8 On-The-Rise Photographers You've Got To Know

UPDATE: This story was originally published on October 24.
With the advent of Instagram, it seems everyone and their mother is a photographer (that is, if their mother owns an iPhone, too). Indeed, we'd be hard-pressed to walk by some witty graffiti, a well-frosted cupcake, or an aww-worthy pooch without bumping into a gram-happy passerby standing in the middle of the street trying to find the right filter.
What does this mean for those who call photography not only a passion, but also a j-o-b? Well, according to the inspired and inspiring work of these eight on-the-rise artists and photojournalists, the snap-o-sphere can easily coexist with the two-billion-dollar app. Smart phones aside, our visionaries thrive easily, producing vivid images for magazines, ad campaigns, newspapers, dot-coms, and more. And, their subjects are as diverse as their aesthetics, spanning from the music biz to street style, taxidermy fairytales to women at war in Bosnia. To get in on all this creativity, we asked the shutterbugs to turn their cameras on themselves by submitting a self-portrait that exemplifies their artistic vision. And being ever the honor students, we've also made a digital gallery of some of their most inspired works — no filter, of course.
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Click through to meet the eight NYC photographers you'll want to know first.
1 of 24
Chad Moore

Can you give us a brief description about your background as a photographer?
"I've never had any formal photography training really. I started making photographs through riding BMX bikes. One of my best friends, Ryan Bailey, would always take photos of us riding and I loved the idea of creating memories, just documenting the time and place. He used a bunch of lights and stuff and I've never been super into the technical aspects of photography so to speak, so I would just take snapshots of everyone hanging out. I really fell in love with it — it just became almost obsessive."

Describe your self-portrait and how it conveys your style as an artist.
"This 'self-portrait' is of two of my best friends in the whole world, Ryan and Sara and myself. Sara was also my girlfriend. You can barely see my eye peaking out in the left side of the frame. This is at a Misfits show on Halloween, October 2011. I think I took about three rolls of film just while the band was playing…just getting pushed around and everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces. A lot of times, especially the past few years, I'll end up taking a 'self' with whoever I'm photographing, for no reason other than creating a memory of being in that time and place next to that someone. I'll get the film back, scan it, and it just goes into an archive. Sara passed away this summer and it was really difficult for me and a lot of our friends, but being able to look back at these photos likes these makes you remember all of the epic times you've had with someone."

Photo: Courtesy of Chad Moore
2 of 24
What do you photograph and why?
  "My friends... just kids being kids. My photos are about being young and that feeling of optimism and adventure that you can only feel when you are at a certain age. A lot of my photographs are of young girls in the city. Some of them are actually models, but we're friends so the photos don't come across as a someone modeling — it's real, no one ever poses for me in a traditional sense. I get obsessed with certain people and their stories and often I guess I'll make up my own story about them. I suppose taking photos is a way to take that all in, to create a tangible memory. Photographing people has become kind of a compulsion for me."

Who and what inspires you?
"So many things… I could go on for days, but really I'm most inspired by the people in the photos, I'm obsessed with personalities and people's energy. Also, I look at a lot of old photo books and I really like taking inspiration from classic paintings. There are some things that you can take from a painting and apply towards a photograph. The posses of the models in Egon Schiele's paintings, for example, are so beautiful. I also find a lot of inspiration riding my bike around the city. I'll ride by a really cool park or a weird tree or a beautiful fountain and take a photo of it with my phone so I can come back there and make a real photo."

What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it affect your work/working life?
 "I love living in New York. I feel like all of my work from the past few years has a lot to do with New York, all of the relationships and friends that have been made over the past few years. It's such a crazy, magical place. New York is great because you can really do anything you want here — everything is there for you to take advantage of. There's some people who definitely don't do this and end up moving away or just getting burnt out, but I feel like if you work hard and really know what you want then you can have it here. It's just nice to walk outside and be surrounded by so many people and so much energy."

