NYC based photographer Neil Britto is an expert at snapping shots with clarity and visceral precision. Whether he’s capturing the cityscape, events, or daily street life, Britto uses his lens to highlight the finest details of any event.

Britto’s photographs are life-like and interactive. He takes you on journeys, and despite the picture being conceptual or truth, viewers can’t help but feel as though they were right there standing next to him.

On our most recent trip to the New Era headquarters in Buffalo, Britto was a crucial asset to the FRANK team. Hats were made, history was shared, and the man with the camera was there to document it all.

If you enjoy Britto’s work as much as we do, then take a look at what he has to say about his artistry and connection to everything visual and tangible.

When and why did you first begin taking photographs?
I started at a very young age. I was about six or seven years old. Even before I had a camera I would store these still frames in my memory, I guess it was my way to train my vision. Soon after that I started picking up my parents film cameras they had laying around my house and started documenting my daily life. It was amazing to see my work come to life, it wasn’t professional, but I liked the fact that I was able to freeze these moments in time and keep them with me forever. I knew since then photography was something I would always do, whether as a hobby or as a professional. I knew the camera would live with me forever.

Your photographs appear to be very New York-centric. Tell us a little bit about your relationship with the city.
I have traveled around to lot of other major cities, but New York is home, there is nothing like it. Whether I’m mashing down Seventh Ave on my fixed gear bike darting in and out of traffic without brakes, sneaking on to rooftops to get a birds-eye view of the city or just walking around Soho or Chinatown with my camera, this city gives me a rush like no other. We have it all in New York, good people, food, culture, fashion, music; it all adds up and makes for some great photos.

Neil Britto interview
What do you see when you are looking through a lens? What motivates you to take a shot?
I am motivated before I look through my lens. I always have to visualize the shot in my mind before I pull the trigger. For example: people, color, light, and music are some of the things I’m looking for when I’m out shooting.

Your photographs are perfectly clear and vivid, how did you acquire such a precise style?
I can say with a lot of trial and error and learning from my early mistakes. I used to over edit my photos a lot before; nowadays I try to keep it clean and simple. Shooting in the right light whether artificial or ambient is so key to make clean and crisp photographs.

What’s your average day like? You shoot everything from, events, fashion to daily life; you’ve got to be pretty busy.
I try to balance my schedule with my family, dogs, bike rides, studio time, location scouting, events and personal projects. I try to assign a specific day out of the week for each, or just do it as it comes, but I’m always on the move.

You have some rather whimsical photos, there’s what looks like little red riding hood in a forest and Batman overlooking the city. Can you talk about these projects?
These two are my personal photo projects, it keeps my mind wondering and thinking about how to make a photo instead of just taking a picture. I have always been a fan of the Batman cartoons and movies, and New York City is the perfect backdrop for Gotham City. The girl playing Red Riding Hood is my girlfriend, every Halloween we come up with a creative theme to shoot. I wonder what the next Halloween theme would be—you might just have to tune in and watch.

When shooting something more conceptual, where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from movies and books. I like watching all kinds of movies, that’s my way of doing homework for my next project, or you might find me at a bookstore looking through art magazines and books for some ideas.

Neil Britto interview

Your shots of NYC have a golden hue, or are just very illuminated. What connection does this have to your perception of the city, if at all?
When I’m out shooting in the city, it’s during golden hour, sunrise and sunset. Two times of the day when the light is just perfect and the whole city is illuminated in a gold hue, as I already mentioned, shooting in the right light is so key.

What’s in store for you in the near future? Are you working on anything we should be looking forward to?
I’m working on more movie themed photo projects and videos; my photography is slowly transitioning into video. I want to give my still frames some motion. I have been posting shorts clips of my videos on my Instagram @itsneilb but I’m also working on a full-length video documenting New York City that has a very Frank Sinatra vibe to it, it should be released sometime in 2014.

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