Working from a place of pain: photographer uses urban photography as therapy


posted Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 11:52 PM EDT


"The art of street and urban landscape photography is often strenuous and lonely, and for the most part unrewarding from a monetary standpoint," says New York City-based photographer Alvin Valentierra in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post. So why do it? For Alvin, it's a therapeutic way to express himself. Street and urban landscape photography requires just you and your camera. It has a low barrier to entry compared to other types of photography that may require more expensive equipment and is a great way to begin to learn photography and find out what it is that you're most interested in. The streets, particularly in NYC, provide ample opportunities to try a wide variety of different types of photography, including fashion, architecture, events, and landscapes.

Credit: Alvin Valentierra

In Alvin's case, he believes that his best work comes from a place of pain and anxiety. It's all about capturing the perfect moment, and his ability to capture that perfect moment is often born from an unsettled place. In contrast to another street photographer, Eric Kim, Alvin uses inner turmoil to help him become a better photographer. These two photographers have taken very different approaches to street photography and have each produced great images.

Credit: Alvin Valentierra

To label himself artistically feels confining to Alvin. Rather than pigeonhole himself as a street and urban landscape photographer, he would rather look at it at his having a preference for street and urban landscape photography. Street and urban landscape photography doesn't pay the bills, he says, nor does he aim to change the world with his work. He wants to "capture beauty" how he sees it and have images to look at when he's older. If his work is appreciated by others, that's a bonus.

To view more of Alvin's excellent work, see his Instagram page and his Behance profile. 

(Seen via the Huffington Post. All images seen here are the property of Alvin Valentierra and have been reproduced with his permission.)