Coming from a family of 3 type 1 diabetics and becoming one myself at the age of 15, this is a cause that is very near and dear to me. But instead of riding in this year’s Tour de Cure, I volunteered with the American Diabetes Association on Randall’s Island and did some photos for them. Besides the streets of New York, I’ve never shot photos of complete strangers before, and I was definitely out of my shy little introverted comfort zone. Halfway through though, I was able to muster up enough courage and start asking people for some more staged photos. And I’m so glad I did. Take a look at these heartwarming smiles and see if you don’t get inspired by these badass diabetics.
The first time I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge it was in the middle seat of a 20-foot U-Haul with my entire world packed into boxes behind me. We were three country folks so focused on navigating through the crowded streets of Lower Manhattan that we missed all of the signs on the Bridge that screamed “ABSOLUTELY NO TRUCKS.” I paid no mind to the chaos on my left and right and instead snapped my first wide-eyed Instagram of the Bridge. Caption reading: “Welcome home.”
The second time I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge I was walking home from my unpaid internship near City Hall with my entire world up in the air. I had moved to New York without any real money saved up, without a job lined up, and without any real plan. I was willing to do whatever it took, but two weeks into this unpaid journalism job, I realized the truth: that the kind of work I just spent five years getting a degree in bored me and depressed me to death. Where was I supposed to go from here? Back home across the Bridge of course, snapping photos of the city lights along the way. Caption reading: “Inspiration is all around.”
I’ve crossed it many times in between, but the most recent time I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge it was with my entire world right next to me, holding my hand. With no other purpose than to shake the remnants of winter from our bones, my wife and I walked the narrow mile-long pedestrian pathway while snapping photos of the skyline and each other. Swapping the Canon back and forth, sometimes we’re just as bad as the group of tourists we zigzag in and out of. Caption reading: “I will carry you."
Before I moved to New York, I was fascinated with the city. Every time I visited I would take hundreds of photos: first on disposable cameras and then on pocket-sized digital cameras. When I finally bought a decent DSLR and made the decision to make the move downstate, I imagined that my lifelong passion for photography would bring me up and down this island creating a personal portfolio Bruce Gilden would be proud of. My apartment would become filled with giant black and white prints of the city that I took.
I've only called New York City home for 3 years, but somehow it has already lost that photographic element to me. I'm not entirely sure why that is. I don't feel as if my life has become routine or like I never go to new places, never see new things. I just feel like I've been forgetting to notice life around me. I've been forgetting to look up, to view my surroundings through a lens.
So this week I've been trying to bring myself out of that mindset. I've been taking lunchtime walks around my office's neighborhood and just snapping away—on my iPhone of course. I'll start hauling around my DSLR more on the weekends. But for now, I give you Springtime In New York.