In a forever expanding business where the competition is getting harder by the minute, making your way up the professional latter as a young and talented fashion photographer can be a long and hard climb. A true test of courage and endurance.
As announced on Ben Trovato, we will follow 19 year old promising photographer Bryant Eslava as he leaves his safe environments of Orange County and tries his luck in the big apple. In 30 Days / 30 Frames you’ll experience Bryant’s first 30 days in NYC, through his own eyes.
Follow him through his highs and lows as he explores the fashion capital of the world, acquiring new connections, getting inspired, and eventually questioning his true motives for coming to NYC.
This page will be updated daily for 30 days, with a new picture and a new story every day. So make sure to place it on your bookmarks!
Day 1 - New Beginnings
The moment I approached the window in this photograph I had so much on my mind. I thought back to when I first received my camera at 16 years old, and how much things have changed since then - and things were about to change even more. Five minutes before I took this photograph, I left the people that were the most important to me-my parents and my brother. It was one of the most painful moments walking away from them as they waved goodbye to me.
As I wait for my plane to arrive, I’ve realized that I can finally continue to expand my career as a photographer, only now living in NYC. Tomorrow I will be moving into my dorm, and as I settle in i’ll be taking a photograph to share with all of you.
Day 2 - Good Morning NYC!
Good morning New York City, it’s my first day here and I’m feeling energized and intrigued. Overnight I’ve managed to decorate my room pretty quickly in hopes of making it feel like home. It’s a beautiful sunny day outside and I’m unsure of where to begin my adventure, but that’s probably the most exciting part about it. Tomorrow I’ll begin roaming around the city, in hopes of getting a better sense of my neighborhood.
Day 3 - Getting lost
As I said yesterday, I was planning on getting to know my surrounding and ironically enough, I got lost in the city… literally. While I can’t exactly pinpoint the location of this photograph, I do know that there was something about this area that caught my eye. To me, it really depicted that urban lifestyle, and I thought it would be the first of many city-inspired photographs that’d I want to share with you all. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be getting a photograph of a few models in the streets, being that New York Fashion Week is right around the corner.
Day 4 - 23rd Street Beauty
I woke up early in the morning, and I guess you could say that I was a man with a mission. I knew that from the moment I arrived to New York, my focus would solely be on photography and fashion. And I came a good time, being that New York Fashion Week was around the corner. I found that there were tons of models roaming around the streets, and as I approached this girl, she was walking with a friend and I saw that she was carrying a portfolio. My first thought was, “She’s probably signed!” At first, she gave me an odd look but as soon as she saw my camera, I suspect she knew what I was up to. Luckily, I managed to get a photograph of my first model in the city. Tomorrow is Fashion’s Night Out, and I’m determined to photograph as many celebrities as possible!
Day 5 - Fashion’s Night Out
Now I understand why Fashion’s Night Out is said to be the ultimate kick-off party in the city. I never expected to be surrounded by so much fame and fashion all in one night. I mainly spent the evening in Soho, but started out on West 11th Street and Bleecker where I was lucky enough to take a photograph of Sky Ferreira. I approached her as she was changing into her heels and she was kind enough to let me take a portrait of her. And it didn’t stop there, as the rest of the night I was also lucky enough to run into stars including Ciara and Elle and Dakota Fanning. (Photos are on my blog) Tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll be celebrating by visiting my friend Seth Haley known as Com Truise, who was kind enough to invite me to his show.
Day 6 - My Amazing Birthday
Seth Haley is the king of synth and what better way to spend my birthday than with musical royalty? The show was held at The Bowery Ballroom near Delancey Street. I remember interviewing Seth six months after he first became known as the artist Com Truise. After a year of talking on Facebook, I watched as he evolved as a musician and he ended up touring with Phantogram and Active Child and to this day he is touring the world as a solo musician. One of the greatest parts of the night was being invited backstage by Seth and the rest of the performers and getting a chance to chill with them beyond the music. Thanks again Seth if you’re reading this! Tomorrow I will be taking my first self-portraits in my bedroom as a nineteen year old.
