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Sam Salganik Photo Highlight

Sam Salganik has been image capturing and filmmaking for nearly 30 years. Making his way to New York at an early age via Ukraine and Berlin, Sam started documenting the city’s skate scene which shows through his extensive library of photos and films. With his most recent work focusing on COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, Sam’s collection of work spans a range of subjects and environments that gives a reminiscent feeling to an older New York City. We took a deeper look into his B&W work and connected with Sam to get a little more insight into his process.


Only NY: Hey Sam, what’s up? Let’s dive into this; where are you from?
Hello there you wonderful, warm-hearted, wakeful, wily, wigglestick challenging wildflowers! My parents were practically nobodies up to the time of my birth. Catching my breath as I popped out, “Shit”, I said, “I gotta get the fuck out of this place.” A year later we left the spiceless land called the Ukraine. For two years I walked around expressionless in a town called Berlin. So I wrote about my woes to a few good people, and they wrote back and said come here (New York), this is a country where all men are created equal. The year was 1979, I signed a few papers and kissed my Monchhichi goodbye.

How long have you been shooting photos?
I’ve been fixed on “image capturing” for almost 30 years. The affair began in the Numero UNO borough of New York City; Brooklyn.

What made you want to start documenting New York City during COVID-19? What do you look to capture in your photos?
So when Covid19 crushingly made itself visible in the greatness of NYC, I got a phone call from whoever causes the sun to rise - The Unnameable didn’t provide me with a dead lover to point me into the right direction. So, artistically, I situate myself amongst stargazers, birthday party gift givers, beach-combers and the “let’s make friends quickly types” each offering a sample of sweet hues of gray.

What camera do you prefer to use and why? What kind of film do you prefer to use and why?
I, the unexpected guest, indulge in their pallet of gray with my Leica camera and a naked roll of Kodak T-MAX 100.

Sam Salganik is currently working on a photography book covering his experience with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement and a separate project with Ian Reid. Follow Sam on Instagram for more on his future projects.

Photos by Sam Salganik.