Photo: Courtesy of Chad Moore
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3 of 24
How do you think instagram has affected the field of photography? Do you instagram?
  "I am guilty of instagraming…I held out for so long, but finally broke down and got one a few months ago. I mean, it definitely cheapens photography in a sense, but at the same time all of cell phone photos that people take have to live somewhere and its is pretty entertaining to look at what all of your friends are doing around the world. I don't post that often, just when I got something realllllly good, or funny. And I don't put any of my personal art on there." What has been your favorite project so far and why? "My body of work, entitled Between Us. It's just all photos of friends and nothing is staged or anything like that. I suppose you could say it's almost documentary style work in a sense. A lot of the photos from this series were used for a 'zine by the German publisher Pogo Books."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects? "Right now I'm finishing the proof to my new book entitled 13, that's being published by Glassine Box. Its a lot of photos from the past two years. It should be out by the end of the year and I'm going to do a little solo show to coincide with the release. Also, I'm beginning to work on new series of studio nudes. Every great photographer has done it, but I have a few ideas to put my mark on the photos. I've really been enjoying exploring some of the themes of my work, things like youth and romance, but in the controlled environment of the studio."

What is one thing you remind yourself every day?  "Life is fragile."

Photo: Courtesy of Chad Moore
4 of 24
Sebastian Mader

How did you get started as a photographer? 
"I'm a German photographer and filmmaker based in New York. After growing up in the Bavarian Alps, I moved to Berlin where I became a lawyer. At some point I realized that I won't ever be happy as a lawyer and I decided to pursue my dream to become a photographer. After assisting a German photographer for one year, I moved to New York in order to work for Steven Klein and I was Steven's lighting director for five years until I started my career as a photographer in March 2012."

Describe your self-portrait and how it conveys your perspective/style as an artist. 
"I am showing myself from a 360-degree angle, sitting in front of a slide projection of my grandfather, who is himself sitting in the backyard next to a gramophone, which reminds one of the capture laptop I have on my knees. I feel a portrait should have a truthfully unveiling or explanatory element. So here it is: I am a German photographer, who you can look at from almost every possible angle, extremely enthusiastic about American culture (which shows in the all denim), and very conceptual in my work."

Photo: Courtesy of Sebastian Mader
5 of 24
What do you photograph and why?
"I obviously photograph everything that is interesting to me. Strong concepts are very interesting to me. You don't need to be interested in animals to shoot dogs — it could just be the certain color palette of this breed. In categories, I shoot fashion, portraits, beauty, and still life."

Who/what inspires you?
"It could be anything, but mostly different media than photography. Very often film and art, but also just daily life. I love to look at people on the subway."

What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it affect your work/working life?
  "NYC is a catalyzer — it just makes your life so fast. There is no better place to produce than NYC. Everything is available all the time. I couldn't do what I do anywhere else at the moment."

Photo: Courtesy of Sebastian Mader.
6 of 24
How do you think Instagram has changed the field of photography? Do you Instagram? 
"I don't have instagram, but only because my iPhone is not fast enough. With a new phone, I will also get Instagram. I think Instagram is not too special, it is not like the invention of Facebook. Instagram is Twitter for images and it was a necessary evolutionary part in the social network world, to share now not only thoughts, but also images.

Much more interesting for me is how it will effect the field of photography in a few years time — probably even less. I think people will just get so bored and numb of this random visual flood of images with the funky colors. I think it will lead to the point where the craft of photography and concepts will become more important again."

What has been your favorite project so far and why? 
"The 'Flamingo Kids' story for Interview , where I shot 16 girls in bathing suits on sun beds from above. I shot the whole thing in a studio and it was so precise and loose at the same time. I had a fantastic time."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects?
"I would love to shoot a music video."

What is one thing you remind yourself every day? 
"To be grateful for my wonderful life."

Photo: Courtesy of Sebastian Mader.
7 of 24
Christelle de Castro

First, give a brief description about your background as a photographer. 
"I got started with photography at age 19 thanks to my mentor, Eigo Todoroki, who saw something in me that I didn't. Today I'm a photographer, art director, and filmmaker based in NYC."

Describe your self-portrait and how it conveys your perspective/style as an artist. 
"I like my photos grainy, a little mysterious, and a touch unexpected."

