A Case for New York City
If you are a commercial photographer, I would like to encourage you to move to New York City.
I made the leap about a year ago.
Before coming here I was always told all the things that sucked about NYC;
There are no green places,
It's so crowded,
It smells bad,
People are mean
To a large extent I believed it. So for the majority of my life I viewed the Big Apple from this small, distorted lens.
As my photography career took off and I was looking to expand and grow, I felt claustrophobic in Florida. I had lived or visited most of the state and decided that if I wanted to be a commercial photographer, New York City's hundreds of ad agencies was as good of a reason as any to make the move.
I didn't know what to expect when I arrived. I lived in a room in Brooklyn right off Metropolitan and Lorimer. Over the next few weeks I kept an open mind and I started to understand the cities draw, eventually falling in love with everything around me.
It's hard to describe. It's not that you won't see trash on the road, or people doing crazy stuff, or be in big crowds-because you will. You just won't really care because everything else is so awesome.
While everyone else is sending e-mails trying to pitch their ideas or land new jobs, you will be bumping into the CEO at the bar, talking about your mutual love for that play you saw this weekend, eventually getting into some of his media needs coming up in the next couple months. Then when he invites you to come into the office the next day to show off your book, you'll be there-right after having some world class coffee and breakfast from a food truck that puts even top restaurants in other cities to shame.
It's not just the ability to show your book to hundreds of Art Directors and Creative Directors. It's the level of talent you are surrounded with. You can't throw a rock in this place without hitting someone that's world class in their field. There are so many amazing artists and business people that you will inevitably become friends with. These people launched my career into space compared to where it was when I got here. The guidance was so on point and I can't imagine ever moving forward in a meaningful way without it.
Then there is the ENERGY. All of those artist and professionals are pushing and struggling beside you. It permeates through the rock and steel, embedding itself in the very fabric of the city. It's a place that breeds hope and hustle. My alarm clock is never needed because I wake early almost every day, knowing there is a world out there filled with people passionately driving their pursuits forward.
New York City allows for no excuses. No complaining. You have everything you need and you have your fingertips on the pulse of the modern world. As I felt that, so too did I feel as if life gave me permission to lay it all down and let the chips fall where they may. It's not that I have all the answers now, it's just that I feel capable of finding them without spending my entire life doing so. I can start to glimpse my own potential set before me.
I could spend all day listing the crap I was told by people who never really lived here, acting as parakeets of other people. Despite the fact most of it is untrue, if bad smells and lack of plants are crippling thoughts then you might not be cut out for commercial photography anyway as there are much greater challenges you will be confronted with.
However, if a guy that grew up in a beach town of 13,000 can find a home within this city, odds are that you can too.
From the networking to the access to the delicious food and industry events-there is so much here that is waiting for you if only you can find the courage to take the leap!
I know it's not for everyone, but I didn't think it was for me and then it went and changed my career and my life.
I'd love to hear about it from others though-if you live here in the city, what do you feel makes it so uniquely positioned?
If you don't live here-what are your main worries that are preventing you from pulling the trigger on moving?
As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you guys back next Monday in which I'll be posting some recent work I've created!