Amy Touchette – The Insiders

Photographs ©Amy Touchette

The Insiders are portraits of strangers I passed by while walking around New York City. This population’s diversity is the city’s most obvious and picturesque feature, and it is also its most redeeming one. In New York City there is no one who doesn’t belong; even the most extreme individual is expected to be here.

Being an individual in a sea of individuals, New Yorkers are both vulnerable and free. Among a population this diverse, community is formed through myriad differences—not as communities usually congeal, through similarities—and as a result New Yorkers have a more intimate understanding of fellow man than those living elsewhere: friends and foes don’t necessarily wear the expected uniforms, therefore all individuals hold a potential for connection. It is insider information. – Amy Touchette

Amy Touchette’s work reminds me a bit of Hiroh Kikai.  I can’t put my finger on it, but portraits of strangers on the street have a very distinct feel when done right. Often times you can see the sense of curiosity about the encounter in the eyes of the subjects, which at times can derail the photograph, but when skillfully navigated by a good photographer creates a tension that resonates with me.  I’ve been on the street with a few photographer friends when they’ve stopped people cold on the street and asked to make their portrait.  Good photographers have this intuitive (or learned) ability to seduce subjects into the moment. Perhaps it’s a mix of flattery and curiosity that creates the tension I find appealing.

You can read a full interview with Amy on Nuok.

Thanks Mike!

  • Dan

    yes, definitely reminds me of hiroh kikai, and her statement has a similar ring to it – a real interest in people. i get a sense that the people here all feel very relaxed, maybe not necessarily with being photographed, but that before they got stopped they were just in the flow of their regular day.