New York City remains a favorite of street photographers, not only for its vibrant city life and iconic architecture, but also for the interesting faces, characters, and personalities of its residents. The Big Apple may be an intimidating place to take street portraits, but the film snaps of Belgium-based Maxence Dedry show why it’s always worth including them in your photography itinerary around town.
In early 2015, Maxence spent two weeks in New York City and went around looking for interesting sights and scenes to document. His camera of choice was a Mamiya 7 II with a 43mm lens, which he loaded with Kodak Portra 160 and 400, and Ilford Delta 3200 – great choice of films as we can see in the dreamy colors and soft tones in his snaps. The black and white photos, meanwhile, show the classic monochrome look most street photographers consider outstanding to this day.
On top of New York’s street scenes, visual elements, and textures that he captured, Maxence also took some beautiful portraits of New Yorkers he came across while out and about. When you’re a tourist in a city as iconic and busy as the Big Apple, it’s not easy to ask random strangers if you can take their portrait. Most street photographers prefer to photograph people out in the streets as candidly or stealthily as possible. While this is often regarded as the best way to represent a slice of life in a city, street portraits also make for an interesting way to meet the locals and get a glimpse of their personalities.
Maxence therefore did well to use the Kodak Portra films, which are known for the beautiful nostalgic tones they produce, especially for portraits. If you’re yet to try asking the locals of the cities you visit for a quick portrait snap, photographing them using Kodak Portra is definitely worth it.