Tour New York with Shavon, a Brooklyn born and raised photographer with a unique POV of NYC. Shavon shares her favorite spots to eat, date, take photos and get inspired like a local New Yorker.
WHAT'S ON YOUR MUST SEE LIST IN NEW YORK?
Brooklyn is my city so I'd start there. I suggest that people make their way to Coney Island, ride the rides, enjoy the beach and grab a Nathan's hot dog. Go Downtown Brooklyn, go to Dumbo to get that obligatory Brooklyn Bridge photo and walk the Promenade and the Brooklyn Bridge. Make your way to Manhattan. Go to China Town, Little Italy and eat everything. Go to the Village and just absorb its energy. Ride the Staten Island Ferry and see the Statue of Liberty for free. Head to Museum Mile and visit as many museums as you can handle. I try to avoid Midtown like the plague but for a visitor, 42nd street is something worth seeing at least once in your life. Go to Central Park. Go to Harlem, eat at Sylvia's and see The Apollo. Go to The Bronx and see Yankee Stadium. That should keep a visitor busy for a few days at least!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN NEW YORK?
I've was born and raised in Brooklyn and lived there for over 20 years. I've lived in The Bronx for the past 6 years.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE DAYTIME HANGOUTS?
I love hanging out in various parks throughout NYC. The spring and summer seasons are the BEST times to photograph around the city. I also enjoy the Promenade in Brooklyn and Dumbo is becoming a nice place to relax and grab a good meal.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HANGOUTS AT NIGHT?
The city is full of places to hang out at night but Downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan are a couple of favorites.
WHERE ARE YOU GRABBING A BITE TO EAT?
I love Lantern Thai Kitchen located Downtown Brooklyn. The atmosphere is sexy and the food is delicious.
WHAT NEW YORK MUSEUMS, MUSIC VENUES, OR THEATERS DO YOU VISIT?
The Guggenheim, MOMA, and The International Center of Photography are some of my favorite museums. As far as music venues, a few of my favorites have closed. CBGB's was iconic and filled with so much history and Fat Beats was THE place to go for hip hop music, intimate performances and a great vibe. The Bowery Poetry Club was almost a weekly hang out in my 20's. I also love the Nuyorican Poets Cafe which is still open and have seen many artists start there and go on to do some great things.
WHERE'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN NEW YORK FOR A DATE?
It depends on the season! If it's on the colder side, something indoors. I'd like to go on one of those painting dates where you and your partner paint a picture, maybe over some wine. Someplace where we can talk and get to know each other. If the weather is nice I always recommend strolling on the High Line. I've had some great dates just walking along the High Line for hours. The weather is beautiful and you have all of these amazing views of the city.
WHERE ARE YOU SHOPPING?
Online! Or at one of the many outlets surrounding the city.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO WORKOUT?
I'm allergic to the gym...so I don't exercise but I do walk, a lot. So that counts as exercise in my book.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO TAKE PHOTOS IN NEW YORK?
EVERYWHERE. The streets are your playground in NYC but if you have a specific idea, for instance portraits for an individual or couple, I like Central Park very early, before the crowd gets there and the sun is above head. The cherry blossoms and the bridge are a favorites of clients. I also like Dumbo for the shots of the Brooklyn bridge in the background. Last summer I discovered J Hood Wright Park when photographing a client and his dogs. The park is huge and is a great space to photograph outdoors. I love shooting in China Town especially during the Chinese New Year. The colors, the outdoor markets, the activity all create magic in front of the lens. Believe it or not, I photographed a couple of people in the belly of the beast, Midtown Manhattan, 42nd street to be exact and I got some amazing shots of the clients. Shooting between people and using all of the available lights from the buildings provided a great atmosphere for the portraits.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR?
I've been shopping at B and H and Adorama for years now and have always gotten professional help and products from these two locations. They always have whatever I'm looking for or can get it to me. I've purchased used and new gear from both locations and have sold items at both as well.
WHAT'S YOUR PROFESSION?
Visual Artist (freelance photographer, short film maker, voice over artist and editor).
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A VISUAL ARTIST?
I got my start in photography in my early twenties as a hobby. I've always loved photography but I didn't begin to take it seriously until I learned to shoot manual after taking a photography class.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR LATEST PROJECTS?
I'm currently finalizing the screenplay for my 4th short film and I'm also working on my next photo book to be released online.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET INSPIRED?
I've always found inspiration at museums. Something about seeing other creative pieces, sparks something inside of me and inspires me to create more.
FAVORITE STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
Lifestyle photography has become a recent favorite of mine.
WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE?
I have a few camera bodies but my go to is my Canon 6D.
WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
I like all types of music. From rap, to jazz, to rock, rnb and everything in between. If I hear it and it sounds good, I like it no matter the genre.
I don't know that I have a top 3 but Gordon Parks, Roy Decarava and Carrie Mae Weems are some of my favorites.
WHAT TV SHOWS ARE YOU WATCHING?
Currently, How To Get Away with Murder, Underground and I just watched spent a few weeks catching up on all of The Haves and The Have Nots episodes so I'm hooked.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES?
I don't know about top 3 but The Color Purple, 25th Hour and Coming to America are a few favorites.
WHAT'S WEBSITES ARE YOU BROWSING?
WHERE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE YOU'VE EVER BEEN?
Every Island that I've ever been to has had the most beautiful beaches that I've ever seen. This may not be the best but I'll say Aruba and Jamaica have some beautiful beaches and Nantucket for its landscape.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO TRAVEL NEXT?
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
I to read and watch documentaries when I have free time.
One life motto that I have is to stay positive and do less talking and more doing.