Capturing a City: Photographer Harrison Boyce

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A visionary from a young age, Harrison Boyce got his start in photo and film when he began riding BMX bikes. His interest in cycling evolved into a successful career and popular blog. Most recently, Boyce has become known for documenting New York City. His signature black-and-white pallet, and translation of texture and New York City landscapes evokes thought and admiration.

How did you get into film and photography and where has your career taken you?

I grew up in a pretty creative household. My mom went to college for art and was a radio disc jokey and my dad was a musician and audio engineer. The thing that ultimately got me into photo and videos was riding BMX bikes. I started with VCR-to-VCR video editing. Really analog stuff and then learned how to edit on a PC and grew into a Mac when I got a bit older. I went to school for design, and eventually became an art director for a bike company along with running my own site called Defgrip, a creative blog for the BMX world. I was creating content for this site, video being the main creative platform.

Although a lot of my work life centered around video, I was always taking photos on trips documenting my lifestyle in that way. Even though I always felt like I was more of a hobby photographer, I was always putting my photos out there in some way.

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As mentioned, you’ve worked extensively with photo and film. Do you have a preference toward either art form?

If you were to ask me what I wanted to go do today, I would rather go roam around the streets and take photos. It’s still really a fun free thing for me to do. I still really enjoy telling stories through film, but I see it as a more short-term creative outlet. I have a lot of ideas about “now” pieces I want to tell with film, like documentaries on people and current events whereas when I’m taking photos, especially my photos of New York, I’m archiving in a sense. Maybe 20 years down the road I’ll look back at all these photos that I’ve taken and do something with them. I’m collecting all these images and who knows what I’ll create with them.

What inspired you to start photographing New York in specific?

I always looked up to photographers that had documented the city they lived in during a time that I was not around for, like in the 50’s and 60’s. I was envious of their photos because it had a whole story of something I never knew or never saw. What took me a long time to realize is that they were just taking photos of their everyday. They found an artistic way to capture what was going on at that exact moment. It isn’t until you look back at it later that it really tells a story. Once I realized this, I began documenting the city. There’s so much going on, there’re so many things to explore and see. I try to find a way to visually document now what might translate well in the future, and really to just enjoy shooting.

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Why did you feel a partnership with Alternative was a good fit?

I really like what the brand has going and just the thought and the time and effort that you guys put into caring about your products and caring about the people that care about your products. It seems like a community of people doing something together and that’s something I gravitate towards.

View more of Boyce’s photography on his website and follow him on Instagram.

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Written by Kate Koeller

Headshot by Michaela Babuskova

Photos by Harrison Boyce

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