My hard drive is filled with tens-of-thousands of photographs of New York City and its residents.
It's impossible to say which ones are my favorites. Each photo is a time capsule that reminds me of how things were; others are a trajectory point that shows the direction of where things are going.
Nevertheless, the photos of New York City that I treasure the most were shot on film.
It's not because they look better. No, some of my best photos are digital photos. It's because of what these 35mm frames represent for me: Sacrifice.
I found myself near-poverty after college. Six-figures of student loan debt coupled with a low-paying job forced me into an illegal basement apartment. Art was my only outlet.
When I bought or processed a roll of film, it meant skipping a meal to do so. Each photograph that I took was carefully considered. In a way, this deliberation forced me to learn my craft more quickly.
I'm grateful for how things turned out.
New York is a wonderful city that is full of opportunities (and I caught some lucky breaks). But, I haven't forgotten those tough times (and I know unlucky breaks are the other side of the same coin).
Here are some of the 35mm photos that I took during the early- to mid-2000s. Whether you’re a New Yorker or not, I hope that you appreciate them in some way: