Street and documentary photographer, Suzanne Stein, talks about using FUJIFILM X100V to shine a spotlight on the darker side of New York City
Suzanne Stein is a street and documentary photographer who likes to use her photography to explore narratives that are often difficult to read about. Her latest project is no exception. Here, we find out how FUJIFILM X100V helped her achieve such hard-hitting results.
“The images I wanted to seek out for this endeavor with X100V were centered around women and are part of a larger series that is, at its core, based around the lives of two women in particular,” says Suzanne.
She wanted to highlight that although on the surface the lives of these two women seem completely different, they share the same problems. “Both are incredibly isolated, one has lived alone in the same apartment for 46 years and the other is living alone in a very public spot in the West Village,” she explains.
Being able to create these fascinating windows into two such extraordinary lives was in no small part down to X100V. “It was very liberating, because I found that I wasn’t worrying so much about changing lenses and carting a load around with me all day,” says Suzanne. “It’s made me learn how easy it is to strip the process of creating images down to the essentials, which is really what it’s all about.”
She goes on to highlight some of her favorite features, including the new FUJINON 23mmF2 lens and 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 back-side illuminated sensor. “I think the combination of the new lens and sensor is tremendous,” Suzanne enthuses. “It was a relief to work on this project with a small camera that retains the most important elements necessary for taking great pictures while remaining light and functional.”
Suzanne believes that when making images, the real magic can be found right in front of us. “It really is about the everyday things that happen, the synchronicity or lack of it, the crazy timing of the mundane occurrences,” she reveals. “The most minor, innocuous gesture can become incredibly beautiful in a photograph.”
She describes how, for her, recognizing such moments can’t be forced. “Sometimes I see something and it’s like I’m hit with a shock of electric energy. It’s just something that is a combination of instinct, intuition, and experience,” she tells us. “I feel that sifting through the mundane to ‘find’ the momentous is forced and mechanical. Things happen when you’re patient and you listen to your intuition.”
Overall, Suzanne feels that X100V was the perfect tool for finding the profound in everyday minutiae. “I really feel that this camera is a great storyteller,” she concludes. “It made me realize I don’t need anything but my eyes, heart, and feelings to create pictures that mean something to me.”