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Seen In The Subway

What do you see when you ride the subway? Brooklyn-based photographer Daniel Racz, who made his name photographing girls with curls, has recently been capturing candid moments of everyday life in New York City while riding the MTA. He shared with Refinery the inspiration for his subway photography and what these moments mean to him. Swipe your imaginary Metrocard and explore what Racz sees in the subway.

Follow Daniel on Instagram for more of his adventures.


What inspired you to start taking these photographs?

It was too good to pass up on what was right in front of me. The combination of families engaging with each other and the personal moments within—it made me miss my family and the times we would travel together and the unique chemistry held between us.

When you look at the images, what do you see?

These photos make me see the real people that make up the city of New York… I also see a sense of connection (or sometimes a lack of connection) between the family members. There are times when all of them are in sync together, but sometimes you can tell one member wants to be on their own and drift away. It’s a mystery.


What were you looking to capture in these photos?

I was looking to capture the bonds within families in New York City…They are being exposed to everything at once, right in the open. No privacy and no protection. The subtleties in all of the madness in the city is what I always hope to feel when snapping the right moment.


Tell us a little bit about your MTA series, and why you chose it as a setting.

The MTA Family Portrait series is what makes my subway rides interesting. I’m on it every day so I can always look to have great photos from just doing errands or heading to the city from Brooklyn. My neighborhood, Sunset Park, is filled with…hard working people getting through and making sure their families are progressing along. They are all close with one another. It makes you feel like family is almost everything in life.


Any funny stories of anyone catching you taking their photograph or do you typically ask beforehand?

I have to say that there haven’t been any crazy stories as of yet when I’m taking these shots, but I’ve missed some good ones because of bad positioning. I try to get right in front of the family on a less empty train so I can have a perfect view of them. It’s usually the kids that catch me taking the photo (and never the parents.) I never ask beforehand because the candidness is what makes any train photo interesting.  I am thankful that the Iphone is the stealthiest camera we’ve come across yet. If I had my Canon DSLR you’d probably have stories of parents being creeped out by me. That’s the life of the photographer anyways, but we accept the creepy judgement for the interesting photo. I’ll stick with the iPhone approach though in this case!

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