INTERVIEW WITH AARON PEGG OF UNDERGROUND NYC
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As New Yorkers, we take the subway often – it's part of our daily routine. But how often have we stopped to appreciate the subway in an artistic sense? Photographer Aaron Pegg did just that.
Photographing all types of people – from models, celebrities, singers, ballerinas and athletes – Aaron Pegg has redefined to New Yorkers and visitors alike, that the NYC subway system can, in fact, be glamorous and sexy. With over 200,000 Instagram followers, he's quickly growing a dedicated following, waiting to see what he creates next.
We were delighted to welcome Aaron to our New York hotel for a weekend stay-cation last month. While visiting, we caught up with him for a quick chat:
I started taking photographs about 4 years ago. I always loved visuals. Was always intrigued by the ads in magazines but didn't explore the idea of creating my own images consistently until Instagram.
The Instagram account @Underground_NYC has been around for 2 and half years now. I started the feed because I simply didn't think there was a big representation of the subway here in NYC on Instagram. Most NYC photographers focused more on the street photography, iconic skyscrapers and bridge shots. I wanted to change the perception of the subway from a mundane commute to a beautiful destination.
I don't necessarily have a favourite moment. All of the behind-the-scenes moments are very different and spontaneous. I love that about shooting in the subway. You never know what you are going to get. It's very unpredictable and I think that helps keep the images fresh and myself and the models on our toes.
The onlookers' reactions are interesting. Some laugh, act shocked and surprised by some of the outfits.
I don't necessarily have a favourite photo shoot or image. I think my favourite shoot/image is still to come. Every day, I get better and more creative.
The biggest difference is the reactions you get when people see you shooting anything. Internationally, people seem more curious or cautious about what you are photographing as oppose to in NYC, everyone is used to seeing people with a camera in their hands. There's just a comfort level here in NYC with carrying around a camera and shooting freely that you can't get abroad.
I believe I grew my following by having a unique feed with consistency. My advice to anyone starting out is to find what you love shooting (whether it's portraits, landscapes or food), and find a way to make it your own and perfect it.
What I loved most about staying at the hotel was the great views of the city. From the rooms to the rooftop, YOTEL had great views of the city.
Clean, modern and fun.
All photographs courtesy of Aaron Pegg // Underground NYC // KillTheUnderground.com