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Wes Tarca’s breathtaking narratives of New York feature the sparkling skylines, penetrating street shots and beckoning portraits that bleed with mystery and inquisition.

Credit: Wes Tarca, Instagram

Visual art has always been part of Wes’ life, and as a child he dreamed of becoming a comic book artist, but life has a way to take you in the direction you’re supposed to go, and as he grew older filmmaking replaced comics, which eventually turned into photography.

“I don’t remember ever making a choice to get started. I think visual art is just a part of my being – it’s a way for me to express myself. I was never good enough at drawing to be a professional artist, but a camera allows me to tell stories without having to draw them.”

Credit: Wes Tarca, Instagram

What makes Tarca such a compelling photographer is the hard work he puts into honing his craft by studying great artists who share his questioning nature, learning from their technique, their approach to their art, and incorporating this into his own style. Looking towards others, and learning from their skills is a means to an end for Tarca, because it equips him to be able to realise his own visions.

“I still like all the same things I liked 15 years ago. The difference is I’m getting better at realizing those visions. That’s always been the goal. Take what’s in my head and produce it. That process has improved by making mistakes, studying, and trying again.”

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While he studies other artists to learn from their techniques, he draws inspiration from a number of different sources like filmakers, photographers, history, and the city.

“Inspiration is everywhere and you have to be receptive to it.”

Tarka absolutely takes the time to hone his craft and feed his inspiration.

“I study artists who I think are much better than myself and ask the same questions. How did they think of this? How did they do this? I then try and emulate my favorite images in my own style.”

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For a man of such great talent, his goals are fairly simple – getting his work published in a print publication, having enough money to pay his rent, and making another film. However, there’s more to him than simply recognition and money, it’s also about making a difference in other people’s lives.

“I feel like if I inspire someone to create something cool I’ve done a good job,” he says of what it means to make a difference. Tarca’s crisp images of New York City and the people who dwell it makes you want to pick up a camera and start exploring your own city, and to this end it’s clear that he has done a great job indeed.

Credit: Wes Tarca, Instagram

Success didn’t come overnight for Tarca, his is the result of hard work and persistence, and allowing himself to make mistakes, and learning from it. In fact, he encourages making mistakes as a valuable tool for aspiring photographers.

“If you want to be good at something, no matter what that is, you have to work at it. You will suck and that’s ok. If you can analyze what you did wrong and fix it you will only get better.”

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Wes Tarca’s work is about telling stories. Stories of cities, of New York, its buildings, and the people who live and work there. It’s about capturing everyday urban life, and it gives him great joy.

“I’ve always been a visual person. I have a hard time remembering names and dates but I can never forget a face. As a child my dream was to draw comics. That lead into filmmaking which has now become photography. As long as I am telling stories I’m happy.”

To see more of Wes Tarca’s work, visit his website or follow him on Instagram 

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