Photographers Arismendi Moronta and Roman Murray have one thing in common. They are both Boston bred artists who have an innate ability to capture the less traditional side of Beantown through their lens.
“Boston has more to show than what we’re perceived. We’re a sports town and a college town, but we’re so much more than that,” said Moronta, a self taught photographer from Dorchester.
After collecting 300 portraits of a medley of stylish Bostonians, spilled Dunkin Donut coffee, and capturing peculiar angles of popular landscapes in the city, Moronta decided to create Organic Bostonians. Inspired by fashion and fine art photographer Jamel Shabazz Organic Bostonian founder freestyles 99.9 percent of his photoshoots. His set usually ranges from Mass Ave., Dudley Square, and Newbury Street, which he considers the mecca of cool.
“I feel like I was always an observer,” said Moronta.
Moronta’s observant temperament resulted in over 2200 images on his Instagram page, which gained a word of mouth following after locals discovered familiar faces and places in Boston on his Tumblr blog.
“I was on a roll with just stopping people and taking their portraits. I was just snapping and asking, hey can I get your photo?” said Moronta.
Moronta admits that he is indeed that creepy guy on the T with a camera waiting to lock eyes with the right commuter, so he can receive unspoken permission to snap the perfect shot. His friendly demeanor, warm smile, and fearless approach usually does the trick. With a dash charm and skill behind the lens Moronta landed photo credits in urban apparel brand Society Original Products lookbook in 2013.
On the other side of the lens, Murqu Co-creator Roman Murray’s archives tells a more up close and personal story of Boston. Murray recalls taking his first photo at nine years old with his great grandmother’s camera. Since then, he has developed his style of playing with natural light to capture creation in Boston through his film/photography company that he runs with his longtime girlfriend.
“Every photo you look at of mine, light is the main subject. I guess that’s what sets me apart,” said Murray Co-creator of Murqu, a video/photography company based in Boston.
Murray credits Murqu for intimately documenting the lives of young creatives in the city. He strategically uses the subjects’ artistry as their backdrop.
“It’s an archive for dope photos. We’re capturing artists work,” said Murray.
Murray takes a mixed media approach by featuring exclusive content on Murqu’s blog, which is nicely packaged with video, blog posts, and photos. Murray has photographed fighters from Hyde Park’s Hard Knocks Muay Thai & MMA, documented local hip-hop artists the Jungle Club in the studio, and captured Circle The City, Boston’s annual open streets resource community fair on Blue Hill Avenue. As his photo album thickens, Murray works towards adding images of the heart of his beloved city.
“I want to take pictures of the nooks in Dorchester and Mattapan. I want to go to places where the usual photographer may be nervous to bring their equipment out there.