Photo: Courtesy of Christelle de Castro
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8 of 24
What do you photograph and why? 
"I shoot a lot of fashion, but what I care about most is always the person wearing the clothes. I really just enjoy photographing people, which I think is most apparent in my personal work."

What inspires you?
"My grandmother. My crazy hometown. Being in love. Music. The changing seasons."

What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it affect your profession? 
"New York will most likely be my home-base for the rest of my life. Like the city, the fashion and art world is constantly moving and evolving — it's really an industry that never sleeps. And, I love that."

Photo: Courtesy of Christelle de Castro
9 of 24
What effect do you think Instagram has had on the field of photography? Do you Instagram? 
"Instagram put photography in just about everyone's hands. It made photography easy to digest, interactive, and of course, shareable (which is key). I love Instagram and I do it often!"

What has been your favorite project so far and why? 
"Ugh, this is a tough one! Maybe photographing Lindsay Lohan and Sasha Grey for Richard Phillips. I was in L.A. for his film shoots, photographing the girls on set. Lindsay and Sasha were lovely to work with, and, of course, Richard is brilliant and always super fun to be around."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects?
"Currently I'm working with Norma Kamali on her campaign to stop the objectification of women. We'll have a short video out soon to bring awareness to the issue. Other than that, I recently expanded my photo studio to establish a home for my new agency, Stoneman Creative. We're working on lots of fun projects this year and you're invited to the studio anytime, Refinery!"

What is one thing you remind yourself every day? 
"Those bikram classes you bought on Groupon are going to expire, Christelle. (Womp!)"

Photo: Courtesy of Christelle de Castro
10 of 24
Claire Rosen

Tell us about your background as a photographer. 
"I took my first photography class while in college at Bard at Simon's Rock and was immediately hooked while watching that first print develop in the darkroom. I transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design to pursue a major in Photography. Upon graduation in 2006, I moved to Maine to work for renowned photographer Joyce Tenneson and the Maine Media Workshops.. In 2009, I returned to NYC and began showing my fine art work in galleries, press and PR for which led to commercial commissions of my photography and various teaching opportunities. My photographs have been recognized by Communication Arts Photography Annual, The International Photography Awards, Graphis Photo Annual, Prix de la Photographie, The Sony World Awards, Artists Wanted: Exposure, and The Art Project: W Magazine, as well as most recently being included on Forbes list of 30 under 30 in 2012 for Art & Design."

Tell us about your self-portait. 
"'Quest' is from the self-portrait series, Fairy Tales and Other Stories — the image depicts a chance encounter upon a hawk in a fantastical landscape. This represents the idea of an epic quest, which I feel is symbolic of my journey as not only an artist but also as a person trying to navigate and find my place in the world. The surreal dreamlike setting, whimsical styling, and symbolic conversation with nature are all themes prevalent in my work."

Photo: Courtesy of Claire Rosen
11 of 24
What do you photograph and why? 
"Since childhood, I have been fascinated by fairy tales, fantasy lands, and other time periods. I would attribute this to my mother, who when my sisters and I were young, was always reading obscure children's stories with wonderful illustrations, taking us out of school to see the circus tent being raised, or bringing us to museums. She made the world a magical place full of curiosity and possibilities. I continue that search for wonder and mystery in both my life and my photography.

I have several personal fine art projects including a self portrait series, a vintage doll series, a taxidermy series, and bird portrait series,  as well as many commissioned pieces for fashion editorial and advertising clients which take me from hot air balloons and haunted prisons in the UK, to Arabian palaces in the middle east, to elephant rides and monkey feasts in Southeast Asia. I frequently reference literature and other time periods and play with themes of fantasy, fairy tale, myth, art history, circus, burlesque, dreams, magic, curiosities, and natural science in the hopes that the viewer will be transported outside of their daily lives."

Who and what inspires you?
"My mom, Tim Walker, Edward Gorey, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, Grace Coddington, Alexander McQueen, Mark Dion, platypus, the moon."

