Newsletter Issue 4 (1:1 Interview with Andreas Verrios @mrnycsubway)

Introduction

Because of my 1:1 interview with the incredibly talented @mrnycsubway, this newsletter edition is going to be solely dedicated to the transit system!

About Michael

Michael Silverstone is a photographer based in New York City. He specializes in train, landscape, and city photography. Michael currently shoots with a Sony Alpha A7RII, alternating between four lenses. On any given day or night, you can find him capturing one of NYC’s iconic landmarks, or shooting from a subway platform deep in Brooklyn.

A hiking trip to the Canadian Rockies in June 2017 (specifically a starry night over Pyramid and Patricia Lakes in Jasper, Alberta) was the inspiration for Michael’s photography journey. Upon returning to NYC, he purchased his first camera the very next day.

Michael’s work has been shared by the marketing organization NYC & Company, and has been featured on multiple local cable news outlets, including Spectrum News NY1, FOX 5 New York, and ABC7 Eyewitness News. He also serves as a mod for the popular Instagram photography hubs @NYCPrimeshot and @USAPrimeshot. These hubs feature the work of local and national creators, and organize and run photography meet-ups/networking events around NYC in collaboration with other hubs, and with the participation of sponsors.

Michael enjoys playing guitar, attending concerts, and studying New York City’s bizarre and captivating history.

Equipment

Sony Alpha A7RII

Tamron 17–28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

Tamron 28–75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8

Sony FE 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 G OSS

Dedication to Tom Seaver (1944–2020)

On Wednesday night, the sports world was shocked to learn about the passing of baseball legend Tom Seaver. Unanimously acknowledged as the greatest player to ever wear a Mets uniform, Tom Terrific is also undoubtedly one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Here are some of 41’s career achievements:

  • 12x All-Star
  • World Series Champion (1969)
  • 3x NL Cy Young Award Winner
  • 3x NL ERA Leader
  • 5x NL Strikeout Leader
  • Inducted into Cooperstown with 98.84% of the vote on the first ballot (a then-record in 1992)

Select Train Photos

Some of the best skyline views are from elevated subway platforms in the outer boroughs. One such example is Mt. Eden Ave (4 train) in The Bronx! Just look at that skyline compression.

Hands down one of my favorite spots for catching trains is the Williamsburg Bridge. At this spot (looking towards Williamsburg), you’ll get a direct overhead view of the J, M, and Z!

An N train flies over the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian/bike path.

One of my favorite views in the entire system — here’s a Q train approaching the West Eighth Street-New York Aquarium station in Coney Island.

Finally, here are some of my favorite train trail shots.

To see all prints for sale (including all the images above), check out my shop site!

Featured Creator Spotlight

I spoke with Andreas Verrios (aka @mrnycsubway). Not only is he a photographer, attorney, and TikTok star, but he’s also one of the most supportive and kindest creators I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. In this interview, Andreas discusses his photography journey, viral TikTok moments, and his recent creative endeavors!

Are you doing photography full time now?

I am doing photography part time as I have a full-time job as an in-house attorney for a financial firm. For the time being, it’s really the perfect balance for my lifestyle in NYC as I don’t have to put too much pressure on my art financially. With that said, I’m open to any possibility in the future, but I don’t want to have any expectations.

How’d you get into subway portrait photography? Did it stem from something specific?

All my photography naturally flowed from starting on an iPhone to eventually upgrading to my first DSLR camera (currently, a Canon 5D Mark IV). Regarding portrait photography, I met a blogger through Instagram and we did a collaboration. From that point on, I felt my creativity gravitate towards working with models, dancers, and anyone with a niche talent here in NYC. Portrait photography is a lot of fun cause it allows for you to work with other creatives, which always inspires my creativity even further.

Congrats on 1 million TikTok followers! How do you plan on leveraging that platform to continue your growth as a creator?

Thank you! TikTok is opening up so many doors as it’s providing a platform for my work to go viral and get discovered by so many people in NYC and across the world. Everyday, I get emails and inquiries for photo shoots, the selling of my art, and working with brands/companies because of TikTok. Additionally, I got accepted into the TikTok Creator Fund so I am now getting paid directly by TikTok everyday depending on the amount of views I received over the past 24 hours; it’s truly a blessing because it’s all based on content that I want to showcase and has nothing to do with what brands or TikTok want for me to present.

Check out this TikTok video!

You’ve recently shifted your focus to capturing candid shots of people in subway stations. Does this mean you’re literally walking up to strangers and taking their picture? What’s that process like?

So I started a series where I approach strangers on the NYC Subway and ask them if I can take their photo. Many of the people I approached said no, but I also received quite a few yeses. The ones that did say yes, ended up being great photos to capture. In particular, one was a train conductor and the other was a male commuter. The process is to approach and make a connection as quickly as possible, then explain my background and that I want to capture his/her picture for my social media. Once I get the green light, we get right into motion with the photo shoot which lasts around 2–3 minutes. After I get a few images, we then exchange contact information and I post them on my TikTok, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

Check out this TikTok of Mr. NYC Subway’s adventures in stranger portrait photography!

What’s the biggest challenge of being a professional photographer?

Finding good clients or brands that have a budget. Many people view photography as an “anyone can do it” result, especially because we all have some form of a camera these days. So it’s getting people to realize and appreciate that your photography is a skillset that has taken many years to master and costs thousands of dollars in camera gear which is why my time and efforts should be valued accordingly.

Who’s your most famous Instagram follower?

I would say Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with 6.5 million followers (as of 9/3/20) and international media attention on a daily basis. We actually met through Instagram way before she became a mainstream media public figure.

What’s your #1 tip for someone looking to launch a career as a creator?

Find what sparks your creativity and inner passions! Once you find that energy and ability to capture it on a daily basis without the help of others, then you’ll have yourself a recipe for success. But, of course, I always tell everyone that the mindset is not to be famous or rich, instead just love what you do and everything else will happen naturally.

Check out Mr. NYC Subway on these platforms:

Instagram

TikTok

YouTube

Website

Artwork/Shop

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

michaelsilverstonephotography@gmail.com

Website | Shop | Instagram

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Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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