W e first approached Bryan Helm about being a guest speaker at Motos and Photos : NYC well over a year ago, but schedules never meshed. Helm has a busy shooting schedule with both motorcycle events and advertising shoots year-round. This year, with COVID still dominating the country, a 2020/21 Motos and Photos : NYC series is still, realistically, on the shelf. However, continuing our tradition of spotlighting the incredible moto photographers, artists and filmmakers NYC has in abundance, we are happy to feature this fellow Canuck shooter now on NYC Motorcyclist … a virtual #motosandphotosnyc, if you will.
To me these people might live on the edge of existence, more extreme lives than others, but they also have more feeling and more reality about them.
To view Bryan Helm's moto and vintage race images is to get a rare, insider’s look into motorcycle counterculture, its embrace of gasoline-sparked, two-wheeled machines, and the ties that bind a timeless brotherhood together.
The original Indian Larry crew with Paul Cox and Keino Sasaki; Billy Lane and his Sons of Speed vintage trackers; and the fearless souls who battle through The Race of Gentlemen ... just a few of the subjects immortalized through Helm's documentary lens over the past two decades.
His style and philosophy are not unlike the legendary documentary photographer from Queens, Danny Lyon, who inserted himself into biker culture in Chicago in the late 1960s, capturing the mood and feel of a an oft sidelined segment of society.
“As a younger photographer in 1998 I was pretty enamored with documenting the whole motorcycle culture: badass bikes; colorful, grisly, tattooed characters; beautiful, interesting women; leather; and loud music were pretty enticing,” Helm says. “Dipping my toes in, I may have been a little trepidatious photographing everything at the time. But as the years went on, and I started making several friends and acquaintances, it really helped me gain access and more confidence. Approaching strangers, striking up a conversation, then being granted the opportunity to take some great photos was always, and still is very rewarding to me.”
We're building a community of NYC-based motorcycle photographers, filmmakers and artists promoting interchange, common events, mentorship, education and inspiring content ...
#motosandphotosnyc December event TOP 5 winners, as announced at the Season 2 opener at Kickstarter HQ, Dec. 5, were:
1) Ryan Handt, 2) John Saponara, 3) Ken Geiger, 4) John Saponara | Ken Geiger (tie), 6) Kofla Olivieri
Entries, with the subject 'Your favourite 2019 riding moment', were voted on by our board -- Rahoul Ghose, Ryan Snelson, Kirsten Midura and Mike Higgins. Congrats ... and remember to keep tagging your NYC moto photo moments with #motosandphotosnyc. See you in 2020 with Vol. 2 Part 2 of the series.
(Note: personal health issues and the COVID-19 health crisis forced the cancellation of our winter 2020 events.)
A huge thank you to our sponsors -- Kickstarter, Moto Spirits, Godspeed Co and Motoveli -- and all those who attended the season opener of Motos and Photos : NYC, Dec. 5 in Greenpoint. We had seven past speakers -- alumni -- come out to support, as well as a host of new fans in the 75-person audience. Stay tuned for details on our next event, tentatively set for mid-February 2020.
For those who didn't get a ticket, you can still read our feature interviews with photographer Mark Squitieri (link), motovlogger The Illestrator (link) and artist Lydia Roberts (link) here on NYCMotorcyclist.com. And you can view The Illestrator's motovlog on winter riding -- done exclusively for Motos and Photos -- below.
A rant about riding in the winter in NYC — The illestrator
Added to lineup was the short documentary debut from NY/LA fashion photographer and filmmaker Sam Gold. GH RASTA CLUB follows a garage of Ghanaian stunt bikers on the outskirts of Accra. The bikers are salesman during the day, buying and selling used motorbikes in Carprise, one of the largest bike markets in West Africa. However, their real passion is motocross stunt riding. As Ghana currently has no bike arena, they illegally take to the streets as their training grounds. The majority of the stunt riders are Muslim, which works to their advantage as a majority of Ghana’s police force is Christian and therefore do not work on Sundays. The lack of law enforcement enables the bikers to orchestrate a big show on a quiet street in Jamestown, without permits, to massive crowds every Sunday. Enjoy ...
The Distinguished Gentleman NYC premiere at Kickstarter HQ — Mark Squitieri
A heartfelt thank you to the NYC moto community for showing up in full force, dressed to the nines, for the NYC premiere of The Distinguished Gentleman short doc by Jean Pierre Kathoefer and Kirsten Midura. The film, now available on YouTube at johnnypuetz and on thevintagent.com, details the inspiring recovery story of Vincent Nicolai and the community that supported him.
