Up-and-coming Brooklyn photographer David Urbanke makes a name for himself in the industry
The campaign he ran for Google 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, and watching his progress has been one of the joys of the job. His work is everywhere these days.
Online, his work for Ralph Lauren has a nautical feel to it. Despite this, not everything went well for him.
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Urbanke has had to overcome his fair share of challenges on the way to what is a defining moment for him.
His job for Google marked the first time he saw one of his photos painted on the side of a building, including one just outside his studio in East Williamsburg.
Watching him I commented that he should be proud of his accomplishment. Despite his modesty, he admitted it was significant.
He was a teenage prodigy who began to develop his talents when offered a camera at the age of 12.
âI have met girls who, in my opinion, looked like models,â he told us 10 years ago. “So I just started shooting them.”
When he was growing up in Berkeley Heights, he said he felt he didn’t fit in, and he calls his high school experience traumatic.
âI was intimidated by peers and teachers,â he said. “I was insulted. I was physically harassed.”
In 2016, we found him photographing stars like Michel B. Jordan and fashion layouts for WWD.
Her approach found favor more recently with Kerry Washington, who hired her to take photos of her for her own jewelry line.
âPatience is so important,â he said. “Things don’t happen overnight. I wish I had known earlier. It’s a process. It takes time.”
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That might be true, but he also has a cool way of bringing out the best in people.
âIt makes you feel like you’re on set with a friend,â model Katie Moore said. “You are just comfortable and at ease.”
Thinking of Urbanke, I remember the words to the old song, “The best is yet to come, and baby, aren’t we all right?”
He will be more than fine.
Urbanke insists on trusting your instincts and not letting others try to discourage you from pursuing your dreams.
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