Manhattan based photographer James Maher has perfected the art of “people watching” with his street style photographs. His work makes us guess and second guess their meanings in a way that allows us to expand upon what we know about photography, whether it is a lot or none at all. He began photographing the City in 2003 when he was 21 years old.
Maher grew up in the Upper West Side and has remained in the City ever since, save his years at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he majored in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. Halfway through his college career he had a “quarter life crisis” which made him question what he wanted out of life. After graduation, he returned to NYC to work as an photography intern while simultaneously studying at the International Center of Photography. A couple of years later, he branched out and started his own photography business.
I photograph both the beautiful and iconic aspects of the city, but my favorite things to shoot are the daily life on the streets and portraiture of interesting New Yorkers
Maher states that his subject matter involves what he knows best: his love of the City, the culture and people of New York, as well as the City’s history. He adds, “There are a lot of problems here and I try to focus on those issues in my daily work as well as the beauty of the city.”
I aim to make the compositions pretty and interesting, many of them feel lonely within the crowd, stressed, self-conscious, and many other emotions on that spectrum. It’s easy to capture the iconic side, and I very much enjoy exploring and doing that, but this side is the most real and fulfilling part of my work.
Maher currently lives in the East Village and has photographed the City for the last ten years. He has sold his work to collectors and companies for both pleasure and advertising. He also organizes photography workshops, writes for magazines, and has written a book titled The Essentials of Street Photography which can be downloaded on Amazon.
Check out Maher’s portfolio for some of his fine art prints for sale, his daily blog of happenings around the city, and more of his portraiture and commercial work.