New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down. I’m at this point in my life where I’m itching to set foot to the City of Dreams already but I don’t know how. I wish it’s as easy as a pie, but I don’t even know how to cook, to switch on the stove even. Thank God for the internet though, I can virtually tour around the city whenever I feel like it. I may not be able to set foot on the streets yet, but I know I will. I know it’s been waiting for me, and one day I’d be able to sing that Taylor Swift song!
I know this because Paola Franqui, a 29-year old hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico is currently an Accounts Supervisor for a Taiwanese Company and a part-time photographer at the concrete jungle no less. I was doing my usual New York loving routine, feasting my eyes at every beautiful photo shot at the city when I glanced upon some of her work.
Paola spends most of her free time photographing New York. “I love the way the city makes me feel”, she says.
I was stunned at her very first photo that I saw, which may or may not be an accident but if it was, it was a beautiful one. Her portfolio, to my eyes is like a gateway to an unfamiliar side of the City. Same streets, same alleys, but a different showcase.
It’s like she knows New York better than anyone else. Her photos depict a very deep understanding of the City, something that I haven’t seen before, not in a good number of years of trying to explore it in means that I could. Apart from big yellow taxis and busy lights, indeed there is so much more to New York.
Paola shared that when she was three, her mom gave her a camera as a gift and from then, she knew that she’s born with an innate love for photography. She loves street photography in particular, and she considers it as one of her most treasured passions in life. It’s crazy though that she just bought her first SLR camera (Sony a6000) a year ago, and recently moved to Sony A7ii. Most of the time, it’s her iPhone and her eyes, working together in capturing moments like these.
When asked about whether she has taken photography courses, Paola humbly answered that she didn’t, not even once. Everything that she knows about the field, she learned on her own (watching videos and reading a lot), and still learning up to this day. It’s all trial and error.
I want people to imagine what went through my mind at the time of capture. I want a photograph not to be just a pretty picture, but to convey emotion and tell a story.