Heidi: What made you snap that first newsstand shot?
Trevor: I shot my first newsstand near Broadway and Morris Street in New York City and immediately found myself stopping to take portraits at every stand I passed. I’m drawn to the vibrant organized colors and compact product placement that provides an instant time stamp via magazine covers and headlines. The New York City newsstand is a staple in the Big Apple and its photogenic structure is an immediate attraction to the composition fanatic in me.
When did you know this was turning into something more than just a few images of newsstands?
The project started growing quickly within NYC but it was still just something fun and in between commercial shoots. Once I started photographing other cities I realized the photos were forming a series and would be a long-term project
What are the kiosks locations?
They are from New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Dar Es Salaam, Chicago, Boston, Barcelona, Tokyo, Lima, Cusco, and Punta Arenas
How are you making these photos?
The project is shot and edited on the iPhone. I started #TheNewsStandSeries in New York City, 2012. Since then I have photographed approx 125 stands. The series started with the iPhone 4s, the 5s, 6, 6s, to my current 7 plus. I’m using editing apps such as Snapseed & Instagram, the end-product emulates the qualities of my favored Hasselblad. I revisited a handful of newsstands with different cameras, and although each camera has its own advantage, the iPhone is my current first choice. The iPhone has a great dynamic range and its unobtrusive ability lets me shoot with a lot more ease.
How long does each portrait take?
Each photo takes literally 30 seconds. Unless its rush hour. I make it a point to never interrupt the business. If a kiosk is busy and I have time, I’ll wait for the opportune moment.
What are your plans for this body of work?
My goal is to release a newsstand book in 2018 accompanied with coastal openings. I’m currently searching for a publisher/sponsor. After the book is published I will use the iPhones geotagging of the photos to deliver a thank you copy to each of the newsstands I have photographed.I would also like to donate a percentage of proceeds as well.
What is your elevator pitch to get them to pose?
My approach is 100% respect and a smile. I immediately share some past photos to connect a visual with my idea. A put an emphasis on “a quick iPhone snap for a personal collection.”
I have been fortunate to have a 90% positive response and a few kiosk owners even went as far to offer me drinks and snacks. I aways depart with a hand shake and a grand appreciation for that person’s time.
Aside from this image being featured in American Photography 31, have you received any other press, any projects on the horizon?
The project has definitely received some good press over the years from RYOT, Complex, to Daily Mail, and PDN. and now APE! Thank you guys. A lot of my colleagues really enjoy the series as well and that definitely makes me happy because it’s nice to get a nod from photographers who inspire you. My next project is to bring this series to life in print. I also have some fun ideas for the opening including a full size newsstand installation.
What has this project taught you about yourself and your work?
As the clock ticks I reflect more and more on the privilege I have to travel the world and make a living creating photographs, making motion visuals, and living while doing something I’m passionate about it. I try to practice gratitude every day and this project has taught me to be present more. It has also taught me that the interaction is just as important as the moment the camera clicks. The creation process is what I truly love. Lastly, this project has reaffirmed my affinity for framing a subject as one with the environment.
@TrevorTraynor on Instagram or #Thenewsstandseries.