Fresh Faces: Devin Doyle

Meet Devin Doyle – a New York City transplant by way of Colorado and a million other places in between. From his passion to capturing a spontaneous moment in the city streets to his love of forest sounds and babbling brooks, Doyle shares his photographic journey with us in our latest Fresh Faces feature. View more of his photos on Gasoline.XXX.

Where are you from?

Boulder, Colorado. I grew up itching to get out of Boulder, Colorado. Even growing up in paradise, who doesn’t ache for new scenery after eighteen years?

How did you make it to NYC?

I traveled the United States and Mexico for a few months by Greyhound bus. One night my Hasselblad got snatched by some devil in Tijuana; I chased the guy across rooftops very dramatically, though he quickly lost me. I was crushed, that camera was the most expensive thing I’d ever owned.

On the advice of a stranger, I traveled to Cuba and settled down for a few weeks to learn the language. Before leaving, I was able to replace the Hasselblad with a Polaroid one-step to keep the square format.

Havana was full of grit and color, tremendous joy and trembling poverty. You’d see dancing in the streets with buildings crumbling all around. I had never photographed strangers, or done documentary portraits – but this setting was so compelling that it burned me up. How can I share this? I want someone to feel this! So over the next few weeks and very ham-handedly, I took my first street portfolio with my little Polaroid point-and-shoot.

Why photography?

I’ve worked for a few years assisting amazing studio photographers in NYC, but a year or two ago I stepped back into the street. I think shooting street has so much to teach you, both about photo and about life, that it can be very addictive. The little electric shock of anxiety before you steal your first picture of the day. Is this the moment? Do you wait? Once you fire the shutter, you lose the element of surprise and the composition changes. Is someone going to punch you in the nose?

I hunt for hours looking for light. If you don’t have good light, you don’t have shit. Even the best content, the most decisive moment won’t register emotionally if you don’t capture it in good light.

And recently I started using street as a way of clearing the mind. I noticed the best pictures I was making were when I wasn’t consciously trying to create them. They just came out of the ether. You can’t force yourself into that state, all you can do is set all the elements in motion to get you there. You just have to line up all the cards and pray

Top three photographers of all time?

Don McCullin for unrelenting intensity. Sebastiao Salgado for decisive moments so perfect they make you want to cry. Bill Henson whose of teenagers at dusk and in twilight makes my sense memories explode.

If you could bring 1 album to a deserted island what would it be?

An album of forest sounds, a recording of a babbling brook. I don’t care much for the beach. I guess I’m a Colorado boy after all.

Portrait by Fletcher Lawrence Anstis.

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