I found Gabriel Angemi (@ange_261) on Instagram after he received a shoutout from pro skateboarder/photographer Ed Templeton, another prolific Instagrammer worth following (@tempster_returns). Angemi is a firefighter and photographer in Camden, New Jersey. He trains his phone camera at the people and places he sees as his ladder truck makes its way through the city. The photos may remind you a bit of Google Street View—the elevated perspective is the same. But where many people are inclined to flip the bird to a Google robot camera creeping through their neighborhood, the people Angemi sees are just as likely to give a smile or a wave. These moments resonate against their backdrops—Camden has found itself on plenty of “most dangerous cities in America” lists over the years (one of Angemi’s most-deployed hashtags is #socioeconomicallyfucked). And while the view is often unpretty, as Angemi shows us with his camera, life goes on, sometimes slugged with a different hashtag: #goodfolks. Follow along on Instagram here, and on Angemi’s blog here, where he posts more photos and reports from the field.
Want more photography techniques, camera reviews, and inspiration?
Sign up for Popular Photography's newsletter and join the club.LET'S GO