The Coincidental Story

Photography by Jonathan Higbee

Jonathan Higbee is a man of patience. Armed with a keen eye for unlikely narratives and a trigger finger that could be envied by the most prominent gunslingers of the wild west, Jonathan has turned the pulsating streets of New York into his photographic playground.

In one of his most recent series, Coincidences, all of these aspects are taken out to the extreme, ultimately forming a street photography series that not only displays momentary scenes and narratives springing out of coincidences, but shows us just how peculiarly beautifully the randomness of the big city tells stories—if you're in the right place at the right time, that is.

Please tell us about your approach and the effort behind the photos of Coincidences.
The effort behind the photos is quite laborious! When I've discovered an element that excites me while walking the streets (a billboard, for example) I return to it for as long as necessary to come away with one of these photographs. This could take a few afternoons or even up to four months of regularly hanging out on the street, trying my best to fight off impatience, before I get "the shot". Sometimes I'll even put in a lot of time only to have the element disappear and be replaced, which is the nature of New York.

Why did you want to capture NY in this particular way? 
I began the series as a way of making sense of the chaos and bedlam of New York that a newcomer can be overwhelmed with. Though I long ago acclimated to the pace and energy of the city, I still seek out these unbelievable coincidences. I feel like the collision of various disparate elements in such a surreal, serendipitous way isn't really possible anywhere else on the planet. "Coincidences" has found its footing as a celebration of the jaw-dropping wonder that can often be found in the city, as a love letter to New York in a way.