Street Photography in NYC is like a dream for most mobile photographers as it offers many artistic possibilities. Andrew Avasin is one of those talented mobile photographers that use the iphone to picture their city with both sense of framing and a great humankind.
23 years old, Andrew is not only a photographer; he’s also a musician. His vision of New York is that of a complete artist who is as good with a camera than with a guitar.
You can discover Andrew’s work through his very interesting gallery on Instagram: @andrew_avasin.
Here is an interview along with a selection of both photographs and videos all made by Andrew. The first video shows some of the Black, White, and Sepia photos Andrew took in NYC one year ago. In the other videos, you will see Andrew singing and playing guitar. Enjoy!
My name comes from the simple idea or approach I have towards photography.
That photography is like “A Vase”
And each shot I take is like a flower being placed “In” that vase
Until I have a bouquet of flowers
Ready to give it to the world.”
P: Pierre A: Andrew
P: Hi Andrew, I contacted you for your work as a photographer but I discovered your talent as a musician. what is your current occupation?
A: At the moment I work in the cafe in Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC. I don’t really get the chance to show my talent in music and photography because I’m usually working. But yes I am a singer/song writer/musician/producer/ & of course photographer. I’m actually starting to play at more open mics around the city hoping to gain some type following, network, and hopefully a deal at some point in the near future.
P: When did you start posting photos on Instagram?
A: I started posting to IG on October 29, 2010, and I’ve never looked backed once. The first pic I took actually happened to be of a Dominoes pizza box. There was a sign on it that said “You have 30 minutes”, and it just stuck with me. Like if you only had 30 minutes left to shoot, talk, sing, live, what would you do? What would you come up with?
P: Ha ha! Looks like a metaphor! Could you tell us about NYC? What is your feeling?
A: NYC is big, grand, full of lights, people, life. But in a city so big, too often do we lose sight of the men, women, & children that make up the city of New York. Not the rich bankers, the dirty politicians, the greedy CEO’s, no! The single parent father who works two jobs to feed his kids, and put them in the “good school”. The mother’s struggling to make ends meet because her husband just walked out on her and left his family in a pile debt. The children, teen, young adults who trying to find some place in this world to call their own in world that is constantly changing, and faster than ever these days. They roam the streets day and night, but still, are they at peace? Their lives matter most to me. Their hopes and dreams have become my reality, through the wonderful world of photography. I see what they see. And change starts with me.
For an example of what I mean, you can check out The New Yorker Series (#TheNewYorkerSeries) & The New Yorker Series Part II (#TheNewYorkerSeriesPartII) on Instagram to get a better understanding of what I mean. (All photos by me of course)
“The Beggars” – Manhattan, New York – Part 18 of 20 #thenewyorkseries
P: I guess you have some anecdotes. Are there events or unexpected encounters that you could tell us about?
A: Well I’ll be honest, when shooting I’m usually on the move, so I never really encounter strange things, but there was this one time I was chasing this guy down the street for two blocks just to try an get a picture of him. Ha, crazy day. He was interesting to me because he looked like he had just finished sucking a bag of lemons! But I thought to myself, if I got a great shot, the texture of his face in black and white would look amazing.
So finally he stopped at a crosswalk, iPhone by my chest, I creep up next to him, ready to take the shot and… I slipped and fell off the curb! Looked like a complete fool. Ha, ha. Anywho. He helped me up, kept walking, and I never got the shot. Ha.
P: What about the 365project?
A: My 365project I actually gave up on (this is the third time now) because it become increasingly harder to find the time to take, edit, & share a photo everyday, and I didn’t want to take easy or crappy shots to be honest. I wanted to give each shot it’s due energy, time, care, respect, and a fighting chance to last in the history of my life. So I put it on hold, and shot when I could or really felt inspired to, and I feel the results have been so much better and free flowing.
“Every Door’s A New Journey”
P: What relationship do you see between photo and music?
A: The two are very similar to me because they both capture something so real, so intimate, so supernatural at times it’s hard to comprehend how magnificent they are. Music plays its role by invigorating the soul with sound and feeling, creating an ocean of emotion in a way unlike any other. And then here comes photography, playing its role by capturing that emotion, that energy in a visual way. So no longer is the crowd at a concert just a crowd at concert, they are now part of a visual experience showing a sea, a collective of people in one mind, in voice, in one accord, expressing who they really are. And that, that moment, is forever immortalized.
P: What video app do you use that gives this old film sensation?
A: Ah, I use, and love, this app called iSupr8. It’s amazing, with different camera body and film stocks. The processing takes a bit long, depending on how long the clip is. But I love the end result. If I need to, will usually take it in to iMovie for the finished project.
P: Is the iphone your main camera for Street Photography?
A: Yes, when it comes to street photography, I almost always use my iPhone 4s. It just gives me so much mobility and freedom to get as close as I want if needed, and to be as stealthy as necessary to get the shots you see. I’ve used bigger cameras but it’s just not the same.
P: What apps do you prefer?
A: For shooting purposes I tend to shoot with the native camera, and then begin my processing later. But here is a picture of my “GO-TO” app kit.
Not included in the picture but two apps that I also love are VSCO Cam and Cameramatic, the former I’ve been using a lot lately since I’m taking a minor break from landscape mode photography and going back to square photography for a bit.
P: Do you have any other photographic and/or music project?
A: I’ve been singing since I was a child, writing & playing since the age of 12 (I’m 23 now) and I really do believe I have what it takes to make music that moves people, & something great that people around the world will love and enjoy. A few goals I have this year is to release a second EP (first one Calling Out Tonight can be downloaded at http://EliAndrews.bandcamp.com for free), write, finish, and publish a book about my experience over the past two years as a street photographer, get a couple of showcases, and finish my film called The Cost of Living.
P: Thank you so much Andrew. This is a real pleasure to look at your pictures and listen to your songs!
To discover more: http://andrewavasin.com/