Q+A Series…New York Called Trent Bailey

I met Trent the same way I meet a lot of my #NYCalled features... through Lulu Frost. Trent photographed designer Lisa Salzer for Glitter Guide in 2013 and since then, has teamed up with Lulu for various projects. Apart from his sincere and friendly demeanor, Trent has a very clean and cool photography aesthetic - think J.Crew meets Brides Magazine meets The Coveteur. I would work with Trent time and time again and was thrilled when he agreed to a feature.

Learn more about Trent's NYC perspective in the Q+A below:

Where are you from?

I was born in Texas, but spent most of my life in Southern Louisiana.

When did you move to NYC and why?

2009. After my first trip to New York in the summer of 2001 I knew it was the place I belonged. I spent two summers in college interning here in Marketing and Public Relations. After marrying my gorgeous wife, Dara, we packed up our house and came to New York to pursue our dreams... Dara in apparel design, and I still on the search for my passion.

What is your background?

I have always been a creative at heart, but my education is in Advertising and Business.

What is the best moment you have ever captured with your lens?

There are so many - but I have to say photographing weddings is a job I hold with such reverence. This last year one of our past grooms passed away (he wrote a beautiful blog about his journey). The day I found out about his passing was the moment I truly grasped what our photographs meant to so many. We are preserving legacies, capturing the first moments of a new family history that will be passed down for generations.

What is unique about photographing in New York?

I'm always finding something new, some new space, a new block I've never walked down. There is never a dull moment.

Which iconic photographer do you admire the most?

This is quite possibly the hardest question...I really love Tim Walker, Rodney Smith, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Brassa and William Klein. But I have to say my absolute favorite is Bruce Weber for his relaxed Americana vibe.

What is the most valuable thing that your least favorite job taught you?

Whatever you are doing...be ALL IN. When I first moved to New York I was working for a real estate firm in the rental market. The place was inspiring because so many people were genuinely passionate about finding people a place to call home in this beautiful and sometimes chaotic city. I knew real estate was not for me, but seeing everyone else's energy helped motivate me to really explore and find that thing that would make me be ALL IN.

Looking back, what advice would you give to the freshly arrived version of you?

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

What is a moment of vulnerability you can remember?

Starting a business. Launching my photography as a business was such a vulnerable moment in my life. Not really knowing if people would like what I do, my style, and the bigger question: If they did like my style, would they pay me?

What is your proudest moment?

Some of my proudest moments happen just after running into friends and colleagues on the street randomly. It is just a feeling I get. I still remember the feelings I had five years ago walking around this city barley knowing anyone, and wondering if leaving all I knew back home was the right move. I've loved growing relationships in business and personal life and there's nothing better than running into a familiar face while I'm out and about.

What was going through your head the last time you were really frustrated with NYC?

Really...MORE snow?

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and from who?

My Grandfather is a Texas cattleman and self-made businessman (he hitch-hiked to college with one suitcase and a scholarship). He told me to believe in myself, because if I didn't nobody else would. Every time I talk with him on the phone he always has the best bits of inspiration.

What is something you know today that you did not know yesterday?

I learned that the location in which we were shooting today is home to one of the first three elevators in New York City - the former location of the Williamsburg Savings Bank and it's absolutely beautiful!

[wait, there's more...]

My favorite nights are...the unplanned nights. The ones where you plan on a quiet dinner out and end up making it home at 4am.

I'm not a tourist but I still...have never taken a city bus AND get incredibly excited after getting my first glimpse of the city after returning from a trip.

You'll usually find me...working OR in search of a great cappuccino...New York has made me a coffee snob (sorry Starbucks).

My favorite photography phone apps are...VSCO (for editing) and Afterlight (for borders, cropping, and other tweaks).

It's completely okay to do this alone...basically anything in New York. This city is so great if you have a day to yourself to be independent. One of my favorite things to do is take a moment to sit and be still...usually on a bench in Poet's Walk in Central Park.

Don't trust...cab drivers.

Do trust...your intuition and basically anyone with a southern drawl.

When it comes to NYC I hate...people on the subway that don't respect your personal space and cab drivers that excessively use their brakes.

When it comes to NYC I love...the unmatched drive and hustle that the people of the city have. One thing that I don't love is to see people with wasted talent.

I'll move out of NYC when...Clean is enough - one of my favorite quotes: "When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough."

One thing everyone needs to know about NYC... as former mayor Michael Bloomberg put it, "And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you."

*Follow Trent on Instagram and visit his website here.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Jena Viviano says:

    Love this feature! Trent is truthfully one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve met in NYC. His love and passion for the work he creates is inspiring, refreshing and divinely gifted. He embodies the essence of a true New York spirit!

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