Stef Mitchell’s “American Portraits”

Billabout contributing photographer Stef Mitchell, 26, lives in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Here she shows us the first installment of her ‘American Portraits’ series, her incredible eye for street life and chats to us about being a photographer in the city.

When did you move to New York, where are you from in Australia?
Roughly two years ago? It’s unclear. I’m from a retirement village called Lane Cove.

How and why did you move here?
I came for the bagels and cheap drinks

What’s your life like here?
Life here is like having ADHD. It’s very good.

What do you find yourself taking photos of in New York?
I find myself shooting peoples faces and the streets.

What inspires you to take a photo?
Normally I’m inspired by someone or something if it looks strange.

Do you ever get yelled at by your street subjects?
I have been yelled at yes. Nothing too bad has happened yet though. Fingers crossed.

Do you always have a camera on you? Are you addicted?
I do always have a camera on me. I guess I’m addicted. I’m definitely addicted to Instagram.

Name three photographers work you admire, and why?
I think Ari Marcopoulos is awesome. I also love Mike O’Meally’s work and Hedi Slimane; their pictures seem naturalĀ and spur of the moment. I like that.

What do you love about the city?
I love that the city is a mess of everything. The streets and the people are the most interesting I’ve seen so far…..
And there are so many secret places. It’s like a Doctor Seuss drawing.

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