Today we drove up to Nyack, NY to support a friend who often sells her hand-knit wraps, shawls and neckwear at street fairs all over New York and New Jersey (zenaswraps.com). As I walked about the packed streets, I saw many fine items for sale. What grabbed my attention were the various photographers who had set up booths showcasing their photography in unique ways. I thought to myself, “I could do that!”
These people were very passionate, talented and motivated. These photographers struck out on their own and made a business for themselves (whether part-time or full-time). In this economy where finding full-time work has become extremely difficult, if not outright impossible in certain parts of the US, many have followed their passion and taken control of their fiscal situation. These photographers have managed to carve out a little niche for themselves and have become very profitable in the process.
Six photographers I liked at today’s street fair
I don’t recall the name of this photographer (was it Jack?) but he was playing a harmonica while jazz music emanated from his booth. He was jammin’ as people milled about his booth. What he does is take iconic pictures of places in New York City and mounts them on wooden frames which he himself paints and then weathers. The effect was pretty neat and just by looking at the finished product, saw that it was simple yet elegant.
I asked him about a website or business cards and he shrugged it off as he continued to belt some tunes out. I remarked that he was totally going “old school” and he stopped playing to remark with a big smile, “and I like it that way!”
The next guy I saw also operated with a New York City based theme but his pictures were silk screened on pieces of wood of various sizes. I spoke to him about his process and he briefly described, with very little detail of course, how he managed to put his black and white pictures on the pieces of wood and then color them. I thought the whole process fascinating and promised myself that I would look up the technique on the web or YouTube.
Just like the first guy, he didn’t have a business card but he did have a web address which he verbally gave out to people. I completely forgot it! I remember that the url had the name Brooklyn in it.
The next guy was phenomenal! His name is David Micelotta and he was very kind enough to allow me to take pictures of his booth and explained how he went about creating these beautiful prints. He uses a Sony Alpha NEX-7 with a large Carl Zeiss lens attached (which he pulled out from under the table to show me) as well as a Nikon DSLR. Many of his beautiful large prints were taken with the smaller Sony but the shots turned out to be amazing. He then said that he goes through five steps using various software and “recipes” to churn out his masterpieces.
David was clearly my favorite photographer of the day. He was extremely friendly and approachable. He was a class act and I hope to run into him again. I wish I had purchased one of his canvas prints but I just couldn’t afford it! Check out his fine art photography, fracture art and 3D art at tteod.ifp3.com.
Walking past David’s booth only a few short meters was Mary Campagna. She was so sweet and inviting. Her prints were also on canvas as well as prints and cards. I love her idea of showing various vistas through a window pane or doorway. After taking her pictures she would use Photoshop to add an effect or to superimpose the windows. Her personal website is StudioColetteArt.com.
Next was Emily Stauring, a naturally gifted photographer. She was soooo super cool! We talked about Nikon cameras as she eyed my new D7100. She’s thinking of upgrading from her Nikon D5000 DSLR so it was good to talk shop with her. She tends to travel a lot so she has ample opportunities to take various pictures ranging from wildlife, landscape, or the occasional abandoned house or building. I really loved her pictures. She had them displayed on canvas as well. She explained that printing them herself was just too expensive so she has a company that she uses do it for her. She then buys the frames and mounts the canvas herself.
Her gallery can be found at emilyJphotodecor.com. Considering that she was completely self-taught, her gallery is amazing. Take a special look at her zoo gallery. Who says you can’t take great wildlife pictures from your local zoo?
The last vendor whose work I saw was very unique. I never got to meet him as he was away from his booth at the time. He takes pictures of objects, doorways, archways, trees, ornamental and gilded gates, whatever, to form letters. He then spells out your name using his pictures and puts it in a frame. He calls it Creative Letter Art. He had many cards and even magnets for sale. It’s hard to explain. Photography was not permitted (none of the featured photographers on this post allowed photography except David, Mary and the Brooklyn art guy) but I did manage to sneak in this shot.
You can visit his website creativeletterart.net or find him on Facebook for a better sense of what he’s selling. On his website, you can type in your name or whatever you like and then you’ll see several pictures forming the word that you typed. It’s pretty creative indeed!
I admire each and every one of these photographers and wish them success in their endeavors. Perhaps some of these prints and photos will inspire you to take your own photography and elevate it to higher heights while making a pretty penny or two as well!