Street Photography Stories From New York City

Hello
Disheveled look aside, the smirk on his face is welcoming, like I could have stopped and had a lengthy, jovial conversation about anything with him. We’re all the same, just from different backgrounds.

 

Filmmaker and Photographer Joseph Patrick Conroy is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this street photography.  To see Joseph’s body of work click on any image.

 

Blindsided
I saw this woman approaching me from down the block and her eye patch immediately caught my attention. There’s not much that’s interesting in and of itself about an eye patch, but the look on her face remained consistently dejected as she moved towards me. Once she was close enough for me to snap a still, she crossed over in front of me perfectly in between two buildings that reflected the sunlight. This seemed like the perfect contrast to her mood. She never saw me or my camera, but she’ll stick with me forever.

 

Bow and Bulk
This was one of those “right place at the right time” kinda deals. The juxtaposition of successful and “nerdy”, if you will, with the jacked up jock, threw me back to my high school days and how the social constructs of adult life aren’t that far from what we all experienced as teenagers.

 

Hung Out to Dry
There are infinite stories throughout New York City. Some good, some bad, but always interesting. A wedding dress hung out on a second story fire escape, while a pedestrian passes without a single thought of the untold story that floats above him is haunting to me, almost cinematic in a way. There are a lot of questions in this image and any speculative answer could be the correct one.

 

Bystander
There’s something quintessentially stereotypical New York about her: run of the mill coif; long, artificial fingernails; and a lit cigarette hanging from her hastily lipsticked mouth. She didn’t speak, but I envision her with a raspy, Brooklyn brogue that gives tons of attitude and takes no guff. The man in the background may very well be as enamored with her as I am.

 

Dreadlocks
I once heard that photographing people from behind is frowned upon, or, at the very least, considered lazy where serious photographs are concerned. I don’t believe this to be so. There are no rules in art, only feeling. The tones and textures of this image is what makes it stand out to me. It feels like more of a painting than a photograph, especially where the sweeping brushstroke of dreadlocks are concerned. One of my favorite snaps

 

Cigarette Clench
I have a thing with photographing people smoking cigarettes. I think it goes back to my love of older movies, especially of the gangster genre, where complex characters exuded outward toughness, while slowly dying on the inside. I’m a huge fan of Japanese yakuza movies, so this guy immediately stood out to me. His slicked up hair, tie-less suit, and freshly lit cigarette clenched between his teeth as he looks sideways, is, to me, the epitome of the super cool gangster.

 

Ribbons
There’s a surreal feel to this photo that represents the reality of living in New York. People are everywhere, yet some blend into the surroundings better than others. He fits into this background so perfectly, at a quick glance, he could almost be seen as graffiti art on that metal gate. Opportunities for great photographs are virtually endless in this town, one of the big reasons I love documenting it.

 

Hugs
One thing about NYC is that everyone minds their own business — for the most part, anyway. Not only do New Yorkers not want to “get involved”, most don’t want to seek out and smell the “roses” of this city. This image is one of those roses. A rose that blooms so briefly, if you’re not looking closely enough, you’ll miss its existence.

 

Grooming
Many things we do in private are luxuries for the homeless. Their entire lives are on display and they’ve grown indifferent to hiding activities we reserve for our homes. While passers by may not even notice this man, I did, and found something delightfully humanizing in what most would consider disgusting: cold coffee at his side as he casually cleans his feet on the dirty sidewalk. I can see myself doing this in the morning as I prepare for the day, albeit from the comfort of my apartment. Regardless of your societal standing, this photo is something we can all relate to.

 

See also:

Portraits

By Joseph Patrick Conroy

 


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