What is your relationship like with NYC? Does it inspire your work? 
"Since many of my photographs are shot on location, I have not created much work within the city. For me, NYC is a source of inspiration, great food, and a place for networking. While it holds wonderful experiences —  for example every year without fail (since the age of 2) I have gone to the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center, and spent many afternoons at the Museum of Natural History or walking around art galleries in Chelsea — it can also be a source of so much frustration from the pace and traffic to the competitive nature of the industry. It is also a terrible place for dating."

Photo: Courtesy of Claire Rosen
12 of 24
How do you think Instagram has affected the field of photography? Do you Instagram? 
"I personally do not use Instagram. 

I have mixed feelings on the effect that Instagram has had on the field of photography. I think it is great how many more people have become interested in photography through the accessibility of the iPhone photography apps. In addition, the social media aspect of Instagram has become a very valuable marketing tool for many photographers. My personal debate lies within the value of iPhone photography in general as a serious medium.  I think it will be interesting to see what happens as the technology develops.  For a split second my instinct is to say, 'those filters make pictures more interesting then they would be normally and you have limited controls, so iPhone photography is like cheating' but maybe I am just bitter because it seems too easy. After all, I am a firm believer that your equipment doesn't make your pictures, you do still have to make a decision to put something interesting in the frame. This was probably similar to the feelings that occurred when digital photography first arrived on the scene. So I will wait to form my opinion."

What has been your favorite project so far and why? 
"A commercial series called Bespoke, created for and in collaboration with lighting designer, Alex Randall. Alex is a very inspiring artist. She creates unique lighting fixtures from taxidermy animals and reclaimed objects which we photograph in unusual narrative concepts.  There is a special synergy between us that has produced a body of work that I am very proud of."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects? Or, what is something you hope to accomplish in the next year? 
"I am working on a coffee table book of my taxidermy series, 'The Millbrook Collection,' which (hopefully) will be finished in the next year. I am also working on a new fine art series of elaborate animal feasts. In the commercial spectrum I am always looking to expand my creative team and client base!"

What is one thing you remind yourself every day? 
"Everything worth doing is difficult so don't give up…"

Claire will be speaking at the Unique Photo® Booth #437 at PDN's PhotoPlus International Convention and Expo on October 25th, 26th and 27th at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. To find out the speaking times and register for free, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of Claire Rosen
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13 of 24
Jason Kim

Give us a brief description about your background as a photographer.
"My interest in photography came about as a teenager while living in my hometown of Chicago. While all the other kids were out playing sports and video games, I would spend most of my time perusing through my mother's closet and dressing up my friends to photograph them. This early love for photography prompted me to move to New York after high school to pursue my career full time. Since then I've been fortunate enough to work with some amazing clients that include V, VMAN, Madame Figaro, Elle, The Block, Bullett, Blackbook, Peter Pilotto, Yigal Azrouël , Richard Chai, and Tim Coppens."

Describe your self-portrait and how it conveys your perspective/style as an artist.
"It represents my minimalist and formalist sensibility in art and design. My work tends to focus mainly on composition and a harmonious balance between textures, colors, and light to simply create a beautiful image without all the unnecessary frills."

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kim
14 of 24
What do you photograph and why?
"I photograph people who I believe are beautiful inside and out — individuals who have real personalities and a depth to them beyond their outer appearance. Working with someone I actually admire as a human being is what ultimately satisfies me and makes me enjoy what I do."

What inspires you?
"When it comes to aesthetics, I find the work of architects I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry to be really inspiring. Their use of form and function as well as their thoughtfulness to the context surrounding their work is incredible. I try to incorporate their perfectionist spirit into my own work. Conceptually, I love exploring the contrast between the beautiful and the grotesque and am inspired by cinema and different subcultures that exist in our society."

What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it affect your work/working life?
"Living in New York has afforded me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with an array of talented people that continue to motivate me every day. With all the diversity and culture in the city, there is never a dull moment and there is always something to be inspired by. The only drawback I find is that the industry here is significantly more monetized than other major cities such as London, which sometimes can limit creative freedom."

