Everybody Street

A new documentary turns the camera on New York’s street photographers

"Subway, New York City, 1980" by Bruce Davidson

“Street photography is the hardest photography because you have to think on your feet,” claims Mary Ellen Mark, who—along with fellow lensmen like Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Jeff Mermelstein, Ricky Powell, and Jamel Shabazz—is the subject of Cheryl Dunn’s new documentary, Everybody Street. The film pays tribute to New York’s best-known street photographers, exploring their careers and influences, and revealing them to be as entertaining and unforgettable as the images they create. Serbian photographer Boogie picked up a camera in order to distance himself from the civil war that ravaged his country; he went on to document the lives of people marginalized by society, most notably gang members and drug addicts living in Brooklyn housing projects. “My hands would be shaking—until I started taking pictures,” he says. In the ’70s, Jill Freedman forsook starting a family in order to track firemen and cops, capturing them in both harrowing and heroic situations. “I’m the least of your problems!” she’d tell the crooks when they called her names for taking their pictures. Dunn, who spent three years working on the project, admits the 90-minute film is in no way the last word on the genre. “There are so many incredible artists who have photographed New York over the years,” she says. “I just intended it as a window into a world that hopefully people will explore further.”

Everybody Street is now playing at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn. It can also be downloaded at

Photos: Everybody Street

“Subway, New York City, 1980” by Bruce Davidson

“Brooklyn Gang, New York City. 1959” by Bruce Davidson

“Untitled from Subway Art” by Martha Cooper

“Untitled, from Street Cops” by Jill Freedman

“Taylor Mead, New York City” by Clayton Patterson

“New York City, 1968” by Joel Meyerowitz

“Untitled, NYC (from Sidewalk)” by Jeff Mermelstein

“Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2005” by Boogie