This past year, Columbus-based photographer Colin McGuire spent some time in Chicago and New York City. Colin thought all big cities were going to feel relatively similar, but after being in both cities, he found that each was home to its own unique lifestyle and energy. New York City was all hustle and bustle, with a little grit and very fashion forward, while Chicago on the other hand, seemed slightly more practical and down-to-earth.
Street photography has always inspired Colin intensely, and when he is traveling the streets he will often pick a theme or subject to photograph. From his time in Chicago and New York City, Colin noticed how many people around him were cruising around the streets wearing backpacks. This concept inspired his self-assigned backpack project, which was designed to examine the practicality and fashionability of the backpack in different city environments.
Backpacks are so practical. Instead of being slaves to fashion in Chicago and wearing something that looks cool but fussy, they wear a backpack and carry all the stuff they need — then the backpack becomes a fashion statement too in its own way.
In Colin’s commercial work, he tries to create moments that feel spontaneous and real, usually around a very specific creative brief or agenda. He tried to reflect his commercial quality with his backpack project by yielding candid feelings and moments.
Colin had little time for planning or pre-production for the series and considers this shoot to embody more of an editorial approach.
I was in Chicago for a series of meetings. Since I bring my camera with me everywhere, these pictures were the result of the time I spent in-between meetings, just running around -having creative fun!
People will often become suspicious or camera shy if they realize they’re being photographed on the street. To resolve this, Colin photographed candidly as well as pulling people aside and telling them what he was up to, and if the person complied, Colin could compose the shot a little bit.
The project was shot over several busy days, and Colin didn’t have time to edit the images immediately after. This made it enjoyable for him to finally sit down and revisit the images as a raw collection. Colin’s images have gained a lot of traction on his Instagram, one of which ended up being the most liked photo he has ever shared on the social media platform. Colin plans to continue his street photography in the future, and include various portraits, architecture, and street fashion.
See more from Colin at colinmcguire.com.