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kim
15 of 24
How do you think Instagram has affected the field of photography? Do you Instagram?
"I think Instagram has only made photography more relevant in our daily lives. At a time when video is all the rage, it just proves that the personal snapshot is still timeless as ever in the digital world. I do Instagram but I find it difficult to keep up with. I photograph for a living so out of the work space, I don't really take many snapshots as I tend to be more of a private person."

What has been your favorite project so far and why?
"I can't say I really have a favorite project as each one is a brand new and different experience for me, but I can say that working with young and promising designers like Peter Pilotto, Richard Chai, and Tim Coppens really excites me about what the future has in store."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects? Or, what is something you hope to accomplish in the next year?
"More celebrity work."

What is one thing you remind yourself every day?
"Nice guys don't finish last. Nobody likes an asshole."

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kim
16 of 24
Elizabeth Herman

Tell us about your background as a photograher.
"I started photographing in high school, where I took darkroom photography all four years. My school had a brilliant photo teacher who really helped me find and develop my own photographic vision, rather than impose an already formed one on me or other students. While at Tufts, I didn't continue photography as part of my studies – I majored in Political Science and Economics – but I became active in Exposure, a documentary studies, human rights, and photojournalism extracurricular program run by the Institute for Global Leadership. It was there that I began to learn more about documentary photography, about using photography as a storytelling tool. I went on a number of journalism workshops with the group – to Cambodia, India, Vietnam, and Texas – with a number of photo and written journalists, including Gary Knight, Sara Terry, Jeff Jacobson, Asim Rafiqui, and Mort Rosenblum. Each workshop illuminated a different element of documentary work, and it was from the workshop in Vietnam in July 2010 that I launched “A Woman’s War,” a long- term documentary project that explores the experiences of women who have actively served in recent conflicts.

After graduating, I moved to Bangladesh on a Fulbright Fellowship to research how politics influence the writing of national histories in textbooks. While there, I continued work on 'A Woman’s War' and reported with a local English newspaper, The Independent. After that I moved back to the US, to New York, and began freelancing full time."

Describe your self-portrait and how it conveys your perspective and style as an artist.
"Portraits fascinate me, and over the past couple of years I’ve tried to focus on them more and more. They’re tough, and any time you think you’ve got a process worked out, it becomes clear that you’ve fallen into a rut and need to force yourself to try something different, otherwise everything is going to start to look the same. I work mostly with natural light and, if I can, in a space that the person is comfortable with, preferably their home. It’s no major revelation, but, you can tell a lot more about a person through an image when they’re in their own space. I also try and keep the room empty, so it’s just me and the person I’m photographing – so much of the image is about the relationship between the subject and photographer that I find that having other people, whether that be friends or assistants or passersby circulating, you lose a lot of that energy, and the portrait suffers from it.

For the self-portrait, I set up the shot as I would with any portrait, using my friend as a model, and then took his place as he fired the shutter. I was actually back in Boston teaching on documentary filmmaking to high schoolers, so I got to make the portraits in my childhood home, in my old bedroom. There’s something about being back in that room – it’s like a timecapsule, it hasn’t been redecorated since 2004 – that immediately transports me, and it was interesting to have that element within the image."

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Herman
17 of 24
What do you photograph and why?
"For the past two years, I’ve been working on a project on women in conflict, 'A Woman’s War,' which explores (through oral histories and portraiture) the experiences of women who have actively served in recent conflicts, and the impact that war has had on them, both during and after conflict. Thus far I’ve completed the project in five countries – in Bangladesh, on women active in the 1971 Liberation War, in Vietnam, on female members of the North Vietnamese Army, in Egypt, on female revolutionaries active in the recent uprisings, in Bosnia, on women involved in the Bosnian War, and in Northern Ireland, on women on all sides of the decades-long conflict. The project has been wonderful to work on, for a number of reasons. Because it’s mainly about history and memory, it’s a slower story, which means that there’s room to observe and let it grow and evolve over time. The challenge has been to figure out how to visualize memory – a task that countless photographers have tried to take on – and one that I find just fascinating. I’ve been focusing on three different visual elements in each country – One: On the portraits of the women themselves; Two: On landscapes of locations where important events during the conflict took place; Three: On more environmental shots in and around the women’s current lives, which speak to the hopes and dreams they hold for themselves and for their children. The three, when woven together, provide this lovely little spectrum – from fairly literal to rather abstract – and in doing so allows for a lot of room to experiment and grow within the project. And, while the project has been wonderful to engage with as a woman, to see women who are defying gender norms – especially in the countries that they’re coming from – I’ve found that the project speaks to broader, more universal stories than that of just women’s role in conflict – the unwritten versions of history. Whose stories are not being heard, and why? And why are the ones that we do hear repeated so often, and so loudly?"

