Edgar Santana is a photographer who is proud of where he comes from. The appreciation he has for the well-known New York City borough, The Bronx, is evident in his work.
His pictures give us a glimpse into the past and remind us that influences from years gone by still exist within the fabric of our local area. His style is recognisable, raw and organic.
Edgar’s passion for the classic cars that reside within the Bronx and his journey to discover them is fascinating to observe. We got the chance to interview him and find out more. Enjoy!
How long have you been a fan of cars?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a fascination with cars. From matchbox, remote control cars, posters, I had it all. As I got older, I started to appreciate these classics. I started documenting what I found in the streets of the Bronx. It became popular and it’s become an ongoing project.
How did you first get into car photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for about 20 years. I always carried around a disposable camera to capture moments. I would take a few shots of cars, but it’s definitely evolved into an obsession.
Your Instagram page focuses more on older/classic cars, rather than new cars. Tell me where your passion for these vehicles was born?
There’s nothing like the classics. They tell a story. They have character. The new ones are nice, but the classics are beautiful. About 5 years ago, I really started to find more and more, so #carsofthebronx was born.
Your pictures have a raw, organic feel to them and I see you have the ability to capture the atmosphere of a specific moment in your shots. Is this something you actively try to achieve or does it come naturally?
It really depends on the car and the backdrop. When I find a car, some cars look better at certain angles. Some look better from a high angle and others at a low angle. But I definitely try and give it a certain feel and when you see one of my photos, I want my audience to automatically know it’s one of mine.
What made you decide to start an Instagram account dedicated to car photography?
When I realized I had a folder in my phone of hundreds of classic cars and they were all found in the Bronx. In 2014, I created the #carsofthebronx hashtag. In 2016, I created the @carsofthebronx feed. It’s definitely taken off and I’m proud of that. I get a lot of owners reaching out to me asking how they can get their car featured.
I noticed that on your Instagram page you have a ‘submissions’ section. This is an awesome way of interacting and building relationships with like-minded people in the car photography community. Tell me a bit about this and how you came up with the idea?
I had people sending me photos of classics they found in the Bronx. Since I only post my own photos, I thought it would be cool to have a “submissions” section. So people can send me their finds and they get posted in my stories.
How often do you go car spotting?
I work in social services. So, as part of my job, I work in the field. Since I’m in the streets daily, I come across a lot. I currently have over 2,000 photos of cars on my phone.
Tell me about some of your favourite locations to take pictures in The Bronx?
I love the Bronx. I am born and raised and I am very proud of where I am from. The Bronx isn’t just a zoo and the Yankees. The Bronx is the birthplace of Hip Hop. The Bronx has an unbelievable culture and most importantly, the people are beautiful. I don’t have a favorite location to take photos in the Boogie Down. The whole borough is photogenic.
What photography equipment and editing software do you like to use?
iPhone 8+. I edit with VSCO. I hate carrying bulky cameras, so my iPhone does the job.
Who is your favourite photographer?
I have several, they aren’t car photographers, but they definitely inspire me to continue pushing.
Name a few of your favourite Instagram car photography accounts?
I would like to thank Edgar for taking the time to speak with me. Be sure to check out his Instagram page and give him a follow: @carsofthebronx