Each week I will be asking a mobile photographer to choose the one image of theirs that they are most proud of. It does not have to be their best, or the one that has received the most recognition, just the one image that they are more emotionally connected with than any other.

This week’s artist is Sheldon Serkin

Writing an introduction for this week’s artist is easy. Constantly showcased on every major mobile photography website, including this one, he is for me one of the top five in the business and the best candid street photographer out there. Every single image he posts (and he posts on a daily basis) seems to be better than the next. They never seem to dry up.

What I love most about his images is that he gives a name to everyone that he has captured on his iPhone. There is Malcolm, Esteban, Amos and Ming Li to name but a few. It is such a clever way to title images as it brings you closer to the person in the shot.

I once asked him how he kept finding such amazing locations and people to capture. His reply? I live in New York.

The Photo I Am Most Proud Of: Sheldon Serkin


Jonny by Sheldon Serkin

This was tough. I certainly have my favorites among the thousands of images I’ve shot since I started shooting street with an iphone 3 years ago, but choosing one for this feature was near-impossible, and not for the reason I suspected. I had thought that finding the one image that best exemplified how I see my street photography, and how I want others to see it, would be the challenge. But, looking through shot after shot, I faced an unexpected reaction: I got bored.

It was through that reaction that I realized which photo I’m truly most proud of. It’s the one I took today. That one image that didn’t exist this morning, the one that I had no right to expect to capture, yet somehow, miraculously, there it is on my camera roll. A chance encounter, or character, or story suddenly appears in front of me, and I’m ready to grab it. And somehow I do. And there it is. And I’m thrilled.

Until tomorrow, after the image is shared via instagram, or flickr, or the other venues I share photos in, and the cycle starts anew. (This could also be a side effect of the impermanence that social media sharing platforms brings to work that I, and I suspect a whole lot of others, put a lot of effort into, but that’s another story.) And then the photo I’m most proud of will be the one I take tomorrow. And then, the one I take the day after that. And then…you get the idea.

The photo I’m most proud of today is a photo I took earlier this evening. Having been invited to participate in NPR and KPCC’s new instagram project “Public Square”, I was on the lookout for a subject that fit the theme “Hard Work”, a challenge since I am on a family vacation in Disneyland. Encountering and shooting Jonny, a Mickey Mouse balloon vendor in the park, was so much more fruitful than anything I could have planned out. I spoke to him briefly (a first for me, as I never approach or speak to anyone I shoot) and shot some images. As I was shooting, gusts of wind came up, blowing his giant balloon bouquet horizontal. Seeing an opportunity, I shot through the balloons, trying to time it so that I might see a glimpse of him in the center. I didn’t think I got the shot, and, with no time to review, submitted an alternate photo of Jonny (which you can see here). It wasn’t until later that I saw this shot and got the adrenaline rush that comes when you shoot the photo you’re most proud of. It’s addictive, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s will look like.

Connect with Sheldon Serkin

Instagram | Twitter | Eyeem | Flickr | Tumblr | Oggl: @shelserkin