What inspires you?
"Collaboration. Having the opportunity to work with others, to bounce ideas and see projects grow while being passed back and forth between people is a huge motivator behind a lot of my work. That may be colleagues – other writers and photographers – or the people that the project is focusing on – the individuals that tell the story. Photography is wonderful in that it forces you out into the world, and I think that the conversations and relationships that arise from the work are invaluable.

Additionally, finding a way to contribute to the conversation. While it would be wonderful to think that it could, I don’t truly believe that my work will be able to affect significant change by itself. I do hope, however, that it adds another perspective to whatever conversation it’s looking to become a part of, and in doing so, prompt someone to see something in a new light, from a new perspective."

What is your relationship like with NYC?
"Moving here has opened up an entirely new world; going back to collaboration, New York is the center of so many different industries, and draws people with such disparate backgrounds and interests, which all means that the possibility of mingling – even seemingly disparate – ideas and people just skyrocket. The work that I’ve seen emerge out of this environment is some of the most interesting I’ve seen anywhere, and it can be wonderfully overwhelming to see how many new projects or ideas or startups there are to contribute to where you can find yourself."

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Herman
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18 of 24
How do you think Instagram has affected the field of photography?
"I use Instagram (@elizabethdherman), and love it as a way to keep tabs on friends who have scattered every which way, but I have mixed feeling about its effect on photography as a whole. I think that rather than attributing this shift in, or democratization of photography to any one thing in particular – whether that be the iPhone, or Instagram, or cheap point-and shoot-cameras – I think it’s more that the culture of speaking through images that has been gaining momentum over the past decade. 10% of all photographs ever taken were taken last year. That stat blows my mind. I think that Instagram is an incredibly effective way of facilitating that conversation – of providing people with an easy way to talk to each other in images.

The most successful Instagrammers, I think, are ones who do tell stories through their feeds, and as I’ve come to use it more, I’ve tried to focus on narratives – on doing small series, mini reportages within Instagram, rather than just singles.

I think the thing that’s not kept up with this increasingly visual way of communicating is image literacy, educating people how to read photographs and understand visual storytelling. Given the degree to which we all depend on images as a way to receive information about the world, there is surprisingly little critical analysis of the photos that are being passed to us through various news sources – from how they’re being made in the first place to how they’re selected and put forward by editors. I’d love to see a stronger push to get that sort of education into schools, and I think that people would be more receptive to it now." What has been your favorite project so far and why? "A Woman’s War has really monopolized my time for the past two years, in a wonderful way. It’s been a phenomenal project to work on. Photographically, it’s been fascinating work to convey these women’s stories through images, whether that be through portraits of the women themselves, or images from within their lives and countries. Personally, it’s allowed me become a part of this global network of stellar women, and gotten me to engage with the issue of gender rights on a much larger scale than I ever imagined doing before I began working on it."

What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects?
"A Woman’s War is going to be shown for the first time in the US next month, in Brooklyn at United Photo Industries in DUMBO, with an opening reception on November 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. I’m hoping to continue to expand this work to a few more countries, including the United States, Palestine, South Africa, Nicaragua – unfortunately, there are far too many places that this project could go. But I’m looking to start new projects as well, and am trying to develop an idea that would meld economic analysis and reportage. We’ll see if it sticks!"

What is one thing you remind yourself every day?
"That it’s good to have no idea what you’re doing. To keep on trying, and go with each opportunity and see what emerges out of it. To ask more questions than you get answers. And to reach out to others for help, support, and criticism. Without that, I know I’d never grow."

