Would you mind introducing yourself? Hi everyone, my name is Esther Montgomery. I'm 23 years old and working at a visual effects & production company for ads and films in Soho.
Where are you from, and where do currently live? I was born in DC, grew up in the Pinelands of South Jersey, moved to Boston for five years of college, and am now in Brooklyn!
Esther's Instagram - @estmontgomery
How would you describe your style of photography? I look for beauty in what's in front of me, naturally occurring. I don't stage my photos in any way, I just find interesting ways of capturing what's already there.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I bought my first Nikon camera when I was 13 with all of my Bat Mitzvah money and brought it with me everywhere. I've always been a visual person, and I finally had a way to capture it. That was really the beginning!
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? The first time I came to New York with my camera, at 14 years old, is such a vivid memory. I think it was sensory overload honestly, but I loved every moment. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from that day at this point, and I'm sure they weren't any good, but I do wish I could see them and smile/laugh!
What inspires you to take these wonderful photographs? I've always been partial to the intersection of street photography, fashion photography, and architecture. I get inspired by my surroundings and try to implement that effortlessness - those raw but perfect, beautiful moments. Living in New York provides endless opportunities for this. I would like to take more photos of people, but haven't yet worked up the courage to snap close-ups of strangers.
What kind of camera do you use? Currently using only my iPhone 7. I've had some bad luck recently with certain crucial parts of my camera breaking (long story), so I'm looking into getting a FujiFilm - recommendations welcome!!
What is your editing process like? I use Lightroom if I'm on my computer and VSCO if I'm on my phone. Typically, I always tone down my highlights a little and slightly lighten my shadows to bring in more detail, while enhancing interesting hues within the shot. It's impossible to always get perfect lighting when spontaneously taking photos (which is what I'm doing 99% of the time), so it's nice to know your shot can be easily saved with a couple minor tweaks.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Look for interesting angles, scenes, tones - learn to be more aware of your surroundings and notice the little things. Don't walk so fast, take your time and explore places/streets you normally wouldn't think to, you'll be surprised what you can find.
What are some of your passions/hobbies other than photography? As listed on my resume, my favourite hobby is "searching for the world's best chocolate". So far, Israeli chocolate is the clear winner. Other than that, I enjoy hiking and kayaking, just exploring in general, and drawing. I try to squeeze in weekend trips wherever possible, which is tough at the moment since I don't have a car, but I'm making it work!
Do you have any photography related plans for this summer that you would like to share? The only plans for this summer are little weekend trips around New York, but I am planning a trip out to Glacier National Park & the Pacific Northwest that I am VERY excited for. Again, recommendations welcome!
Who are some of your favourite photographers? Richard Avedon, Andreas Gursky, Annie Leibowitz, Vivian Maier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steven Meisel, Robert Capa, Gregory Crewdson.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you love and wish more people knew about? @colebeal, @joshuarueben, @andylukacsormond, @atranphoto, @vaughn.wright, @leo_berne, @agathecaillou, @jimmyychung, @kadiya_qasem, @lucylaucht, @indaystocome, @ncanada, @philh.lee (to name a few!)
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Italy, Spain and Croatia - always been my dream to go but haven't been able to yet! Unparalleled beauty over there, intersections of old and new, and great food to top it off.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? Late summer into fall - August, September, October. The natural lighting and weather are at their best, there is this happiness in the air, and everything just smells good! Weird, but true.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions planned that you would like to share? I do not! My walk to/from work every day is my only plan at the moment ;) I would love to take part in an Insta-meet type photography session though!
Don't forget to follow Esther on Instagram! (@estmontgomery)