Steven Andrew will tell you that he is a photographer. However, Steven doesn’t own a real camera, and he doesn’t know the first thing about photography.
Steven Andrew will tell you that he is a photographer. However, Steven doesn’t own a real camera, and he doesn’t know the first thing about photography
I met Steven while sitting at Metronome Coffee on 6th Ave. He was sitting next to me and asked if he could take a photo of my beer. Apparently, the light was really stunning as it filtered through the glass.
“It’s like- I just always wanted to be a photographer, you know? It’s just that cameras are really complicated and they’re really expensive.”
Steven uses his iPhone, and only his iPhone for all of his pictures.
“I started with Hipstamatic just like everyone else, but it was kind of primitive, you know? When Instagram came out it really changed the way that I approached photos. Instagram just gives you so much freedom. Plus, the iPhone 7 camera is just amazing, right?”
I inform Steven that I don’t have an iPhone and so I am unfamiliar with the camera that is integrated into his phone
“Oh, it’s more like the phone that’s been integrated into the camera... It does everything. What do you have, an Android? God, Android users are just ruining Instagram.”
I tell Steven that I have a Galaxy and his nose wrinkles up like he just smelled something terrible.
“Well, whatever. Anyway, I can change the focus and make blurry backgrounds, I can get really vibrant colors, and HDR and panoramic mode are just amazing! With Instagram’s filters I can just get these really incredible vintage or abstract looks, you know? I’m really into Mayfair right now. Valencia and X-Pro II are pretty nice too. Sometimes I just run like five or six filters together.”
Steven shows me some of the photos on his phone and I ask him if he’d email me some of his favorites. He beams with delight and quickly asks for my email address.
I ask Steven if he thinks it’s odd that his phone has a camera that’s capable of taking crystal-clear photographs that rival some DSLR cameras, and yet he insists on using filters to make his photos blurry and off color as if they were taken with a shitty camera from 1974.
“But that’s the art of it, isn’t it? Anybody can spend three thousand dollars on a camera and then learn to adjust SLR and shutter speed and light and things. I don’t want to do any of that stuff. I don’t think I’d ever buy just a camera…unless Apple came out with a camera… I might buy that, just because it would be really easy to use. Irregardless, my photos are just as good as the ones people take on a fancy camera. Personally, I think some of them are better.”
*Yes, the word ‘irregardless’ was actually used.
Steven is working on getting a local gallery show for his work, but so far he hasn’t found a place that is interested.
“I’m not going to let it get me down. I mean, real art isn’t appreciated by everyone, right? I feel like it’ll be a true connoisseur of the craft that recognizes my work. It’ll be worth the wait. Anyway, I have like over five-thousand followers right now… I feel like I’m just itching to make that jump into the analog scene, though… you know?”
Here are some of Steven’s photos.