More than 100 people attended including members of the Nicolai family, and the medical support crew that aided him through his recuperation. Our brilliant hosts at Kickstarter allowed us the use of their beautiful facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Brewery donated the suds for the evening, and we had an incredible group ot volunteers to help out ... from photographer Mark Squitieri, our bartender Andrea Derdzinski, hosts Mony Ty and Shelley Golan, and support from perennial community activists Ryan Snelson and Mike Higgins.
We are proud to be part of this community and look forward to bringing you more incredible events in the coming months.
Despite rain, about 100 people came out for the fourth iteration of Motos and Photos : NYC night, April 25 at Filipacchi in Nolita, at least a dozen even riding in. On the ticket for the off-season get together were photographers Jessie Padilla and Ryan Handt, as well moto artist Douglas Thompson. The evening attracted a host of regulars, including past speakers Dean 'Chooch' Landry and Allan Tannenbaum, as well as more than few fresh faces. View the Gallery
And an honorable mention was also given to Vassili Shishkin for his shot at Floyd Bennett Field. Thanks to all who submitted their images to #motosandphotosnyc. The easiest way to get your image entered in future events is to tag it with #motosandphotosnyc on Instagram. But we also have an online form: https://form.jotform.com/83205817268966. NOTE: If you're using the form, once you've attached your image remember to click the 'Begin Upload' button.
MOTOS AND 'MOVING' PHOTOS : NYC : Vol 1 | No 3 RECAP
This great recap film from last March's Motos & 'Moving' Photos Night : NYC event at Filipacchi, is courtesy of Jean Pierre Kathoefer, and features JP, himself, as well as guest speakers Kate O'Connor Morris, Demian Neufeld, Steve Kamrad and John Saponara. The event was a special filmmakers edition of the monthly off-season photo night, which aimed to build a community of NYC-based motorcycle photographers by promoting interchange, common events, mentorship and education, and showcasing inspiring content. You can follow JP (johnnypuetz) on YouTube.
The event was sponsored by: NYC Motorcyclist, Motoveli Magazine, The Godspeed Company, Filipacchi, Icon, Lucifer's Pride and Oficina Latina NYC.
MOTOS AND 'MOVING' PHOTOS : NYC : Vol 1 | No 3 GALLERY
Some images from the talented Mark Squitieri from Motos and 'Moving' Photos, March 21 at Filipacchi, featuring our three speakers: Kate O'Connor Morris, a writer/editor for the American road trip film 21 Days under the Sky; Jean Pierre (JP) Kathoefer, who debuted the first episode of his new YouTube series, ESCAPE IN THE CITY - Women riding motorcycles in NYC; and Demian Neufeld, an FAA-Licensed and Insured Drone and Airplane Pilot (SEL, PPL), who showcased some of his inspiring off-road footage from Utah.
MOTOS AND 'MOVING' PHOTOS : NYC : Vol 1 | No 3 Follow Up
In the words of the immortal Steve Kamard ... its about bikes, making friends and community. He's in a good space ... and so are we at Motos and Photos : NYC.
Thank you to all who helped make Motos and Photos, Part 3 a great success last night, including our speakers -- Kate Morris O'Connor, Jean Pierre (JP) Kathoefer and Damien Neufeld, our special submissions from Steve Kamrad and John Saponara, our sponsors -- Filipacchi, Oficina Latina NYC, ICON, Lucifer's Pride, Godspeed Company and Motoveli Magazine, our volunteer extraordinaire Mony Ty ... and all of you who attended.
Steve Kamrad's submission is available on YouTube, while the link to his raffle to boost the gofundme for Vincent Nicolai can be found here.
John Saponara's film 46mm will be making the film festival circuit. And finally due to the generosity of our sponsors and those who purchased raffle tickets, Motos and Photos : NYC will be adding $410 to the gofundme for Vincent Nicolai: https://www.gofundme.com/let039s-be-there-for-vince.
Ryan Snelson (Motoveli Magazine), Kirsten Midura (Moto Market NYC), Mike Higgins (Godspeed Company), and myself (NYC Motorcyclist) are grateful for all the community's support. Put April 25 on your calendar for MANDP Part 4, where we will profile three more photographers and their work. Details soon.