Day 7 - Documenting Growth
Today is one of the more calm days that I’ve had so far in the city. I’ve taken the day to just relax as lately it’s been extremely busy. I shot an entire roll of self-portraits and this by far was my favorite. I’m not much of a photogenic person, because I’m always used to being on the other side of the camera. But one of my new goals, as a nineteen year old, is to become more comfortable in front of the camera and that way I can document my growth as I get older. Tomorrow I will be going to Webster Hall to see one of my all time favorite bands-Toro y Moi.
Day 8 - Toro y Moi
Seeing Toro y Moi perform was something I had anticipated for months. I purchased the ticket to the show long before I even moved to the city. With each passing year, the band continues to grow and I definitely didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see them perform live. I felt that this photograph really captured the mood of that particular moment. Chaz Bundick, the lead singer was really invested in the music and I felt that this was a passionate moment worth sharing. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting up with 17 year old fashion photographer, David Urbanke.
Day 9 - Meeting David
Today I met up with David Urbanke, who is also a Fashion Photographer and one of my newest friends here in the city. Aside from talking about photography, it’s nice to know someone who’s at a similar age and a similar place in their life. I was first familiar with David’s work a few years ago on flickr, so coming to the city I thought it finally be nice to finally hang out. He’s done so much at a young age, that I’m looking forward to see where he will be in the future. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting up with my first New York City model and I can’t wait to explore the possibilities of the city.
Day 10 - Back To Models
Today I met up with Taylor LaShae, she only lives a few blocks away from me and has been modeling for quite a long time. She’s also the social media director for Click Model Management. Meeting with Taylor was by far one best experiences i’ve had since moving here, in terms of my career because I felt like I was getting back on track. I plan to photograph Taylor more often, being that we work well together, and we are also becoming good friends. Tomorrow, I’ll be shooting with a fellow school-mate.
Day 11 - Shooting Lisa
Today I shot, Lisa Saeboe who is also a photo-major. We met through Facebook, and planned to shoot as soon as we got to the city. Lisa was one of my first friends in the city, she is not only a great photographer, but proved to have just as big of a presence in front of the camera, as she does behind one. Tomorrow I’ll be going to the Nylon Magazine office.
Day 12 - A Day At Nylon
Today I went to the Nylon Magazine office, it was nice working with Nylon again being that the last time I worked with them was in Mexico City in 2010. As soon as I walked in, I could feel the environment which reeked of hard work and focus. I’m looking forward on working with them more soon. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting up with musician, David Ahuja known as Jacob 2-2.
Day 13 - Jacob 2-2
Meeting up with David Ahuja known as Jacob 2-2, was one new adventure that involved seeing the world of an extremely talented musician. Today we shot photographs for his new up-coming EP “Fantasiarexia,” which were taken all throughout Brooklyn. It was great because it was my first time really exploring the area. As we were talking in between taking photos, I felt inspired by the way he described how he makes his music. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a nice break and hanging with girlfriend Rachel Schwartzmann.
Day 14 - The Day Of Three Rs
Today was a day for the three Rs… Rest, relaxation and Rachel. It was nice to just debrief and hang out with her, being that our busy schedules barely allow anytime to see each other. I went up to her area and we hung out for a bit in Central Park, which was awesome being that it was my first time there. The Fall weather made it all the more relaxing, and it was nice to also be around some greenery again, being that I’m now constantly surrounded by an urban lifestyle. We ended the day back her dorm, where this photo was taken. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with photographer Olivia.
Day 15 - Rooftop With Olivia
Today I finally met with Olivia. a very talented photographer living in the city. We’ve been following each others work for two years now and It was finally the time to meet up and collaborate. She introduced me to the college I’m currently attending (School of Visual Arts) so I give her the credit for being a big part of the reason how i’ve ended up at such a good school. Her photographs are very creative and make me come back to them constantly to see her new updates. Tomorrow I’ll be introducing my classmates.
