Eyes Of The City Council

Written by Andrew J. Hawkins on . Posted in Breaking News, Politics.


Speaker Quinn hugs Patricia Smith, daughter of Police Officer Moira Smith, who was killed on 9/11. Madison Square Park playground was renamed in honor of the fallen officer. Photo Credit: William Alatriste

Photographer William Alatriste sees the City Council in a different light

Photographing a politician behind a podium can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. Which is why the City Council’s official photographer, William Alatriste, tries to avoid those shots at all costs.

“Propaganda—I don’t do that,” Alatriste says. Alatriste started out at the City Council writing proclamations in 2002 and shifted to photography four years later. After years of watching the Council at work, he has launched a new project—online at nyccouncil.tumblr.com—to document a day in the life of each of the Council’s 51 members.

That can take him from the City Hall steps to a sidewalk in any neighborhood, where he has a rare ability to fi nd compelling human moments amid the endless hearings and news conferences that make up a politician’s day—catching the instant that makes a scripted event come alive.

“It’s my hope that some of my images reach beyond the often prosaic, one-dimensional ways that politicians are seen,” he said, “and show them in ways that are a bit more unguarded, engaging, and sincere.”

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