Burgeoning NYC photographer David Urbanke making name for himself in industry

Friday, December 3, 2021
Burgeoning NYC photographer making name for himself in industry
Sandy Kenyon has more on New York City photographer David Urbanke.

EAST WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Photographer David Urbanke is not a household name yet, but chances are, if you live in New York City, you've likely already seen his work.

The campaign he shot for Google has secured a reputation for the young man who was born in New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn.

I first met Urbanke in 2011 when he was 16 years old, and watching his progress has been one of the joys of this job. His work is everywhere these days.

Online, his work for Ralph Lauren has a nautical feel. Despite this, it hasn't all been smooth sailing for him.

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Check out Sandy's original story on photographer David Urbanke

Urbanke has had to overcome his share of challenges on his way to what is a milestone moment for him.

His work for Google marked the first time he'd ever seen one of his photos painted on the side of a building, including one just outside his studio in East Williamsburg.

Looking at it, I commented that he had to have some pride about his accomplishment. Despite his modesty, he admitted it was meaningful.

He was a teen prodigy who started crafting his talents when he was given a camera at the age of 12.

"I met some girls who I thought looked kind of like models," he told us 10 years ago. "So I just started shooting them."

When he was growing up in Berkeley Heights, he said he felt that he didn't fit in, and he calls his high school experience traumatizing.

"I was bullied by peers and faculty," he said. "I was called names. I was physically harassed."

In 2016, we found him photographing stars like Michel B. Jordan and fashion layouts for WWD.

His approach has found favor more recently with Kerry Washington, who hired him to shoot pictures of her for her own jewelry line.

"Patience is so important," he said. "Things don't happen overnight. I wish I'd known that earlier on. It's a process. It takes time."

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That may be true, but he also has a cool way of bringing out the best in people.

"He makes you feel like you're just on set with a friend," model Katie Moore said. "You're just comfortable and at ease."

Thinking about Urbanke, I'm reminded of the lyrics to the old song, "The best is yet to come, and babe, won't we be fine?"

He is going to be more than fine.

Urbanke stresses trusting your gut and to not letting others try to discourage you from pursuing your dreams.


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