’s incredible selection of photos is from Ernst Haas: New York in Color, 1952-1962, a book published in 2020 by Prestel Publishing. The book includes his classic and newly discovered New York City color photographs of the 1950s and 60s.

At the peak of his creation, Ernst Haas presented us with these beautiful images demonstrating his remarkable mastery of Kodachrome film and color printing. The depth and richness of color in these photographs are unmatched and they brim with lyricism and theatrical apprehension.

You can order Ernst Haas: New York in Color, 1952-1962 on Amazon, and visit ernst-haas.com to find out more about the artist.

2021 edition is out: Favorite Coffee Table Books Of New Yorkers in 2021

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Singapore Street Photography by Betty Goh

Singapore Street Photography by Betty Goh

Betty Goh is a street photographer born and raised in Singapore and a first-time contributor to The New Yorker Life. Even though she does not have education or experience in arts, she developed her unique style of photography and became the first Singaporean artist in the Women Street Photographers book curated by Gulnara Samoilova and internationally published by Prestel Publishing in March 2021. The book features 100 contemporary female street photographers around the world.

My passion is abstract street photography – focusing on the urban streets, colors, shadows, silhouettes, reflections, and lines. Sometimes I feel that there is a natural force within me to do these.

I started street photography after attending a workshop with Siegfried Hansen. I didn’t know who he was or what kind of photos he took, and in fact, I didn’t understand what street photography was. I just signed up for the workshop as I was thinking of going to Tokyo for a short holiday and thought attending a workshop would be an excellent activity. Who knows, it changed my life. At the workshop, I was inspired by him as I discovered that the streets could be so attractive by looking at them from different perspectives. When I returned home, I practiced a lot and developed my unique style of photography. Besides being influenced by Siegfried Hansen, I focused on my feelings and views while photographing on the streets.

Due to the COVID pandemic, I have been photographing only in Singapore over the last 2 years. Therefore, the majority of the photos you see here are from Singapore. Abstract street photography is not at all common or popular in Singapore, but I feel that it is still important to follow my soul and capture the streets in the way I think.

In September 2021, I became a Leica Guild member. Currently, I have an exhibition, “Graphics in Streets,” held in Leica Singapore. I also take place in a Leica Conversation Zoom session called “Graphics in Streets.”

I definitely would love to come to New York to photograph. In fact, before COVID, I had frequently been traveling to the US for my work, and so, I flew to New York over one short weekend to take some street photos for a couple of hours. I would love to return to do more.

For more: Follow Betty Goh on Instagram and visit bettygohphotography.com.

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London Interior and Architectural Photography by Pine London

London Interior and Architectural Photography

Zeynep Simsek Karakeben, the founder of Pine London, is a London-based photographer specializing in interior and architectural photography. Being a photography enthusiast, she studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City. She focused on darkroom and alternative photography following her move back to Istanbul in 2015. Zeynep always enjoyed shooting architecture and interiors, but it became her profession after moving to London in 2017. Since then, she has been working with designers to capture the beautiful interiors of London. She is a first-time contributor to The New Yorker Life.

Interior photography is an invitation to art behind closed doors. It’s also the perfect way to learn about London since the way we live tells who we are.

Capturing good interior photographs start with understanding what the client wants from the photoshoot. It’s essential to listen to the designer and understand the project, which parts, materials, and objects are vital for them, and what kind of vibe they would like to reflect with their designs.

The second step is arranging the setting before styling. You don’t want uneven blinds, irregularly spaced chairs, or cables sticking out. Thirdly and most importantly, we prefer to have proper styling to show the space more engaging and dynamic and invoke the notion of living in the room. Usually, flowers, beautiful vases, a few cushions, blankets, and books are all you need to show the space more vibrant.

Editing is essential in interior photography, and it makes a huge difference. Yet, post-processing will not save the day if you can’t get clean shots on the photoshoot. Taking your time and finding your flow in the photoshoots is crucial.

Gloomy weather in London worries the clients, and questions about lighting are prevalent for interior photographers in this part of the world. I prefer to have my photoshoots using natural light whenever possible. Clouds act as a softbox and diffuse the light so that you don’t have to deal with tricky shadows. Natural light gives more realistic colors as well.

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New York City Street Photography by Ozgur Aydogdu

New York City Street Photography by Ozgur Aydogdu

Street Unicorns by Robbie Quinn is now available on Amazon. Read our interview with Robbie Quinn and see amazing photos from the book.


Ozgur Aydogdu is a visual artist from Turkey who works as a “character technical director” at Pixar. His timeless black and white photography results from his genuine curiosity towards The New Yorker Life. You can follow him on Instagram and visit his photoblog.

The most exciting thing about moving to New York was the opportunity to search for this fascinating city’s soul. New York took me to places I had never imagined and always surprised me with its dirt, rust, and incredible energy. I tried to become a part of it while observing it as an outsider.

Wandering the streets of New York aimlessly, following strange moments and expressions, was my way to understand this city. Following little details like a hat blown away by the wind or an obscure silhouette made me feel alive and present. These things felt like they were happening in full-blown chaos yet in perfect order. They forced me to look inside myself through others.

Like Bruce Davidson once said: “New York is a state of mind. It’s about vitality and taking chances and the surprise. It’s vibrant, sexy, beautiful, ugly, and depressing”.

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