You can scroll really endless on the site of New York based photographer Eric Van Nynatten as the expressive urban landscapes, and fashion editorials protraits are deeply captivating. We had a chat with the talented artist about phone photography, challenges and creating a unique stlye.
Eric, your photos are just so incredibly amazing. When did you discover this talent in you?
Thank you. I always loved drawing since I was really young but I only started experimenting with photography in my early teens with my family’s first digital camera.
How do you define photography? Archivist? Record keepers?
It’s a difficult question. I’d define it as a unique and exciting way to document a moment. You can change the viewers perception by simply changing your composition.
Your city images are so vibrant. What’s your creative process?
The only process I have for city images is to go out and shoot. And I try not come home unless I’ve captured the best I possibly could under the circumstances.
What makes a city feel home?
I don’t think a bustling city feels like home at all. I live in New York but it’s definitely far from comfortable, which is what I relate “home” to. And I think thats also what I love about New York, that it keeps you on your toes and doesn’t let you get too comfortable.
Your three-part series “Shot on iPhone” really shows that a beautiful image doesn´t need a big equipment. Any tips to aspiring photographers out there?
My only tip is to shoot with whatever has a working camera attached to it. It really is down to the persons eye and what they see. The camera is a tool, and nowadays all smartphones have beautiful optics and resolution so you really don’t need anything else to get started. Just go out and shoot.
“It really is down to the persons eye and what they see. The camera is a tool, and nowadays all smartphones have beautiful optics and resolution so you really don’t need anything else to get started.”
And what do you love about phone photography?
I love that I always have it on me. It’s also easier to shoot without getting noticed and disrupting the environment around me. I can also edit the images on the go just moments after shooting them.
Do you think it´s still possible to stand out as a photographer out there?
If you have a unique photography style and point of view then it’s just a matter of time until people start taking notice. It could take years of hard work but if you have strong work that stands out from everyone else it’ll happen.
One of your favorite photos and why?
I love the Smoking man shot because of how unexpected it was. Everything lined up so quickly and presented itself to me. I was actually very surprised because I had been shooting in the opposite direction and could’ve missed the whole thing. I’m very proud that I captured it.
You also do fashion and portraits. What are some of the most challenging aspects to portrait photography?
I guess the greatest challenge is planning everything and making sure everything lines up the way its supposed to. There is more at stake when many people are expecting perfect images, including myself.
What’s the last movie you watched?
Captain Marvel. I love the MCU.
What’s the last book you read?
Do picture books count? Vivian Maier: The Color Work
Where can we find you on a Friday night in New York?
It depends what the weather is like. You know where I’ll be if it’s raining.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’d like to think I’ll be shooting some commissioned photo project in some exotic destination. It could be fashion or images for a photoessay on a developing story.