Drew Gurian is a young, up-and-coming portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Each month, he’ll be bringing you a behind the scene perspective, navigating the freelance marketplace of one of the busiest photo markets in the world – New York City. This is the second part of his story, in which he shares some advice on how to adjust ambient light to work in your favour.
Although I grew up just outside of the city in northern New Jersey, until January, I had never actually lived in the city. Sure, I’ve spent tons of time here over the years, but I really enjoy being able to consider myself a New Yorker for the first time in my life.
I moved here for a few reasons. It’s one of the largest markets in the world, which means that there’s always room to grow and evolve as a photographer. I’m surrounded by tons of other creatives who inspire me, and I’m now right in the middle of this thriving community. Being here also enables me to be around these friends more, meet tons of new people, and sooner or later, it will lead to new work.
Part of being in the midst of this very social scene includes finding a great local bar. Back in January, I was introduced to The Manhattan Inn, which has quickly become one of my favorite bar/restaurants. Several nights a week, they have someone playing piano in the back room, and I absolutely love the atmosphere.
One performer in particular, Ethan Leinwand, used to play there every Friday and Saturday night. His self-described style as a preservationist/blues/boogie-woogie player was the perfect fit for this place, and I went to see him play anytime I was in the city on a weekend. His vintage look was seamless with the music he played, and I knew I needed to photograph him.
We exchanged cards, and after a few months or trying to align schedules, we finally made it happen a couple of weeks back.