Young New York City photographer finding success among celebrities

Sandy Kenyon Image
Monday, December 5, 2016
Young NYC photographer finding success among celebrities
Sandy Kenyon catches up with a young NYC photographer, whose work first grabbed eyes when he was just 16 years old

NEW YORK (WABC) -- David Urbanke garnered attention as a professional photographer when he was just a teenager. Now, the young artist, who we first met at just 16, is taking on a new challenge.

The essence of Michael B. Jordan as captured in "Esquire" comes from the camera of a young man at just 21 years of age.

"I was very nervous going into that," Urbanke said. "Celebrities are a new ballgame for me."

But Urbanke is no rookie. When we first met Urbanke back in the summer of 2011, he'd already turned pro. And even in a business obsessed with youth, Urbanke stood out.

"It's definitely a first," model Sarah Lorimer told us five years ago. "I've never seen a 16-year-old photographer."

And that wasn't lost on Urbanke.

"I got a really cool response," he said. "A lot of people brought me in, checked out my work."

However, actual jobs were far and few between for the young artist, until he found a big league believer willing to risk his reputation.

"I'm always open to talent," Women's Wear Daily fashion director Alex Badia said. "I'm always looking for new vision."

He brought Urbanke in, and he's been happy with the results.

"I think it's a killer combination," he said. "When you have enough experience to be self-assured with your decisions and the way you carry yourself, but yet you still have that fresh approach for everything."

Urbanke's work has evolved, finding acceptance on fashion avenue, but the New Jersey native has remained true to his roots in Berkley Heights.

"Setting up and composing, directing, all of that is so stressful," he said. "So I think having a great support system around you, whether it's family or friends, is so important."

Check out Sandy's initial report on David Urbanke in 2011:

Check out Sandy's original story on photographer David Urbanke