Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Tuesdays at Sophie's
Kyle de Vre is never without a camera. So it made sense that de Vre, an East Village resident who has worked at Sophie's for the past four-and-a-half years, would put his camera to use while behind the bar.
During his Tuesday afternoon bartending shifts, de Vre started taking portraits of patrons seated in the comfortably worn bar on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.
The results can be seen in a new photo book, appropriately titled "See You Next Tuesday," which he'll release in a limited edition next Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Sophie's.
As he writes about the project on his website: "All of the subjects positively impact the neighborhood in one way, shape or form. Community is important and these are the types of people that make this neighborhood special."
I asked de Vre a few questions about the book.
What compelled you to start taking photos of patrons from behind the bar?
I had brought my camera to Sophie's a few times over the first two-to-three years that I worked there. I mostly took street photography as well as photos when I travelled. I got a new camera early last year, which was great for taking portraits — something I had never really done before.
So I started taking it into the bar every Tuesday because I knew I would have subjects to shoot. There was just enough light in the bar that I could [take photos] without a tripod or flash on Tuesday afternoons.
At what point did the idea for a book come about?
A friend was on the phone and I just started taking photos of him from behind the bar. Although the images weren't the greatest, the idea and framing were there.
So the next week, [my friend] Kayla came into the bar to chat with someone. I asked her if I could take her photo from behind the bar — more so along the lines of a traditional portrait. I shot four images of her while she drank her gin and tonic. When I saw the photos, it just kind of clicked in my head — why not start taking photos of everyone I know who visits me on Tuesdays.
What is your favorite thing about - or any day — at Sophie's?
The Tuesday day shift was just my first shift at Sophie's. Every day at Sophie's is pretty much any old day at Sophie's — and that's why I like it.
The "See You Next Tuesday" book launch is Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. at Sophie's, 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. All photos by Kyle de Vre. Posted with permission.