Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bulkka Magazine Interview by Tomas Lopez

*By Tomas Lopez
I became passionate about the traditional photographic printing process when I was 15, convincing my family to turn our storage cellar into a darkroom and I started to photograph my friends skateboarding. In my later teens I was completely distracted by surfing and snowboarding and there were competitions that I had started to do quiet well in.
When I was 19 I suffered a debilitating back injury snowboarding that stopped me in my tracks for a year and forced me to consider my path. My love of photography re-emerged.
To be a streetkid in NY means to be in the reactor core of modern pop culture, but your living at the edge because you have no money and no support from your family. You are streetwise and your friends are your family. You are strong and courageous. You are like a raw uncut diamond. When you rise up from the streets and overcome so much adversity. This moment of grace is beautiful and illuminating. 
The photo project is titled Street Kids and they were mostly 13-21 year old kids who I found hanging out late at night on the streets of New York. I was attracted to those who exist at the edges of society. The outsiders. I wanted people to feel through the camera what they were feeling, the vulnerability but also the courage. I photographed them from a deeply visceral place rather than from the intellect. The camera was drawn to where it needed to go. And I always wonder where these kids are right now.

Have you ever felt your brain is going to explode?
My brain explodes often, when the dust and smoke settles, but for a moment there is beauty, grace and pure joy. Everything is beautiful and seems to make sense.
Is there is a streetkid inside you?
As a teenager I walked through some self destructive times. There was anger and all hope seemed lost. Perhaps there is an empathy for what some of them are going through.
What is your favorite quote?
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”. Hunter S. Thompson

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cross Projections 2011

My Streetkids project will be showing at Cross Projections 2011,
Sydney Australia.
Cross Projections is a multi media, cinematic screening of sixteen photographers personal essays.
Now in its 9th screening season, Cross Projections is a sell-out photographic event.
Screening on thurs 6th, fri 7th and sat 8th Oct 2011 at 6.30pm and there is a sat matinee session at 3pm.

Tickets$20/$15 conc. Book online www.crossprojections.com.au

Monday, June 6, 2011

PDN PhotoAnnual 2011

My STREETKIDS project has been selected into the PDN Photo Annual 2011.
The Photo Annual is judged by some of the big names in the American and European photographic industry.

Here's a grab from a recent interview i did that give's a little more insight into the streetkids project:

  “Sometimes we all lose track of the pain that got us from darkness into light – we fall down and it’s fuckin hard to get up and find the light. This is an exploration of that journey – with grace.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Joseph Rodriguez

Joseph Rodriguez is a renowned American narrative photographer. He seems to be on the inside of the peoples lives that he is photographing. He writes, "Photography too often confirms preconceptions and distances the reader from more nuanced realities. The people in the frame are often depicted as too foreign, too exotic, or simply too different to be easily understood."
"I continue to tell stories that have had an effect on my life so that we can diminish this distance and develop a better understanding."
Below are some images from one of his most recent projects, "Reentry in Los Angeles"
 Rodriguez himself served time in prison as a young man. He managed to turn his life around by becoming a successful photographer - he often likes to say that his life changed from one of shooting drugs to shooting pictures. His sentence informed a life-long personal interest in prison experience, and inspired his work documenting families on the wrong side of the law.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Polaroid Kidd

Mike Brodie aka "The Polaroid Kidd"  is a wonderful photographer who has managed to capture a marginalized subculture of the American population that would normally be hidden from mainstream society. He apparently is a somewhat accidental documentary photographer. He's subjects are his friends, their homes and lifestyles. Mainstream would label them, hobo's, punks and squatters, but they are much more than that. He has photographed them criss-crossing the country, riding in boxcars and also some incredibly intimate and haunting portraits.


Toben have posted about the streetkids project in their news section.
"Adam Taylor has just returned from New York, adding a second city to his photographic series and upcoming exhibition. Streetkids is a photographic documentation of youth living in the periphery of major cities."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New York City

 A big thanks to Covenant House NYC, Tom Manning and Brian K Bob for making it possible for these images to happen, and especially the young people within these images who welcomed me into their world and let me photograph them.