New York City photographer Brittany Eliza Kunkel combines her education in painting and her passion for photography to capture an elusive, whimsical side of New York City.
The life-long creative wasn’t always glued to her camera the way she is now. “It wasn’t until the pandemic that I picked up photography again,” Kunkel explains.
“I began taking long walks around sunrise before the workday began. I found there to be something special about the eerie quiet that envelops the city while most are still asleep, so I started bringing my camera along. These long pandemic walks with my camera made me fall in love with New York City — and photography — all over again.”
We’re certainly glad she did. There’s an undeniable mystical charm to Kunkel’s collection of photos, that seems to drop us into the middle of a storybook as we explore them.
“My photographic style today is heavily influenced by my painter’s eye,” Kunkle says. “I use my camera to not only capture a scene, but often to create a sort of dreamscape — telling a deeper story through color, light, and composition.”
One of our favorite features of Kunkel’s photographs is the natural framing she incorporates, whether by capturing her subject in an archway of greenery or aligning the Empire State Building with an opening in the structure of a bridge.
Kunkel’s experimentation with depth of field has also paid off, leaving her with photos that draw viewer’s eyes to engaging backgrounds without losing what the foreground subjects add to the photograph.
While Kunkel has, in the past, been intimidated by the prospect of creating in urban settings, she’s been able to brilliantly apply her creative viewpoint to the cityscape she calls home.
“I love to wander through unknown neighborhoods to find hidden gems,” Kunkel explains, “and also challenge myself to take classic NYC spots that we see on repeat and add my own voice.”
We undoubtedly see Kunkel’s originality in her work, and in her captures of even the city’s most signature shooting locations, from the Empire State Building to Central Park. Take the photo below as an example: she elevates a regularly photographed Central Park setting by utilizing symmetry, dramatic lighting, and the stand-out color of a bright yellow umbrella. No longer is this a replicable Central Park shot, but a one of a kind moment captured between two people who found seclusion on stormy streets.
Kunkel’s ability to invoke emotions with her photographs and freeze intimate moments in one of the fastest moving cities in the world makes her one of our top photographers to watch. We’re so excited to see how she incorporates the city’s notorious winter into her photography in the upcoming months. We anticipate an Instagram feed filled with winter wonderland dreamscapes and a glowing romanticism that can only be captured on the streets of the great New York City.
You can visit her site here: https://www.brittanyeliza.com/
Follow Brittany Kunkel on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/brittanyeliza.photo/