Beach Lovers is a series of intimate moments shared by couples at the beaches of NYC. These moments hold intimate gestures of couples; some tender, rubbing sunscreen on a partner’s back; others lustful, a deep kiss in the water. Being amongst the waves and sand emboldens couples to enjoy more affectionate freedom, their inhibitions less hidden than anywhere else observed in the city. Beach Lovers is about the public display of intimacy between couples from diverse backgrounds, a claiming of public space for private tenderness.
“I have spent the last six years photographing beach-goers and the intimate gestures of couples around me; some tender, rubbing sunscreen on a partner’s back; others lustful, a deep kiss in the water. There is something mesmerizing about escaping from the gritty, heaving metropolis that gets so hot in the summer, to sit on such a beautiful coastline. Just a few miles away from sticky sidewalks are sandy beaches and lazy ocean waves, and couples in love. Being on the beach emboldens couples to enjoy more affectionate freedom, their inhibitions less hidden than anywhere else I’ve observed in the city. I capture these tender moments that would otherwise be lost or overlooked. New York is home to a one-of-a-kind beach culture – diverse, time-limited, and low-profile. It’s a place that has always inspired me to pick up my camera.” (Erica Reade)
Gulnara Samoilova, the founder of Women Street Photographers, contributed an essay to this book emphasizing the unique function of the approach to street photography, evident in Reade’s work.
About the Author
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Erica Raede is now a Brooklyn-based freelance photographer. She is self-taught, and she has a background in youth development and women’s empowerment, focusing on using photography for social justice.
She worked in the non-profit world for 12 years before becoming a full-time photographer in 2018. She is the Founding Director of Camera of the Month Club, an NYC photography collective. She was a Nikon Scholarship winner at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops and an Artist Member of SohoPhoto Gallery in NYC. Her work is held in the permanent collection at the Rockaway Hotel and privately across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has collaborated with photo partners Lomography, Nikon, and The Get Gallery on various photo projects.
She spends most of her time photographing the beaches of NYC, with a focus on the Rockaways and Fort Tilden. She has been working on her current series, Beach Lovers, for over seven years. When she’s not shooting photographs, she’s spending as much time by the ocean as possible, swimming when it’s warm enough, and taking care of my many plants and my two cats.