Roy Savoy: NYC Through an iPhone Camera


All images by Roy Savoy. Used with permission.

Roy Savoy was born and raised in New York, and he continues to love its energy. He’s one of those photographers who for years had a great eye for photos but never got a camera. When he got a phone with a camera, he started going around taking photos of random things like architecture. Then people, and eventually street scenes.

I found Roy on EyeEm, and quickly fell in love with his work. Roy studied the work of many of the first great photographers and also prefers the simplicity of black and white to color.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.


Roy: As a little boy I was always intrigued and fascinated by photography especially black and white photography, the photojournalism photography that I would see in Time and Life magazine, the NY times and in Encyclopedias . I would just stare at the photos and be amazed by them, the moments that were capture both good and bad, the powerful moments that are captured and instilled in your memories forever always captivated me.

Phoblographer: What made you want to get into street photography?


Roy: My friends would always tell me I had a great eye for photography because even through I did not have a camera, whenever we were together and they were carrying a one, I would always would point out a moment for them to capture, and the picture came out great. so after awhile I decided to finally start taking my own photos and sharing them, mobile photography and Instagram made it so easy to do.

I knew nothing about photography, composition or editing. when I first started my adventures into photography being from and living in New York and having such a beautiful Cityscape and architecture, I started out taking and posting those pics, after a few month of only taking architecture only pics, I became bored I needed something else something more challenging, so I decided to incorporated people and architecture together more of urban style street photography then I took the time to study more about photography and discovered amazing legends whose work aspired me even more.

After a couple of month I started taking pictures of street moments or interesting looking people that caught my attention, then that is when I decided this is why I fell in love with photography the photos I saw in those magazines, newspapers and books capturing moments that can never ever been captured again and sharing them with the world. I still love architecture but street photography gives me a adrenaline rush. the thrill of the hunt and the reward you feel when you capture that amazing moment.

Phoblographer: You describe yourself as a mobile street photographer, so does that mean that you mostly shoot with your phone?


Roy: Yes, Mobile only, iPhone.

Phoblographer: Lots of your work is in black and white; what attracts you to that form vs color?

Roy: I love Black and White, it’s what I saw first during my initial introduction into photography, when I studied the work of the legends of the past their work was in black and white. Don’t get me wrong, I do love color but I love to mute it some; color can sometimes be very distracting and take attention away from the subject or main focus of the story.


Phoblographer: When you go out shooting, what inspires you to actually photograph a scene? Is it the light, the people, the moment? Lots of the work looks geometry based.

Roy: All of the above, the geometry based street photography is something I learned from studying the work of the great Henri Cartier-Bresson, but usually I take what the street gives me at the moment I don’t prioritized one over the other.


Phoblographer: What determines whether you upload an image or not? In your mind, what discerning decisions do you make before you think about sharing an image with the world?

Roy: It’s so funny, I remember when I first started sharing photos I would just take a picture look at it say this is good and post it the afterwards I would look at it again and would say “What was I thinking posting this?” Now I learned to let the picture sit for awhile and not be influenced by the moment then I’ll look at it again and decide if it’s worth posting; to me pictures that can tell a story mean so much…I can see and feel a moment capture it and I will interpret its story one way and someone else might interpret it another, I am fine with that as long as they see a story in it.


Phoblographer: Where do you think street photography is moving and progressing into as an art form?

Roy: I am still new to shooting street photography as I just recently made a year, so I am not sure where it is going as art form, I feel from what I’ve seen on social media thus far the interest seems to be more into sunsets, rooftops, Cityscape and Aerial photography more than street and I feel it’s a shame because the most of the legends of the past, photographed candid, street and life changing events photography. so I hope the beauty and artform of it is never forgotten or overlooked .