“Coincidences is my love letter to New York, and to the infinite number of magical, ephemeral and serendipitous moments that make it a city unlike any other.”
When the unpredictable, the unexpectable and the ever-changing environment of a bustling city like New York collide with its inhabitants, magical moments can happen in a blink of an eye. And what’s even more astonishing is the ability to capture this unique fragments in time. With his ongoing series dubbed “Coincidences,” the renowned street photographer Jonathan Higbee proofed that he has this remarkable talent – he found his own way to document the life in NYC like no other. Jonathan captures unforgettable moments that had us struck immediately.
We want you to pause for a second to witness the stunning photography work of Jonathan Higbee and let us shed some light on his story.
Born and raised in a small town in Northwestern Missouri, Jonathan has already been moving around since he was a kid and which also then continued in his adult life. He received his first camera (a Polaroid) for his eighth birthday. Even though photography was always a hobby for him, he had an unyielding passion to spend his life doing nothing else. By the time he turned 17, Jonathan moved to Los Angeles to study communication and media. He began his career as an editorial assistant for Instinct Magazine and then quickly moved on to become a travel correspondent for the publication. He was producing copy and photography for extensive international travel features and he also called Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle his periodical homes. Luckily he was transferred to New York and he fell in love with the city immediately. For the first time in his life, he didn’t have the urge to move on but rather to get to know his new home better, Jonathan wandered around the city always with his camera in hand.
“Travel photography had me hooked on the art form but it was moving to New York and exploring my new neighbourhood with my camera that really sealed my fate.”Jonathan Higbee | Source: itsnicethat.com
At first, Jonathan was getting into urban abstract photography, but everything happened just by coincidence. Because when he found a subway entrance with a clear glass ceiling he took some shots of the reflecting buildings. He shot the scene for a while and when he was editing the images from the day he noticed a little but very important detail. He saw something he didn’t realize when he was photographing: In one of his shots from the subway entrance was a man reaching out for his friend to slow him down just as they reached the edges of the reflected skyscrapers. That was a jaw-dropping moment for Jonathan. With his photograph, he managed to capture a compelling and evocative scene where all elements perfectly work together. Jonathan was instantly hooked and he felt a driving desire to forage the city in hopes to capture more of these serendipitous moments.
Over the years of hunting those moments, it took Jonathan a lot of patience and he developed a keen eye and sense for uncanny coincidences. While he is out on the streets for the more traditional photo walks, he might come across certain elements that catch his eye like a billboard or street art or even the shadows from particular building casts. Then he takes time to observe the spot he is drawn to and explores particular camera angles, checks out the foot traffic that the scene gets, considers the light. He then decides if the scene is worth returning for a “photo wait.” Sometimes he returns to the same spot for several months until he finally gets the shot he was looking for. It’s a daunting task which is often very frustrating at times but with a little luck when the perfect subject comes along and the magic of New York happens, Jonathan manages to capture those fleeting moments.
“It’s all about finding your unique voice! That’s what makes art of any kind so interesting: the artist’s personal voice allow us all to experience the world in entirely new ways, from a refreshing perspective.”Jonathan Higbee | Source: 121clicks.com
His street photography has won multiple awards, including the 2015 World Street Photography grand prize, a LensCulture 2016 Street Photography Award, and more. He has exhibited in galleries across the world including at shows in New York, Hamburg, and Paris. With his inspiring approach to photography and his mesmerizing work, Jonathan Higbee has built himself a large following and without a doubt, we can also say that we are huge fans. See more of Jonathan’s work on his website and make sure to follow him on Instagram.
*numbers current at the time of writing.
Copyright: All images are copyright protected and property of Jonathan Higbee.