David Garcia is an exciting rarity within the ranks of NYC’s fashion photographers. He is successful not despite his outside perspective and introverted nature, but because of it; offering his signature quiet focus to hectic shoots and a uniquely authentic undertone to picture-perfect portraits.
While David certainly is not considered an outsider to the world of fashion photography now, it was only a year ago that he was pursuing a career in electrical engineering with no interest in a photography career and no exposure to the fashion world.
During college, David became friends with several photographers and videographers who inspired him to pursue photography, but he was hesitant to pursue such a different field after devoting four years to engineering. All that changed when his friends suggested that they take a senior year trip to Hawaii, and on a whim, David decided to literally and figuratively shoot his shot.
David sold all of his gaming equipment to purchase a camera and a flight to Hawaii with his friends. “We literally chased sunsets,” David recalled. And not only did he chase sunsets, but he chased after his previously dormant passion for photography.
David had always had an interest in photography; in fact, it runs in the family. David’s father, a former photographer and electrical engineer himself, had gifted David a camera when he was in high school, noting his creative eye. David occasionally took photos of his friends, but he never pursued photography because he was too shy to get anyone outside his inner circle to model for him.
“In Hawaii, I decided that I just needed to start going up to people. My line was: ‘I like your look; can I take a picture of you?’ And I was so surprised, but it actually worked,” David laughed.
Upon returning to New York, he maintained his momentum by dedicating several hours to street photography every day and reaching out to people he found on Instagram to model for him on the weekends. Having built an impressive portfolio and client base, David now focuses primarily on portrait and fashion photography. However, his favorite photo shoot is from his street photography days.
It was fall of 2019, and David was taking photos under the Brooklyn Bridge when he spotted a couple who “just looked in-love” and decided to rescue them from their otherwise inevitable selfie-taking fate. David sent them the photos later that day, and a week later, they sent him a photo of his photos—framed.
“It was the first time anyone had ever framed my photos. I thought, ‘wow, I really touched their lives",
Meeting new people and making his subjects feel seen is David’s favorite part of being a photographer. David’s fresh approach, natural inclination as an introvert to observe rather than direct, and humility in welcoming others’ input has allowed him to leverage his newcomer status to the fashion industry as a strength rather than a weakness.
A natural observer and listener, David brings a calming, positive energy and quiet focus to set that puts others at ease.
Rather than creating a vision in his head and creatively directing everyone to meet it, he builds his creative vision around the natural dispositions of his subject(s).
“My style of directing is more about encouraging the model to channel something that already exists in them, like sadness, arrogance, or joy. I think that’s a lot more natural than telling someone to smirk and put their chin up or something,”
While David’s portrait photography is stylistically diverse with contemporary, fantasy, and retro stylings, his photographs are united by the moment they all seem to capture. His photographs all seem to capture the moment after the click and flash of the camera, when the subject relaxes just a bit, settling into rather than assuming the pose.
David’s work is best characterized as capturing the exact moment of transition between being contrived and comfortable, extraordinary and ordinary. The result is a photo that is simultaneously inspiring yet authentic—just like the photographer who took it.
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