Chicago… Travis at Sunset
I had just taken this photo of a BMXer when Travis snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.
TRAVIS! I screamed. I thought you lived in Brooklyn!
Not that fast, he said, as he had to come back to Chicago to finish up his studies before permanently moving to New York. I’ve photographed Travis several times (here in Gareth Pugh) and (here at Heaven Gallery), and it’s been inspiring to watch his style evolve. Without a doubt, my favorite part of being a street-style photographer is the personal relationships that form between me and the people I photograph on the streets.
Especially for the ones who want to work in fashion, I’ve written letters of recommendation, reached out to contacts in New York on their behalf, and done what I can to help them achieve their dreams. Countless people have helped me over the past three years, so it’s really a privilege to give back.
For me, photographing people on the streets isn’t about divorcing what I found inspiring in the outfit from who they are as people. You’ll see it on some street-style websites that don’t list names or give any background about the person they’ve photographed. It feels a bit like street style photography can commodify people, and I’ve worked hard to move in the opposite direction. My experiences at New York Fashion Week have only strengthened that mission to present the whole person. I can only hope that spirit comes through in my posts and images.
Happy Holidays! (again)