(Updated) Final Shot & Best 10

Hey Everyone,

These are my best 10 Photographs from my shoot, as well as my Final Shot.  For my project, I photographed the jazz/hip-hop collective Phony Ppl.  They asked me to take some photos of them last weekend so they could use them for promo and posters.  I have worked with them in the past, so they were comfortable around me and in front of the camera.  We usually shoot in their neighborhood around Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, but for this shoot, we decided to go to Manhattan.  We both thought a change of scenery would be good.

For this shoot, I wanted to rely less on composing portraits, and more on capturing authentic emotion and interaction.  Two of these photographs were posed, but I gave very general direction and we shot them on the fly.

I've found that one of the toughest aspects of shooting with them is getting them all in one shot.  As a nine person band, it's sometimes tough to keep their attention long enough to get the shot I want.

These were taken on a 5D Mark II w/ a 50mm f/1.4 and 24mm-70mm f/2.8L.  I hoped to take some medium format shots with them this past weekend and to upload those instead, but not all the band members were available to meet.



^The Phony Ppl and I were taking some photos in a basketball court, and this French girl and her friend walked in, wondering if they knew "any cool hip-hop parties" going on that night.  After a couple minutes of talking, the band asked to take a photo with her for their Instagram.  Their logo is a mustache, so they told her to put her finger between her nose and lips.  Suddenly she was like, "Oh!  My shirt!" and she unzipped her jacket to show us her mustache sweater.  We all went insane.  It was the craziest coincidence.

^An attempt at a 9-person handshake


Hello Everyone,

I am an aspiring photographer and director studying Film & Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  I've been shooting and editing music videos for a couple years, but my strongest interests lie in portrait and street photography.  I am extremely interested in learning more about photography as a professional career, how to effectively visualize and execute a strong image, and how to create a comfortable atmosphere for my subject and I to work together in.

Below, I've provided some examples of my work, as well as my mood board.  I shoot primarily with a Mamiya 645E.  I'm really looking forward to learning from this course, and seeing everyone's work.

Let me know what you think!



Matthew Byas, Producer/Drummer from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Matthew making beats in front of his father's handmade stereo system

The band Phony Ppl from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Chris Brown playing basketball at West 4th St, NYC.  The day his F.A.M.E. album came out.

Deceased Brooklyn rapper and member of Pro Era, Capital Steez

Ian Bakerman, Guitar player in Phony Ppl

Uno Hype, rapper

Cansu, from Istanbul, Turkey

Midnight Vendor in New York, NY

Newsstand Worker in the NYC Subway


A lot of times when I take portraits of someone, I find myself centering them in the frame, having them stand or sit at a certain angle, and looking directly into the camera.  I think composition is important to keep in mind, but I'd like to go a step further and take environmental portraits that also capture organic emotion, character, and facial expression.  That is what I would like to work on most - connecting with my subject and working with them to elicit the right mood and body language for the shot.

I'd also like to utilize my subject's surroundings and take wider shots that include all or almost all of their body.

by Ysa Perez

by Ysa Perez

by Dave Jordano

by Dave Jordano

by Geordie Wood

by Joel Sternfeld

by Joel Sternfeld

by Bruce Davidson

by Bruce Davidson

by Rob Hauer


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