© Chris Arnade

On June 26th, Feature Shoot hosted the second edition of The BlowUp, a new quarterly event in which we ask a selected group of NYC-based photographers to tell the story behind one of their favorite images. This time, the theme was Subcultures, and Chris Arnade, who left his career as a Wall Street trader to photograph and share the stories of those struggling with drug addiction in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, selected this image of Neecy, a woman who has become his collaborator and friend.

Neecy has battled addiction and lived in the streets for a quarter century with her found street family. Just a day prior to the moment of this photograph, she was living clean, but after a relapse, Niecy beckoned the photographer to her shelter beneath a bridge. She asked him to capture the moment: “I want everyone to see how fucking shitty this life is.”

The next BlowUp event will take place on the evening of December 10, 2015 at ROOT (Drive In) from 6:30-9:00 PM, and this time, the theme will be photography that has gone viral. We have some incredible photographers lined up to speak including Sophie Gamand, Arne Svenson, Caroline Tompkins, Victoria Will, Kristine Potter, and Allaire Bartel. More photographers will be confirmed soon, but in the meantime, you can purchase tickets here.

The BlowUp is generously sponsored by Agency Access.

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