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Picture This: Oliver Kristen In Brooklyn

Picture This: Oliver Kristen In Brooklyn

Picture This is a series by creatives, photographers, friends and lovers that belong to the worldwide Biancissimo family. In every episode of this series, one of these talented people will take us on a visual journey of their own.

Oliver Kristen is a creative rookie from my hometown that recently started his first steps into the world of photography and writing. For Biancissimo he will take us on a visual ride through Bed-Stuy / Brooklyn. Let's get it.

 

Picture This: Oliver Kristen In Brooklyn

This photo series was supposed to be about fashion but instead, it turned out to be about openness.

But first things first, my name is Oliver, I study fashion business in Berlin and am currently working as a photographer. As part of my university schedule, I spent my last semester in New York City. In preparation for this four-month stay, I bought two analogue cameras.

Since I grew up listening to Hip-Hop, I knew right away that I wanted to move to a somewhat „rougher“ area to experience all the things I have seen in music videos. I was not interested in posting yet another picture from the Brooklyn Bridge on Instagram, documenting my rich and famous blogger NYC-lifestyle. So I moved to a flat in Bed-Stuy (short for Bedford-Stuyvesant), Brooklyn, and yes Jay-Z, Lil Kim and 6ix9ine were born there! This district used to be a more dangerous one with high crime rates, but nowadays it is quite safe.

Since New York is the birthplace of ready-to-wear fashion, my initial plan was to take photos of your stereotypical neighbourhood gangster, far from today’s NYFW catwalk but back to the roots of real hip-hop culture. Basically, I tried to connect my two passions: Hip-Hop and fashion. A few days after my arrival, I started to walk around the streets with my camera.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure whether to just take people’s pictures without consent or ask them beforehand. However, after sneaking the first few shots, I realised that whenever I asked someone for their permission to take a picture, most people were quite happy to stand still for a second - for it is a compliment after all. Now I was not only able to take better pictures but also started to have small conversations with random strangers.

Everyone was very friendly, and they had so much to tell - unlike in Germany because there is hardly any situation in which Germans start talking to complete strangers. The New Yorkers told me stories about their families, their jobs and even recommended their favourite bars and restaurants to me, which reminded me of the „Humans of NY“-Blog.

I was startled to see how welcoming and open-minded Americans are, once I left my German comfort zone. I also took some pictures of the neighbourhood to give you a better impression of the „Brooklyn way“. On my next trip to New York City, I’ll return to Bed-Stuy, hoping to again catch a glimpse of the raw Brooklyn life and capture as many emotions and stories as possible with my camera.

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