At the risk of sounding broken-record-ish, I will say again that my favorite part of taking photos is having an excuse to meet people. I first learned of Vera Balyura through my friends at Industry of One, and a few months ago, while in New York shooting with Kinfolk Magazine, I was able to meet up with her in real life to take some photos. Vera gets a gold star for impressive multi-facetedness. The lady is a talented model-turned-painter-turned-photographer-turned-designer-turned-entrepreneur who makes eclectic jewelry pieces and dispenses them like so many gold-plated, delicious mentos through her own boutique chain named Verameat. Vera is energetic, affable, outgoing, and purposeful. In short, Vera gets it done.
We met at her apartment in the East Village and spent most of morning wandering around the neighborhood (which also happens to house Verameat’s flagship store), shooting and talking and trying not to sweat too much. Almost on a whim, by late afternoon, we had hopped a cab up to the Bronx, to visit Sylvia Plachy’s show at the Andrew Freedman Home. As the light was fading, and the staff was pushing us out the door, we snapped the last few photos of the day. Back in the East Village, we wrapped everything up with some thai food and Moonrise Kingdom — really of those sort of random days that I imagine people in New York have all the time.
In any case, the take-away here is that Vera is just impressively ambitious. She recently opened up a new store over in Brooklyn (which is brag-able), and has her eye on a west coast expansion. So as I said goodbye to her on my way to catch the subway, I couldn’t help but ask myself what the heck I’m doing with my own life. All in all, a good day.