Day 16 - The Young & Hopeful
For the rest of the school year I’ll be with my classmates meeting 3 days a week. They’re all photo majors and have a bright future ahead of them. Throughout these past few weeks i’ve build a friendship with them and have continued to be inspired. Tomorrow I’ll be shooting for WeTheUrban.
Day 17 - Behind The Scenes
Models: NIC @ Colby Models & Laura @ Aim Models. Stylists: Erica Lavelanet & David Pena. Hair/MUA: Tiffany Patton.
Today I shot for WeTheUrban (Issue# 4). It feels good to finally continue working with new people. Throughout the shoot everyone put their full effort. The male model NIC, is from Germany and I’ve learned a lot from his country. Laura has been living in the city for 4 years and she referred me some places to check out. Erica and David (The Stylists) both are a very talented team in the city, I’m looking forward on working with them more. Tiffany (Hair/MUA) is also from California and of course we had our nostalgia moment. Tomorrow I’ll be going on a new adventure around the city.
Day 18 - A Day of Exploring
The fall season feels great! As I was roaming around the city, these two boys were enjoying themselves pretending to fight. Not only did it catch my attention, but it brought back childhood memories. Luckily I managed to photograph it just in time before the game was over. I’m really enjoying the difference in New York City, everywhere you go people are always active. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with my classmate Jessica Donnellan.
Day 19 - Meeting Jessica
Today I met up with my classmate Jessica Donnellan. We took a trip to Brooklyn and discovered this newly renovated place next to the Brooklyn bridge, where the golden sun was setting and made the grass glow bright green. One of Jessica’s photographs was recently in a Vogue Italia competition and thanks to everyones support it’s going to be published in the magazine. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a day off to catch up with homework.
Day 20 - Back To The Books
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time doing school work. From typing papers to doing re-search or reading history of photography books. It’s become a bit difficult shooting my own work and keeping up with assignments, but I’ve managed to get through it. It’s becoming a reality that I’m working as a photographer full time, during my break hours I browse blogs and discover new photographers. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Ground Zero.
Day 21 - A Day At Ground Zero
Today I decided to see ground zero. as i was riding the E train, I thought back to that life-changing morning. I was only in second grade at the time, and all I could think about was celebrating my father’s birthday. The celebration was clouded by the horror my family and I endured, as we watched the towers collapse on the news. At the time I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew it had to be bad. I still remember that distinct feeling, and I began to feel it once again as I exited the train. I made my way to the fenced area, being that you needed a reservation pass to see most of the site. It was definitely one of the more eerie experiences i’ve had since being here in NY. My heart goes out to all of the families who suffered in result of the tragedy of 9/11. On a a lighter note, tomorrow i’ll be shooting my friend Brittany.
Day 22 - A Friend To Shoot
Today I met up with my first New York friend, Brittany Cota. Remembering back to the moment we first met, I was at a school night event and I approached her to introduce myself. Ever since that day we always planned to have a shoot together, but our schedules have been extremely busy so we never managed to work things out until today. Not only is she very fun to be around with, but also a very photogenic girl. I wouldn’t be surprised if she approached me one day saying she was signed to a modeling agency. I believe it’ll happen one day.
Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with Megan Tipps.
Day 23 - Female Photographers Have The Best Eye
Today I met up with Megan Tipps, she’s currently visiting NY from Houston, Texas. When Megan first e-mailed me I was curious to see what her work was like, then after looking through 3 images I fell in love with her work. She is one of the main reasons, why I believe female photographers have the best eye. Before she became a photographer, she had been modeling for a long time, so she definitely knows how to capture beauty. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with Alysha Nett.
Day 24 - My First Coney Island Experience
Today I met up with Alysha Nett, she came to NY from Philadelphia. When I first came across her portfolio I contacted her to see if she wanted to book a shoot. We both had our first Coney Island experience today and we expected and hoped for nice sunny weather, but instead we came across the complete opposite! Yet the torrential weather didn’t stop us from making photo magic. Alysha is a natural in front of the camera, and currently she is featured in Inked Magazine‘s current issue, so definitely check her out! Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with photographer, Jimmy Fontaine.
