“No Sleep Till Brooklyn”Lloyd Mitchell on Fire Photography

Young photographer shares his view on the "art" of firefighting.

The fire service is outstanding. I have the unique chance of looking at the fire service from the outside in. I am a student photojournalist. I respect firefighters from all walks of life. I made the choice to document firefighters for an ongoing project for school. As a little kid I lived right around the corner of Engine 281 and Ladder 147. I would always go to the firehouse after school.

The sole purpose of the FDNY series wasn’t to document flames blowing out of the windows but to document the people under the helmets. I wanted to showcase what these men and women are, just normal everyday people during their jobs. The best part about photographing the fire service is getting strong candids of people going up against a force of nature that they live to operate against. The project was a way for me to give back to the brotherhood of firefighting.

I usually look at the computer screen in awe as a look at photographs from fires in the city and I say to myself. “What type of composition would I have made out of the situation?” The thing about fire ground photography and photography in general is that you have spilt seconds to make photographs. It’s a lot of fun to say oh I would have done this differently or I would have used my light source differently.

The fire ground for me is where images live on forever through the brotherhood of firefighting. It’s a rewarding experience to record these moments.

For more FDNY images, view Lloyd's online gallery below…

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