CNN Photos

Young and free in New York City

A young couple’s kiss. A late-night skinny-dip in the ocean. A back dive into a pool while fully clothed.

There’s nothing staged, nothing planned about the photos in Chad Moore’s book “Anyone In Love With You (Already Knows).” They’re just capturing life and youth in the purest form.

Moore refers to the photo collection as “my New York.” It’s a compilation of his seven years living and working in New York City.

There are no hired models or props or planned locations. The photos aren’t highly produced or greatly altered. Moore is simply but eloquently capturing life as it unfolds around him. His subjects are his friends, and these are their genuine experiences as they navigate their young lives in the city.

“It’s just kind of natural,” Moore said. “I don’t think I even thought about it like, ‘I’m going to go do this.’ It’s just I’m there. … It’s not like, ‘Oh hey, let’s hang out and take pictures.’ I’m always taking pictures.”

Moore and his friends are all young and just starting out. They’ve all come to New York to pursue creative endeavors, and Moore captures their spontaneous adventures, delicate exclamations of affection and pauses of reflections.

The book, he says, captures their journey and is, in a sense, a snapshot of their attitudes.

“I think it sounds cliche, but it is about freedom and you have to be a certain type of person to live in New York,” Moore said. “I’m from a small town in Florida, and when I go back there I see a lot of people who don’t do anything. They don’t follow what they want to do. They want to be safe and secure.

“But me and all of these people have given up a lot of that security to really enjoy life, and New York City is such a brilliant place to do that.”

Moore said that adding a camera to their daily activities only enhances the experience.

“The camera gives you a pass to really explore things and explore people and just get intimate with someone,” he said.

While Moore’s camera is for hire and he takes assigned photographs to pay the bills, he’s far more picky about his subjects when it comes to his art.

“I don’t think I could photograph someone I didn’t really love or care about,” he said. “I think you can really tell when the person being photographed really feels a connection with the person taking the photograph. There is a trust involved.”

In a time when so many are focused on selfies and posting their every move onto social media sites, Moore’s collection is focused on the art of just living.

“It’s kind of nice to just be there and hang out … and just not think about anything else beside the people you’re with,” Moore said.

- Rebecca Angel Baer, CNN