Day 25 - The One And Only Jimmy Fontaine
Jimmy Fontaine is by far one of my favorite photographers. I first saw him, after seeing his feature on CameraBag.tv. I was familiar with his work prior to Camerabagtv, so it was interesting to actually see the man behind the camera. After watching, I contacted him in hopes we’d get chance to meet and talk about some work. Before my move to NY, Jimmy invited me to an expo he was having in California. Upon meeting him there, I soon realized he isn’t the type of photographer who thinks he’s better than everyone else. He is by far one of most humblest people ever. If he ever asks me to assist for him someday, I’ll most definitely say yes.
Tomorrow I’ll be meeting up with Brad Elterman.
Day 26 - Meeting The Legendary Brad Elterman
Meeting Brad Elterman was an honor. I’d had seen his work being featured and floating around the internet-before I saw his video feature on CameraBag.tv. I decided it was time to make my first ‘photographer feature post’ on my blog. A few weeks later I ended up e-mailing him the link to the feature and he replied with “Your photos are delightful and so full of life. You can take my photo any time! -Brad”. A few months later, Brad made an announcement that he was coming to NYC for a few days, so of course we met up and walked around SoHo and photographed everything around us. He also gave me one of his limited edition books “Like It Was Yesterday,” which is filled with beautiful photographs of celebrities throughout the 70′s, he even signed it! Thank you Brad. Tomorrow I’ll be watching Tycho perform live.
Day 27 - Face to face with my biggest inspiration
I finally got to watch Scott Hansen known as Tycho perform live. His music became my biggest inspiration as a photographer. I remember the first time listening to him in 2008, I couldn’t believe how beautiful his music was. From that point on I began to follow up on his work and started to discover more Ambient/Downtempo musicians. After his performance, I was walking towards the merch table and he was standing there singing his new album “Dive”. We then had a conversation and he ended up giving me a free CD with a signature. I still can’t believe this finally happened.
Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with my friend Elisa Malo.
Day 28 - Hanging out with Elisa Malo
Today I met up with my friend Elisa Malo, a very talented artist from Mexico City. I remember coming across Elisa’s work through her boyfriend Jaime Martinez, who is also a talented photographer. We met for the first time last summer in Mexico City at my going away party that Nylon Mexico threw for me. The subjects and details in Elisa’s work are just mind blowing, her creativity and way of seeing things is very inspiring.
Tomorrow I’ll be roaming around the city and try to capture something new. I’ll be looking for something that stands out and that i haven’t seen since moving here.
Day 29 - A Window Of Opportunities
Today I decided to share a photograph that captures my personal point of view of the city. Lately I’ve been roaming around the streets by myself, discovering new places and meeting new people. When first arriving in New York, I thought back to that moment where I had no idea what to expect in here in the big city. So I’ve decided to share this photograph with those who always dreamed about living here but have never visited. The way I think about New York is “Every window is a golden opportunity.” I’ve fallen in love with the city and I’m looking forward to the new opportunities that lye ahead.
Tomorrow is my last day of 30 days 30 frames, so I’ll be sharing my final photograph.
Day 30 - This Is Only The Beginning
I still can’t believe 30 days have gone by so quickly. It’s been an amazing experience living in the city so far, I’m getting better and better at navigating everyday. It’s going to feel weird coming home from a long day and not having to write up a small story of my adventures in the city. Here I am sitting at the top of a 30 floor building, looking out into the city and thinking to myself “What will I photograph next?” Being a photographer isn’t easy, especially while juggling the responsibilities of a photo student and trying to find time to do personal work and homework of course! I just want to thank you for reading my 30 day adventure in New York City and sending me nice e-mails/messages/tweets about how you’ve enjoyed my photographs and posts..This experience has made me realize that even if my family isn’t around, that I have all of your support.
If you’ve been following my 30 day adventure, please leave a comment below and feel free to express anything you’d like.
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