This past weekend in New York was great, although It wasn't my first visit to the Big Apple, it was the first trip with the mindset of a street style photographer. The only major hurdle I was worried to over come was, how to stop people for a photo when everyone seems to be a such a rush. We'll, I sort of gave up trying to wait for someone just standing in the perfect spot for me to ask and just went on shooting like I always do.
Although my approach to street style worked like normal, there is still a learning curve to every new town I visit. Understanding the different social interaction, and how they react to what I do is key. Although New York is the street style capital of the US, I had to observe for a bit before I went to work. Each of the three major parts of town I visited had its own mood, its own unique backdrop, and over all style.
SoHo and its surroundings - SoHo is a strange mix of a small town vibe in downtown New York. Its beautiful cobblestone streets, uniform lofts and storefronts, kind of gave me a Charleston vibe. The foot traffic is pretty consistent also, well tailored modern J Crew looks, thrift savvy fashionistas, and hipsters galore. There were two speeds in Soho - strolling along, and lets get there. If you see someone you want to take a photo of, don't take your eye off them, they will be gone in a second. The other truth to SoHo is street style is kind of a normal thing, I actually spotted out two other style photogs doing their thing while around town.
Midtown - Although there are several very specific areas around Mid-Town, I'm going to generalize here. Midtown is where I stayed, and where most visitors venture to since you have Time Square, Rockefeller Plaza, and so on. Even though Midtown is shadowed by some of the most iconic skyscrapers in New York, and populated by every tourist on the planet, Midtown was a beautiful thing to see on the fashion front. With its massively wide sidewalks, and hordes of sightseers, one would think true fashionable New Yorkers would avoid this area. Although there is probably some true to that, every now and then something magical wouldng would happen. Some stunning creature with legs for miles would break through the crowd with towering heals working the sidewalk like the runway show at Valentino. It was as they had the power of Moses and parted those crowed like the Red Sea, then continued down the street on a open stage showing off their newest threads. Hipsters had no power in midtown, they just got lost in the mix, the show stoppers were high fashion goddesses.
Upper West Side - I had only one reason initially for visiting the Upper West Side; stroll through Central Park, detour through the American Museum of Natural History, then get my hotdog fix at Grays Papaya. Oh was I in for a surprised because Upper West Side is gorgeous, no fashion needed. The row townhouses with lovely tree covered stoops; its not like something from a movie, it probably was in a movie. I didn't spend as much time in the Upper West Side, but with some standout residents and sleepy side walks, magic will happen next time I'm there for sure.
New York was fun! And if I learned anything new this time around, almost everyone in New York is fashionable. Even in such a fashion mecca, I still only lined up a few stand shots because mentally, what is good and what stands out fashionably speaking is raised to a higher standard. It makes it that much harder, but oh so fun. I can't wait to get back up there.