This Is How We Do It: My NYC Urban Portrait Shoots

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about camera gear. I’m not saying I never talk about it. I enjoy looking at and discussing awesome camera gear, but I enjoy shooting even more. So that’s what I spend most of my time doing. I get the gear that gets the job done and I go shoot. Simple.

“Simple” is also the philosophy that underscores my portrait work.

The majority of my portrait sessions take place outdoors all across NYC (but mostly Manhattan). I prefer natural light, not because I’m incapable of putting studio lights to good use, but because I find natural light to be the most flattering light source and because it’s simple (usually).

Don’t get me wrong, I do shoot indoors sometimes. Even when I do, I keep it simple – a single flash/strobe setup or window light in a small studio setting.

I also tend to forgo elaborate staging. Sure, it’s sometimes called for in commercial work but it’s not my preference. I prefer community gardens, rustic buildings, fascinating storefronts, rooftops (when I can get access), dilapidated walls and…occasionally the middle of the street.

I always try to find a way to match my subject and the environment. Once we’ve got that out the way, I’m ready to shoot. 

35mm, 50mm, 85mm. I use whatever works for the situation. I may even bring along a film camera.

And then the fun begins.

Anytime I shoot with someone new, there’s an adjustment period. It’s takes a moment or two for both the photographer and the subject to get comfortable with one another, but I do my best to make that adjustment period as short and painless as possible.

I’m always open to ideas. Is there a shot you’ve always dreamed of creating? Let me know, we can do it. See that shot above of Batyah hanging from the street sign? Her idea.

When you shoot with me I’m going to make sure that not only will you get portraits that you love, but that you’ll also enjoy the whole experience.

Creating beautiful portraits should be fun. Fun is simple.


Click HERE to book your portrait shoot!

Questions? Want more info? Get in touch with me HERE.


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