Friday, 16 September 2016

Valerie Topete - A Changing Photographer

As a successful bike courier in New York, Valerie Topete has seen her fair share of the city. Working full time for one the most competitive courier businesses out there, Topete spends her days weaving through the city, racing to deliver her parcels, packages and letters. Her dedication to her job has led her to become the most well-known and successful couriers at her company. Working for Mercury Rises for the past four years, and as a freelance courier for three years before that, Topete knows her way around and excels at navigating the blocks between deliveries.

For several years she had enjoyed the architecture and people that she observes every day so much that she took up photography as a way of capturing the sights. Her unique photos of the city, from angles and spots that most tourists never see, became so popular that she turned a hobby into another part-time career.

Topete began as an amateur photographer snapping photos from her smartphone as she biked around for work. She stands by her advice to always be ready to take a photo, and while she uses her SLR camera as much as she can, more often than not, her smartphone is what she has available. Regardless of the type of device, the most important factors to Topete when it comes to photography are the lighting and subject matter.
Valerie TopeteAs each courier assignment takes her to a new part of the city she has never seen, Topete had the opportunity to observe the assortment of gardens and parks scattered about. Designed by some of the best in the business, the garden displays nestled between skyscrapers and the shadows of monuments always intrigued Topete. The more she traveled, the more she started to notice the varieties and intricacies of the plants that made up these gardens. Soon, Topete found herself planning her courier routes past these gardens or through Central Park. Now, as her eye for photography focused on the beauty of the gardens, Topete shifted her subject matter from architecture and people to high resolution, up-close botanical photography.

With all of the hidden garden gems tucked away throughout the city, Valerie Topete is never at a loss for subject matter and quite enjoys the hunt for new and interesting locations. During the workday, Topete scopes out previously unknown gardens, and during the evenings or weekends, her and her family picnic in the parks. The hobby really has turned into a family affair, as the children run around hunting for pretty flowers and plants, and Topete follows with the camera to capture their finds. Whether the shots are professional quality or just family memories doesn’t matter, but combining passion and family does.