MOTOS AND 'MOVING' PHOTOS : NYC : Vol 1 | No 2 Winners
Congrats to our Motos and Photos NYC submission winners last night. Dave Ngo took home top honors for his late night shoot with Shaun Lee in Manhattan.
"This submission takes place in a location that's impossible to photograph badly: The Irish potato famine monument in Battery Park City," Ngo said. "Perspective and strong lines will always be good to look at. This is a place where thousands of tourists photograph every day, but it is super deserted in the evening ... especially when it's January and cold. I came by with Shaun and grabbed this shot after a few test shots and left within a few minutes. I was very pleased about the pee on the floor behind his bike as that's a real quality of this city. And it also breaks up some of the dead space of the image with a white reflection."
Two entries tied for second place in the votes: Taryn Nycek's 1966 Ducati Scrambler 250 and Allister "Anatoli Kovalevsh" Klingensmith's image of a workshop.
"Once used as an apparel rack in a Vermont moto shop - this Ducati is now a fully functioning, old rugged bike that starts first kick in the dead of Winter," Nycek said.
"While its not often glamorous, getting prepared to ride is a huge part of riding," Klingensmith said about his entry. "Broken bits, worn parts and dirty oil all mean time and effort spent to fix, let alone learning how. Running through the maintenance schedule isn’t anybody’s favorite Sunday, and certainly not on a sunny Sunday. Here's to just enough cold and rainy days every year... and riding the rest."
Klingensmith and Nycek took home a newly silk-screened Motoveli Magazine tee ... braap, braap.
With a two-way tie for second, we jumped from third to fourth ... where judging produced another two-way tie; Haim Bargig's image of Moto Market NYC creators Shelley Golan & Kirsten Midura outside of Jane Motorcycles in 27F weather tied in points with Girard Fox's Long Island City snap of his latest ride.
Finally the judging panel chose three images for Honorable Mention at Motos and Photos NYC : Part Deux: Phillip St. Pierre's shot of his bike near a frozen lake with a quartet of swans in tow; Joseph Zolnowsky image of a 2018 Janus Gryffin, photographed at Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park on New Year’s Day 2019 with iPhone 6Plus; and Mark Squitieri's image of his friend John waiting to get going before the start of the 2019 Isle of Manhattan ride.
MOTOS AND 'MOVING' PHOTOS : NYC : Vol 1 | The First One
Recap video courtesy of our hosts, Filipacchi, from last Thursday's Motos & Photos Night : NYC event, featuring guest speakers Grace Roselli, Dean 'Chooch' Landry and Mike Higgins.
Sponsored by: NYC Motorcyclist, Motoveli Magazine, The Godspeed Company, Other Half Brewing Company and Spiegel.
Motos and Photos — Mark Squitieri
The gallery from Thursday's first-ever Motos & Photos Night is now live featuring images from John Saponara, Mark Squitieri and Rahoul Ghose. Thanks go out to our amazing hosts at Filipacchi -- Denise Lasprogata, Chad Phillips, and of course Craig Filipacchi, our sponsors -- Motoveli Magazine, The Godspeed Company, Other Half Brewing and Spiegel NYC, our volunteers Shaun Lee, Mariya Chekmarova, Mony Ty, Alice Oh and Melissa Diaz, our committee members Ryan Snelson, Kirsten Midura and Mike Higgins, and all of you who turned out for the night. | View the Gallery
Motos and Photos — Rahoul Ghose
The inaugural Motos & Photos Night : NYC kickstarted with a bang last night at Filipacchi in NOLITA, featuring three local standout photographer/artists: Grace Roselli, Dean 'Chooch' Landry and Mike Higgins. About 80 local photographers, moto enthusiasts and industry guests turned out for the monthly evening, which over the course of the riding off-season aims to encourage interchange and mentorship, and provide educational opportunities and inspiring content for the city's moto enthusiasts/photographers. Those who attended Dec. 13 also had a chance to socialize and talk about riding and shooting while enjoying food from Spiegel NYC and beer tastings from Brooklyn's Other Half Brewing. Roselli, Landry and Higgins spoke about their experiences, inspirations and methodology, even offering advice during their individual 'getting to know the photographers' segments, before tackling a common subject as a group on stage -- 'In a world enamored with video and Instagram posts, how can moto photographers best represent their work?'. | Read the Feature