David Bradford was working as an art director at Saks Fifth Avenue when, after a decade of dedication to the store, he decided to take on a job that allowed him more freedom to pursue creative projects. In 1990 David started working as a cabbie, and on his very first day he realized he now had an amazing front-row seat to the life and culture that makes up New York City. Along his many journeys over the course of 18 years, David captured his portrait of the city and published two books about what he found: Drive-by Shootings and Back Seat Book, which saw great success. In just three months, Drive-By Shootings sold out of its initial 50,000 prints according to NewYork.com.
“When I have a camera in hand, it’s like I feel engaged with the city. It’s like a dialogue. The city is like a moving person and it’s a gut thing, I shoot from my gut,” David said during his New York Moment. As you can see from his collection, David makes clever use of motion photography and mirror reflections to provide a special vantage point of the Big Apple.
We asked David how much New York has changed before his eyes since he started capturing his personal portrait of the city:
Having had a roving office on the streets of New York City each day or night meant I saw the minutiae of change with each shift. Another two stories went up on that new skyscraper going up where there use to be an old parking lot. I look at some of those shots I took from the cab in the early 90’s, and I think, WOW that scene looks ancient.
You can check out more of David’s New York Moment below and on his website, Drive-By Shootings.