I got together with my friend @jnsilva and we planned a gathering of artists, using Instagram to spread the word about our event. When you roam the aging industrial playground of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with 300+ energetic and curious artists, even the simplest scenes become incredible sets. And the scenes that started out with their own complexity enter an entirely new realm. We felt that if a red truck with an upright piano and a friendly dog wasn’t enough for a worthy shot, we could always add a mob of Instagrammers to spice things up a bit. Many thanks to the excited and patient owner of this totally ridiculous setup.
It’s easy to forget that there is a face behind every feed, and that every comment and every like is someone reaching out and making a connection. Perhaps that is why these meets are packed full of potential for new friendships. When you finally meet someone who you’ve been following for a long time, you already have the basis for a strong relationship. After all, you’ve been sharing each others vision on a daily basis, seeing the world through the eyes of another human being. What could be a better foundation to build upon? Here are a few people I met for the first time recently through Instagram. Pictured: @thompsonlsx_, @claudunia, @pleione__, @zobolondon, @imagerysaint89, @skinnywashere, @5aad, @wheres_walli, and @bgrava.
Yet another fantastic friend I’ve made in the space- the ultra talented photographer @danielkrieger. You can see his work in the New York Times, Bon Appetite, and Food and Wine Magazine, among others.
The inimitable street and portrait photographer @omarzrobles. A wonderful spirit with the talent to match.
And more people that I’ve met via Instagram, and who have become dear friends of mine: @stevesweatpants, @tim.kau, @lauraaprado, @monaris_, @wxyzjewlery, @kevin.ornelas, @ch3m1st, and @eric_le_reveur.
An important aspect of every good meet is to make sure you provide a visually interesting experience. We planned to catch sunset down at the Bushwick Inlet Park, which is home to a colorful rocky outcrop that juts sharply into the East River. Passing ferries throw waves against the rocks; the river shimmers and bends the light as you look off towards the city that rises impossibly high above the far banks. Partly cloudy skies and a low tide are key to this location, and we were lucky enough to have both.
There is nothing quite like late spring light from a distant sunset, diffused by clouds and scattered by the textured movements of the flowing river. I caught a few portraits in that lucky light. Pictured: Claudunia, Ilitch, Tyson, and Inna.
What are these photos about?
Light illuminates our lives. Since the very beginning of our common history, human beings have been drawn to light, and have come together in its presence- brought closer by its promise. Candles at the family dinner table. Music and warm whiskey by the fringes of a flickering bonfire. Fireworks on the Fourth of July. The welcoming glow of a window in a distant home. Chasing fireflies through a field at dusk. Light shows us the things we need to see, and it guides us through a world that sometimes seems dark. When I saw this group of amazing creatives coming together- many meeting for the first time- to embrace the spectacle of a spring sunset, I had an incredible sense that we all have a mutual understanding. A camaraderie in the decision that we will lead our lives with a certain purpose.
No meet is complete without plans to unwind. It is tremendously useful to put the cameras down and really get to know each other. We reserved the incredible @shelterpizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and set up a special menu and passed out glasses of free sangria. Many thanks to @shelterpizza for the hospitality. I walked the floor with a beer in one hand and my trusted Instax 210 in the other. Pictured from left to right: @harrybeeenyc, @samhorine, @24hrkitness, @twheat, @black_soap, @skinnywashere, @stewyiscool, @kevin.ornelas, @wes_tarca, myself @dave.krugman, @stevesweatpants, @sarahlucypea, and my sister and I, @24hrkitness.
Thanks to @jnsilva, my co-host for this meet- definitely could not have put this together alone. And a massive thanks to everyone who came out and made this gathering a reality. Of course it’s only the participation of everyone who came out which made this such an incredible experience. Please take a moment to view the photographs from everyone who was involved. Never have so many people had access to such powerful cameras- and we are entering a Golden Age of Photography. I can’t wait until our next meet. You can connect with me via my website.