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Herman
19 of 24
David X Prutting

Tell us about your background as a photographer.
"I started photographing on Semester at Sea traveling around the world in 2002, where I became enthralled in expressing myself as the participant observer. I was encouraged after graduating from Ithaca College to pursue photography as a career. Then, I worked in New York City as an assistant to talented fashion photographers like Marek and Associates. Soon, I began to shoot more for myself as well as contributing to Vogue.com and PMc before co-founding BFAnyc.com with Billy Farrell, Joe Schildhorn, and Neil Rasmus in September 2010. My interest for photography always has been reportage — I love the experiences and people that enrich my visual interpretation of the world."

Describe your self- portrait and how it conveys your style as an artist.
"Self-portraits seem easier than having my photo taken by others. I never try to get concept heavy, so you could say straightforward is my style. Natural and honest."

Photo: Courtesy of David X Prutting
20 of 24
What do you photograph and why?
"I photograph people mostly in a place or happening and hope to get a glimpse of their personalities as well as document moments worth remembering. I have also developed an eye for fashion and beauty and really embrace the creativity I find in those settings. But my passion has always been travel photography."

Who and what inspires you?
"I'm mostly inspired by the talent and passions of my peers, love of family and my incredible wife Chau, as well as the cultures and beautiful nature around the globe."

What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it resonate with your work?
"NYC is a rhythm and beat I love to step to. It always finds me wherever I go and always pulls me back when I leave. It's really the most engaging place in the world. Plus, it keeps me close to family and friends. My wife and I cherish the memories we've made here. I'd say the relationship will be lifelong in one way or another."

Photo: Courtesy of David X Prutting
21 of 24
How do you think Instagram has affected the field of photography?
"Instagram is a force in social media both for personal and business purposes — more activations than twitter, recently. I enjoy using it as a visual diary. I also like having a connection to people and brands that I'm interested in. Friends tell me I follow too many people, but I'm genuinely interested and hope to continue to be interested by new people and images. In the words of Andy Warhol, 'I never read, I just look at pictures.'"

What has been your favorite project so far and why?
"The ongoing project that is BFA. Im having the time of my life with a great team that enjoys what they do and does a damn good job at it. I am so proud of what we have accomplished so far and what's to come. I'm also looking forward to doing some more personal projects in my free time. I want to keep pursuing knowledge in my field as well as others."

What is one thing you remind yourself every day?
"Tt=o work hard, think with creativity, surround myself with passionate people, and strive for my own balance of a happy life and career."

Photo: Courtesy of David X Prutting
22 of 24
Youngjun Koo

What do you photograph and why?
"My purpose in coming to NY was to learn English, and I wanted to make fashion friends here. At that time I needed to make sort of some excuse to talk to them. Then I decided to make a blog for street fashion, and started shooting fashion people."

Who inspires you?
"Every fashionable person... and Steve McCurry, who is one of my favorite photographers for photography."

Photo: Courtesy of Youngjun Koo
23 of 24
What is your relationship like with NYC? How does it affect your working life?
"Whatever you want, you can do it here. (But one thing that I hate is the expensive rents!)." How do you think Instagram has affected the field of photography?
"Well, I had no idea when I first checked that app, but it is going to be a good social networking tool like Facebook and Twitter. (Honestly I hated the filters of instagram when I first using it. But now I'm also using it a lot for my blog.)"

What has been your favorite project so far and why?
"Recently, I am really interested in AMAZING moment shots from Fashion Week. At that time I didn't expect those photos but I sometimes got really amazing in-the-moment shots."

Photo: Courtesy of Youngjun Koo
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What can we look forward to from you in terms of future projects? Or, what is something you hope to accomplish in the next year?
"Actually, I'm not just focusing on fashion — I would love to take natural disaster and war photos as well. I mean, I want to find out how dangerous it is and how many people are going to die from war and natural disaster. And then I want to make people realize it from my photos. This is not for next year; I need to study... so, i think I need to keep doing my street style photography first."

What is one thing you remind yourself every day?
"Don't waste time. Don't be lazy."

Photo: Courtesy of Youngjun Koo
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