Why did you come to New York?
The reason why we traveled to New York is Central Park. I saw a lot of movies with people jogging there. I said to my sister once, I’ll also run in Central Park. My sister and I take 12 photos every year for a calendar and exhibitions. A year ago we thought we could combine the two ideas and travel to New York to take the next photographs and jog in Central Park.
Was this your first time in NYC? How did you prepare for the trip?
It was our first trip out of Europe. We started with the preparations in January 2015, nine months before the trip. We learned a lot about the city and its history in blogs. We also prepared for the photos; we searched for clothes and ideas. During the flight we finished the concept for our images.
How did things go when you got here?
We arrived at our airbnb apartment after more than 24 hours of traveling and preparing, and tired, we sat down on the couch. During that moment of silence I realized that everything we’d prepared wasn’t good enough.
In front of us were two big music speakers and on one of them lay a Kleenex box. I saw this and thought “that’s a great detail of our everyday life,” turned around and said to my sister “let’s take pictures about Kleenex.” She was thrilled and suddenly we had a lot of ideas.
Interesting and crazy that a box of Kleenex would inspire you. Where did you start shooting?
We started taking pictures in Brooklyn, because we read that it is an up and coming part of NYC. It looks very nice and I love the TV series “Two Broke Girls” which is based there. That’s why we decided to start in Brooklyn. Our first photographs were called “Falling Down” and “Luggage.”
Another picture with an interesting background story is “Sneeze.” On Google Streetview we found a nice park in the Bronx. We went there but saw upon arriving that it had just closed. We searched for another viewpoint, but the hour with the perfect light was passing fast and we called it a day. We decided to walk for one metro station and then go back to our apartment. During that walk we saw a perfect spot between the metro lines. I hurriedly put my jacket on and in the last rays of sunlight we took the picture.
In which other neighborhoods did you take photos?
A day later we took the photo “Beggar.”We found a really nice place near Times Square. The idea was to use the light from the two big video screens for the photograph. When we finally arrived there the sun was already too high up and we decided to go to another location in Manhattan and come back the next morning. No sooner said than done, we waited for the perfect light mix of the video screens and took the picture “Coffee Mug.”
Taking these pictures in the city couldn’t have been easy, especially in the busier areas of town. Did you encounter any challenges when you were shooting?
Taking the next picture, which was in retrospect very funny, was in that moment quite frustrating. We had already taken this picture but I’d messed it up with my camerawork. I positioned the camera too close to us and the angle wasn’t right. The second time we tried to take the photograph, the location was at the park in front of the Apple Shop, there were a lot of people. It was the release date of the iPhone 6s.
The next time we decided to try taking the picture, the Pope came to NY, and it wasn’t even possible to reach that location. We tried to take it nearby but every street in Manhattan was really crowded. A lot of the streets were closed for the parade of the Pope.
On the next day we tried to take the last photograph, but we couldn’t find a good looking location. So we decided to take the picture on the day of our flight back. After this decision, on our way to the apartment we stopped at a 24-hour shop where we always bought our food. I saw the light of the shop, which was a very nice indirect lighting. On the ground in front was the air shaft of the subway and the air blew up the skirt of my sister. We had found the location of our last photo “Eating.”
I love the images! It sounds like your photography project was a success, but did you get to run in Central Park?
We love New York –– this trip was just like a very good dream. It was great to work so hard these 12 days and it was good to work until the last photo was also perfect. We wouldn’t be happy with our calendar and exhibitions with 11 good and one bad photograph.
Sadly I didn’t find the time to jog in Central Park. All the more reason to come back to this wonderful city.
|Sitting on a bench in Central Park with Kleenex in hand.|