Nightlife photography: Cool New York photographers

Feast your eyes on some of NYC’s best nightlife photography, and hear from the people behind the lens.

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  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

  • Photograph: Ves Pitts

Photograph: Ves Pitts


Ves Pitts (vespittsphotography.com)

A painter-turned-photographer, Pitts shoots burlesque and performance. Originally from Alabama, he moved to New York 18 years ago. He describes his photography as “documenting these performers at special stages of their lives.”

His approach
“I like to go for the intense moment in the face or the body. That’s an interesting thing for me because I don’t know when it is, I can only feel it out. I try to pull it out as a portrait. It represents what the whole story’s about.”

His tips for shooting nightlife
“I like to go backstage and work with the people as they’re getting ready. Just be flexible and be courteous to the performer and the audience. I cannot stand it when the camera’s in between the audience and the performer. I think that’s really insulting, as much to the performer as to the audience.”

His favorite events to shoot
“I shoot a lot of Susanne Bartsch’s parties at the Standard Hotel. I work with Jen Gapay and the New York Burlesque Festival. I shoot a lot at the Slipper Room, which is kind of a burlesque place.”
“The Burlesque movement has changed a lot. It’s more theatrical, more like performance art. A lot of things have come into play in the last 15 years: transgendered performers, people of color. It’s very exciting to see people like Narcissister (narcissister.com): She’s more theatrical; she might perform in a burlesque scene, but I don’t think she considers herself burlesque.”



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