Comedian Nikki Glaser beautifully captures subway life using Instagram (Photo gallery)

By | May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm | No comments | Features, News | Tags: , , , , , ,

Wildly popular Smartphone app Instagram has changed the way technology lovers take, display and share photos. And if you follow the right people, it can even enhance the love you have for your favorite comedians. I’ve been following comedian Nikki Glaser for weeks now, and I’m never disappointed by the photos she uploads. Her strength is slice-of-life photography– specifically, New York City subway life.

Almost daily, Glaser’s Instagram feed is populated with a cast of real-life characters set on mass transit. From sleeping nine-to-five’rs, mothers and their babes, couples and more, the comedian catches it all. So, I thought I would share a gallery of Glaser’s best shots for you, dear, Laughspin readers. Below, Glaser explains the genesis of her photographs and the process behind it.

Instagram has done the impossible. It’s made me look forward to taking the train. When it pulls into the station, I feel like I’m playing a slot machine, hoping I land on a car with some nutjob playing a drum on the floor, or some pretty girl who’s umbrella matches her lipstick.

Everyone is interesting on the train. It’s a public place, but people behave like they’re in private: putting on makeup, scratching their balls, slurping yogurt from the cup without a spoon. It’s gross and fascinating.

I never really worry about getting caught. It’s risky, but thrilling. I try to be as slick as possible: headphones in, never looking at my phone or the subject. I just aim, click, and hope for the best. I always figure that if someone suspects I’m taking their picture (and they certainly have), they won’t be vain or confrontational enough to call me on it. I know that I wouldn’t be.

I did take a picture of an MTA employee last Thursday and a crazy homeless man told on me. The MTA guy chased me down the platform and yelled, ‘Hey! Did you just take my picture?!’ I felt paralyzed. Suddenly I was 19 again, getting caught shoplifting at Urban Outfitters. I fessed up to what I’d done and showed him the picture. He scolded me, but smiled. He was flattered. I assured him I wouldn’t post it anywhere, and I didn’t (mainly, because it wasn’t a great shot).

I never post a picture to make a joke at someone’s expense, but boy, is it a fine line. A lady sleeping in public is innately funny looking, but it’s also innately ‘I don’t give a fuck!’ and that’s what I like about it. So that’s how I rationalize posting it. I see more and more people taking mean shots of the unsuspecting homeless and homely, and sometimes it’s just cruel. Just because you put a Nashville filter on a picture of a deranged, obese woman with poop on her leg, doesn’t make you an artist. It makes you an asshole. But like I said, it’s a fine line.

I try to use the same discretion with Instagram that I use in my act. I only make a cruel joke onstage about someone if they have wronged me personally. That being said, I can’t wait for the next gentleman to expose himself to me on the N train (three and counting…). I’ll be ready.

Now check out some photos! Click for the full-size version of each.



About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.