From the Hip Photography

Many years ago I stumbled across the book “Grim Street” by photographer Mark Cohen. I loved how the subjects were often out of frame and they were gritty. There was nothing perfect about them, yet they were compelling and active. I wanted to try the same thing. In 2007, I went to New York to visit a friend, and during a trip to Times Square, I gave it a try. What better place is there to try shooting photos from the hip?

I didn’t have a camera at the time so I bought a disposable camera.

Nowadays with instagram and amazing phones that give everyone access to the ability to take quality photos, plus with filters everything looks so perfect. Perfect composition, perfect lighting, perfect subject. In fact life looks so perfect it seems unreal.

I like these photos because they lack all of the above. The composition is off, the subject is blurred or out of frame, the lighting is blurred, and there are light leaks from when the film was exposed to light. The film is gritty and imperfect.

All the photos were taken during one week in the fall of 2007, but they look as if they could be from an even earlier time period.

Friends at Coney Island, New York City, 2007