Fabian Palencia

“An Ongoing Visual Investigation” – Fabian Palencia.

An interview with street photographer and Brooklyn based, Fabian Palencia. Capturing intimate moments and candid shots, tour New York through his lens.

True New Yorker and authentic street photographer, Fabian Palencia, captures candid moments from around his city that would otherwise go unnoticed. He talks to us about the importance of personal experience, being present and how he hopes his work will encourage others to look around and discover something new.

Predominantly working with film photography in his home city, Fabian’s body of work from further afar in South America allows us a window into another space and a connection with characters, their identities and surroundings.

Read about his inspiration, creative purpose and opinion on film vs iPhone photography here:

Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

Tell us a little about how you got started in photography. Where did it all begin?

My aunt Yolanda was a travel agent. When I was 12, she took my mom and I to France for a couple of weeks. Before boarding our flight, she gave me a camera and I ended up photographing women sunbathing in Nice. I’ve been hooked ever since.

How would you describe your photography style? 

An ongoing visual investigation.

Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

What do you think is the importance of street photography and what does it achieve that other types of photography do not?

You can take a street photo anywhere and the quality of camera isn’t as important as putting yourself in the experience and being present enough to photograph it.

What impact do you hope your photography has?

I hope it helps people look around and discover something about themselves.

Fabian Palencia
Photo:Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com
Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

Film photography v iPhone photography. You shoot both 35mm and from your iPhone. What are the differences, advantages and disadvantages? 

You have to make technical decisions with film that you don’t have to with an iPhone.  With computational photography, the iPhone is participating in the creative process.  Mobile devices are always in peoples hands, so they don’t draw attention.  A camera gives you more options for deciding what the photo looks like.  These days I mostly shoot mirrorless and 120 film.

You previously said that you loved shooting street photography with your iPhone. Why is this?

It’s easy to go unnoticed.

Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

What do you say to critics that argue that an Iphone is not a good tool for photography?

Critics argue, I make photos.  A fish gotta swim. .

What are the benefits of photographing real people and preserving their candid moments in time? 

There’s nothing more interesting that people being who they really are.

Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

Have you had any bad experiences or negative reactions from people whilst shooting street photography?

Every now and and then but nothing serious.  if people have time to notice you’re making a photo either you’re slow or there isn’t much going on in the scene.

Your collections from Mexico and Colombia are two of my particular favourites. What was the ideal aim or message for your audience in these?

Colombia was pleasure and Mexico was business.  In Colombia i was with family and visited where my mom grew up.  I shot portraits of aunts, uncles and cousins.  Mexico was more stuff I shot while on assignment for a brand.  I was planning on returning to both countries in 2020 but had to postpone.

Fabian Palencia
Photo: Fabian Palencia. fabianfromjacksonheights.com

What do you look for when out and about? What catches your eye?

I look for light, geometry and life.

Why do you think it important to tell people’s stories?

Human connection is the heart of community.  Our stories bring us together and reveal who we are to each other.

To find out more about Fabian’s work, visit his Website or follow him on Instagram.

Related Articles

Back Home

IMAGO © 2020