“Everybody now has a selfie with a phone,” photographer Louis Mendes says. This is why he chooses to be different. He has been photographing people and streets of New York for over forty years using a Speed Graphic camera from 1940s. His camera is followed by his classy ‘40s style, and The New York Post has made a short video about this legendary New York photographer.
Mendes was born and raised in New York City. As he says himself, his photography “reflects on what he does, personality-wise.” He doesn’t only photograph people, but he listens to them and tries to capture their feelings in his photos.
Since the video was published back in 2016, you can see Mendes buying and using Fujifilm FP-100C peel-apart instant film. Unfortunately discontinued in 2016, so I am not sure which film he is using now. Mendes emphasizes the beauty of instant photography which lets you see the photo within a few minutes of taking it. But it’s not an electronic image on your phone’s display. It’s a physical, tangible image. And according to Mendes, people he photographs love these photos he takes of them.
Mendes takes photos every day and he does it in different parts of the big city. Asking him why he does it every day would be “like why does he breathe every day.”
I love life. I love people. I like taking pictures recording people’s expressions, feelings, emotions. I give them one shot. The way I feel at that moment. And I hope that they like what I produce. That’s why I do it.