Harlem Street Portraits

This book is the culmination of photographing on the streets of Harlem for 23 years from 1990 to 2012. My intention is to show a sense of community and my admiration and fondness for the neighborhood, and to document the humanity and spirit of the people while confirming Harlem’s basic nature — a vibrant, important and essential world famous area that faces a radically changing future.

My photographs are mostly collaborative portraits that abandon the strategies of candid photography and instead engage the individual with their full knowledge and involvement. I usually don’t point, shoot, and scurry on. I want to enter into some kind of exchange and dialog. Usually at my instigation, we share a brief conversation or laugh, comment on the passing scene, come to a shared understanding. I want my subjects to be as aware of my presence as I am of theirs. Perhaps this helps to validate my existence. Each portrait becomes more than a depiction of a person, it becomes an intimate record of a personal encounter. For me, and hopefully for the subject, the experience is rich and memorable. 

The book is hardbound with 166 beautifully reproduced photographs, 9x11¾ inches, 192 pages. There are short essays by Herb Boyd and Miss Rosen. The price of the book is $45. If you would like a signed and personally inscribed book, or have questions about it, please contact me at hsteinfoto@aol.com.