Last night marked the two year anniversary of An Afternoon With; a photo blog that features creative New Yorkers in their homes. Past subjects include Richard Haines, Andi Muise, Shelly Steffee, Jason Carroll, Jace Lipstein, Paige Bluhdorn, and most recently, Refinery29 Senior Editor Kristian Laliberte.
In addition to celebrating their two year anniversary, last night's event, which was at Parlor in Soho, served as a benchmark for changes that will be coming to the site in the upcoming months. I was able to speak with Nhi Nguyen and Michael Mundy, who founded the site, about how they got their start and what we can expect from An Afternoon With in the future. Go HERE for photos from last night's event, and click HERE for our event post!
[All photos via An Afternoon With]
How did the idea for the site come to you?
I needed a break from commercial work and wanted to do something for myself, so I started shooting some of the inspiring people I knew and admired in the city. It was Nhi’s idea, to put these images online. Since the images weren’t for publication, creating a new site was a way people could see it.
What made you want to do this?
There are so many people in New York City who are so interesting, but they weren’t getting the attention they deserved. We wanted to highlight those individuals – the emerging talents, the underdogs.
[Shelly Steffee's apartment]
How do you choose who to photograph?
It started with a handful of friends and acquaintances. Then we asked each person to recommend someone else. The premise was: if you’re cool, then who ever you recommend will be cool.
You said that this event is a benchmark for more things to come, including a biannual newsprint publication. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
So many of the pictures on An Afternoon With should be seen in real-life in large format. Printing our first issue, newspaper style made the most sense, especially since print media is a different experience than reading online. We wanted to expand the experience people had with An Afternoon With and to create something tangible to share with our ever-growing list of subjects and supporters.
[Photo: Mikael Kennedy]
Are you also planning on redoing or changing the website? If so, what kinds of additions or changes to the site will we see in the future?
One thing we are adamant about is that there will be no plans for advertising on the site. We love the calm feeling our site offers. As one person put it, our site is “a place to rest your eyes.” We are trying our best to maintain that experience. We have recently added video, which brings a different perspective to our stories. Going forward, we’ll be including a newsletter, which will keep you informed of the work and happenings of all the past subjects of An Afternoon With.
What are your long-term goals for the site?
To keep growing our community of subjects and supporters. We want to take An Afternoon With on the road eventually, visiting cities across the globe based on the suggestions of current subjects. Also, to continually enhance the experience of An Afternoon With by exploring old and new mediums to share these experiences – be it print, digital or with live events.
[Jennifer Simms, Mario Hugo]