I always enjoy interviewing Nicholas Joseph Contrera. He's passionate, talented, and kind. He contacted me telling me about a few projects and I'm...ahem...proud to share them with you.
Phillip Miner (PM): You recently told me about a great project you're working on. Do you mind recapping for the Huffington Post readers?
Nicholas Joseph Contrera (NJC): I photographed a series that shows a side of New York City Pride most people don't see--the kids who come from the outer boroughs who don't care about the parade and they can't afford the parties and can't get into the bars because they're young. Instead they take over Christopher Street in the West Village and celebrate in their own way.
PM: When we chatted last time, you were finishing up your genderqueer series. How are the two connected for you?
NJC: I like to photograph groups of people who are ignored. I'm a white gay male and I know that I have privilege in the world because of that. I try to use my voice and my privilege to bring attention to people who don't have the same privileges. All I am doing is shining light on a marginalized group of people.
This is how I make change. I believe good art should always ask question and never provide an answer. I hope my work starts conversations.
PM: How do you choose your subjects?
NJC: I'm interested in the people who are living their lives to the fullest and I try to capture the way they present themselves to the world.
Many photographers show the darkest sides of life. I don't want to do that. I want to show the strength of my subjects. They are celebrating themselves every day and I'm lucky enough to be able to photograph them.
That's why I wanted to photograph this part of Pride. Pride isn't just for partying. It's the ability to celebrate one's individuality. And that's beautiful to me. That's what I'm really capturing. People who believe in themselves and live 100% honestly. That's the most beautiful thing you can celebrate on Pride.
You can find more from Contrera at his official website. Check out more images from the series in the slide show below!