New York in October: Last days

Hello all! I hope you've been enjoying my recent blog posts from my time in NYC last October for Flickr20under20. This will be my last blog post from that week, which pretty much means that I'm due back for another trip (haha). I can't actually believe it's been nearly a year since it all happened. This post consists of photographs I took during the last couple of days of my trip. I got up to quite a bit, as you will soon realise.

The day after the Flickr20under20 exhibition, Madeline, Christian and I met up with Ben again for a morning shoot in a different area of Central Park. Thank you to Madeline who once again, allowed me to borrow some of her photos :) 

Artists - am I right?

I stole Madeline away for a little while longer to properly use my 85mm f/1.4. We explored a beautiful, secret autumnal area.

We then made use of this beautiful tree, meaning we watched Ben climb and shake the crap out of it for Christian's photo haha. It's always an experience shooting with Ben.

A video posted by Alex Benetel (@deltalex) on

...and the fun continued...

After that we continued walking around and exploring. 

Ben + Madeline then proceeded to shoot on the face of a very steep rock. Christian and I decided to sit, watch and not risk our lives :P

After they were done, we all just sat around + chatted for a little while and caught up before it was time to head off. 

Later that night, we had a lovely Thai dinner and saw a comedy show. But, before all that, we explored Times Square and I couldn't help but share these funny snaps :P

The next day, I went on a little impromptu Sex and the City tour with Mum + Dad. I had mentioned that I wanted to see Carrie's apartment and visit the Magnolia Bakery, so we ended up doing just that. 

I couldn't stop snapping away - everything was just so beautiful!

It was a beautiful morning and we ended up having a lovely lunch in a wonderful, small cafe. Afterwards, we went back to the bakery to order some cupcakes for dessert. 

We thought it'd be lovely to eat our cupcakes in Washington Square Park.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. The sun shone through the yellow and green trees and we spent the next hour or so visiting small vintage shops, with the hope to find some potential dresses I could use in my photographs.  

I then met up with Madeline and Christian, who were lining up to see an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I was super exciting to see this exhibit, as it had works I'd studied in high school from very inspirational artists. I mean, I got to see "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh + works by Magritte! Crazy.

The sun soon began to set and I had mentioned throughout the trip that I had wanted to take some portraits of Madeline in the middle of the street. Tonight was the night and as always, she was up for it. So, for the next hour or so, Madeline and I crossed the road a dozen times in order to get some great street portraits. It was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had.

Before we crossed again, I wanted to make use of this nearby water feature where Christian was sitting minding all of our belongings. 

Then she was ready for another round of modelling in the middle of the road. Born to model ;)

We didn't even take notice as to whether people were staring, we felt like pros and it was hilarious. The rush of trying to cross the street while photographing and not getting run over by a car and/or people was intense, unreal and incredible -  it's a feeling I'll never forget. Madeline was even barefoot, which Christian found quite gross, haha.

After taking some portraits of Madeline, I asked her if she wouldn't mind taking some photographs of me. Each time it was time to cross, I spun and twirled to the other side of the street, merely dancing to the sound of the shutter of my camera. I know I've said it a thousand times before, but this entire experience, the entire week was amazing and I felt like I was on top of the world. 

Those self portraits mean a lot to me because I can truly see what I was going through and how I was feeling - happy. During the trip, I had been thinking a lot about photography, its impact on my life and the role it would have in my future.  If you didn't know already, I'm studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) which means I'm studying to become a primary (or elementary) teacher. Photography has therefore always been something I've done "on the side". Finishing my degree was and is my absolute priority, but I've always thought about something On this trip I came to the realisation that I really do need to take a break from teaching and focus on photography. I need to fully allow photography to take me somewhere. Flickr20under20 happened and who saw that coming? I didn't. Meeting the other artists and talking to them about it all, seeing how passionate they were about their art had a massive impact on me. I realised that I hadn't taken the plunge yet and that it was time. Who knows what other opportunities are out there or are coming my way? I need to travel and create - I need to photograph. This trip truly ignited that fire inside of me and I could not be more grateful for it. 

That night, I went out with Mum + Dad to see "The Real Thing" starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Cynthia Nixon. It was incredible and being such a fan of them all (especially Ewan), it was surreal to see them acting in real life! 

The final day was a sad one. It was rainy, cloudy and gloomy and it was almost as if NYC was sad to see us go. Madeline, Christian and I stopped at a nearby Starbucks before it was time to check out of our hotel.

We didn't stay long because we didn't want to put off our goodbyes any longer. It was going to be an incredibly long trip back to Australia and well, saying goodbye to Madeline has proven not to be easy for any of us. I've hoped you've enjoyed reading these blog posts. They were so much fun to put together because it was really one of the best weeks of my life. August marks a year since I found out I was going to be a part of Flickr20under20. I still can't believe it really happened and I honestly wish I could do it all over again. 

~ A


  1. It's so pleasant to read your beautiful story :) I feel like I've been living this with you while reading and looking at your pictures. Thanks for sharing that !
    It's even more pleasant to see your evolution since I've been following you (as well as Christian and Madeline) for like 2 years on flickr!

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for leaving a comment...and such a wonderful one at that! I'm so glad you've enjoyed these posts just as much as I have enjoyed putting them together. Also, thank you for following all of us! I really appreciate your kind words :D



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