I stumbled upon Adam Garelick’s photographic project quite by chance. It was one of those slow days where I had trouble looking for blog post ideas. After hours of browsing, his New York City Street Portraits immediately grabbed me, so I got in touch to ask him a little more about it.
I wanted to document the people who really make New York a vibrant urban centre. Street portraits were a fitting way to do this, especially because there is a randomness to them that evokes some of the randomness of city life. I don’t think there is a better place to experience the energy of New York than on its streets.
Adam moved to New York in 2002 to attend law school, and started to explore and document city life with his camera. Back in Connecticut he was already photographing landscapes, then in New York he started looking at architecture. So, has he gotten to know New Yorkers better through closer observation of them through his lenses?
I am not sure that someone can ever “know” New Yorkers. People here are especially distinct and idiosyncratic. It is difficult to apply a rigid definition to them, and so it is wasted effort to even try. But that is what makes New York so compelling – it embraces and celebrates individuality. New Yorkers define themselves. These faces [my portraits], these people, live in a place where they are free to be who they are. Because even though New Yorkers may share little more than the ground that they walk on, their differences are rarely a source of tension. There is a tolerance here that is wonderful and celebrated.