Ken Schles was born in Brooklyn and now meanders around Manhattan’s pavement and beyond, searching for something to photograph in black-and-white and color. His works includes Oculus and Invisible City—two of his most famous photography books—and all feature his signature style: cinematic portraiture. In addition to street photography, Schles has also photographed notable bands, such as Green Day, making him an important piece in cultural history.
Though originally from Seattle, Leigh Ledare’s work is just as gritty as New York City. He’s known for his photographs of subjects normally considered totally taboo and usually off-limits. By choosing these kinds of subjects, Ledare raises the ultimate question: what is going on in contemporary culture? And how do images function within it?
Currently based in NYC, Natalie Kucken describes herself as a ‘fashion and lifestyle’ photographer on her website—but her photographs are more than that. With dreamy and surreal shots of New York’s streets and subways, Kucken manages to transform the everyday into something extraordinary. In fact, her work is so extraordinary that she’s taken editorials for the big likes of Vogue Italia and American Apparel.
Nick Sethi is another controversial photographer—and another one you should definitely know. Sethi is a lifestyle/documentary photographer but not (at all) in the traditional sense. From pictures of people inebriated to a self-portrait in a woman’s swimsuit, Sethi turns lifestyle photography around. He turns it on its head, taking a different angle on the genre, along with contemporary life as a whole.
Even though Penelope Umbrico is a native to Canada, her works have been well-received by New Yorkers, with numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the city. One of her most famous pieces might be Suns (From Sunsets) from Flickr, an on-going project of almost ten years. In this project, Umbrico uses images from the photo-sharing website, Flickr, and weaves each individual image together, creating a stunning photo-quilt of suns.
Lauren Withrow captures atmospheric portraits, with backdrops ranging from deserts to city streets. Each of her series tell a story—with such tales being about lost sisters and wanderers. Her works have also been featured by various fashion and travel magazines—and you could be photographed by her next. Withrow is currently casting for her upcoming NYC projects.
This Brooklyn-based photographer is known for his edgy and editorial-style fashion portraits. However, what makes Lee Morgan especially stand out are his recently directed short films, all breathtaking and available for streaming on his website.
Natasha Wong is just twenty years-old, currently based in NYC. Her photographs are dreamy and capture the lives of 20-somethings living in the city—and her eye for picture-taking is well beyond her years. She’s definitely a photographer to watch.
Hana Haley once called Portland her home but now resides in New York City. With series like ‘Ghostland’ and ‘Heaven is Easy’, her works recall old Hollywood movies while simultaneously remaining contemporary. She’s also photographed fashion and editorial shoots, making her a truly diverse and dynamic artist.
This Brooklyn-based photographer addresses the issues of body image through simple, yet stunning, portraits. Jen Davis’s self-portraits are especially memorable—and very vulnerable, encapsulating questions of beauty and identity. This Yale graduate ultimately captures photos full of purpose and heart.
By Austin Seidel
Originally from the pine forests of Georgia, Austin now splits her time between Hong Kong and the Bay Area. Currently an undergraduate at Stanford University, Austin studies English and Art History, fascinated by the roles visual art and the written word play within culture. In her moments of free time, you can find Austin in a coffee shop, with a cappuccino in one hand and a book or pen in the other.