From a young age, Carrie Boretz was fascinated with photographing everyday life on city streets. From 1975 to 1998, she shot the streets of New York City, finding inspiration in each scene she photographed.
“I was never drawn to photographing my friends or family, but more often strangers,” Boretz told Business Insider.
She compiled the photos she took over three decades — the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s — and is publishing them in an upcoming book called “Street“. Boretz is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to finance its publication. Below, see her favourite selection of photos from the 1980s, an interesting time in New York City’s history.
Boretz began shooting the streets of New York City during a photography internship with the Village Voice in 1975.
'(Photography was) a way of life for me,' Boretz said. 'Often no specific story, no angle, just walking down a street and tripping over the extraordinary moment within the ordinary scene.'
'Nothing extraordinary, nothing glamorous. This was exciting to me. To find the gems amidst the mundane,' Boretz said.
'It was an easier time to shoot, in a way,' Boretz said. 'Certainly, less people had cameras on them, but the subjects were more involved in what they were doing. I was also quick and blended in well.'
When photographing strangers, Boretz would usually talk to her subjects for a while, then photograph them after their conversation. Sometimes she would instead be cautious and pretend she was photographing something or someone else.
'I tried to take a back seat and just let the scenes before me unfold in a natural way,' Boretz said.
'Those years were filled with grit, and graffiti. A rawness that was beautiful, sad and real,' Boretz said.
Finally, she decided to turn her series into a book. She spent four years scanning, editing, and sequencing to create the perfect story for her book.
While compiling the book, she originally laid out the images in chronological order. However, she realised that she didn't want to define the streets of New York simply by the decades, so she ended up mixing the photos together. This created a cohesive look at the streets of New York City, regardless of when the photos were taken.
Boretz photographs with emotion in her mind. She was always motivated to capture a deeper meaning, making her audience look at ordinary scenes differently.
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