Random New York Street Portraits

Tom Erikson

I found great satisfaction in making these portraits. For the past 25 years I have been developing my skills as a portrait photographer and I am constantly bumping into the limitations of the form. Like myself, most people are nervous, awkward, or very consciously "on" when they are having a picture taken of them. It isn't called "taking" a picture for nothing. Something is given by a subject to a portrait photographer and it can often be very hard to freely give whatever that is. My best work is done when I have a deep trust developed between me and my subjects. But on these afternoons in New York I made one hundred portraits of people I had just met and would only "know" for a very few minutes. The trust had to be in something other than in just me. It had to be in art.