Erica Reade photographs lovers upon New York’s beaches

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“People of all backgrounds plus identities descend upon the particular city’s shores, and for a couple of hours, they shed the layers and masks that this town so often requires us to wear”

Beach Lovers began as a happy accident, ” says New York-based professional photographer Erica Reade of the girl latest photobook. “During the initial few days of late May 2015 I was experiencing some of our worst creative block, and so i went to the beach to clear my mind and think about where I wanted to take the photography. ” 

While presently there, she noticed a couple close by, their bodies entwined as one browse and the other napped. It had been an emotive moment that stirred something in the girl, and she felt compelled to take a photo. For the rest of that time, she photographed other couples too, thinking to use up the particular roll of film if nothing more. Once the girl developed it though, the lady was spellbound, and “deeply motivated by this concept of anonymously capturing such personal tender moments”.  

Couple Next Door © Erica Reade.

From there, Reade spent the best part of the next seven yrs taking trips to Nyc beaches, including Coney Isle, Fort Tilden and Rockaway Beach, searching for sweet moments of intimacy and individual connection.

“I was slowing down to observe the ways people who love each other express their own feelings and affection in the direction of each other, and it was extremely touching and life-affirming, ” she explains. “Whether an older couple walking the beach for their twentieth summer collectively, or young teenage fans sneaking kisses before curfew, these little moments felt so special. ”

From the many photographs Reade took across the years, a good edit of 60 have made it into the final book, accompanied by an essay from photographer Gulnara Samoilova, and also a text by Reade. Just about all shot in black and white, the lady wanted the images in order to feel timeless, she says, as if these quiet shows of affection could have been forty years ago or today.  

Rolling within the Deep © Erica Reade.

Nestled Quick sleep © Erica Reade.

Reade’s pictures associated with lovers are evocative and wistful. They are universal in lots of ways, but also, she says, clearly New York.   “Beach culture is often the furthest thing from people’s minds when they think of Nyc, but there is something about the beaches here – these are beautiful and raw all of at the same time. The beach comes with an innately democratising factor into it, and that’s particularly therefore in NYC, ” the girl says.

“On the particular beach, we are raw and exposed, stripped of our clothing and makeup, our standing markers… People of all skills and identities descend upon the city’s shores, and for a few hours, they shed the layers and masks that this city so often requires us to wear. ”

Joanna Cresswell

Joanna T. Cresswell is a writer plus editor based in Brighton. This wounderful woman has written on photography and culture for over 40 international magazines and journals, and held positions as publisher for organisations including The Photographers’ Gallery, Unseen Amsterdam and Self Publish, Be Joyful. She recently completed a good MA in comparative materials and criticism at Goldsmiths College, University of Greater london

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