Yung Phily: The story of a Canarsie Creative

Image by Yung Phily – Instagram @yung_phily

Philip Provilus, professionally known as Yung Phily, is a 17-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer who captures his appreciation of living in New York City through his photoshoots with friends or acquaintances he connects with through Instagram. Philp’s photographs narrates how he perceives the world around him and how it relates to his love for photography with every picture he takes.

“Photography is an art I love to do and spend my time on. Photography shares emotions, it captures moments and tells stories,” Phily stated. The young creative contributes a different side of photography with the originality of his work and presents to the world what life is like being a teenager in New York City.

Before getting his first camera, Phily drew inspiration from a youtuber named Casey Neistat. Casey’s channel consisted of videos of him documenting his life and doing what he was most passionate about. Phily says Casey taught him ambition and that you can do whatever it is you want to do in life.

“After years of  watching Casey and seeing  where he has taken himself, I was confident in doing the same,” Phily said.

Phily then started documenting his life through his iPhone, taking pictures and videos every day of what he was doing no matter where he was. It was a way of never letting go of good memories and always being able to go back to those archives and reminisce.

Phily started photography after receiving his first film camera from his brother where he took pictures of his friends around the neighborhood just hanging out around Canarsie, Brooklyn. From that moment he fell in love with taking pictures and ending up receiving a digital camera from his uncle. After doing research on digital and film cameras, he started to take himself seriously as a photographer. His first official shoot was down the block from his house using an abandoned lot filled with grass and trees to take pictures of his friend including the beautiful sunset that he sees everyday.

“After editing the pictures from that shoot, I received a lot of good feedback and that’s when I started to see myself as a photographer,” Phily said.

When Yung Phily does a photoshoot, he starts off by choosing his model. Whether it’s a friend or somebody he spots on instagram, he chooses the model and then figures out a place that matches the person he is taking a photo of . He takes pictures of the person at that place he finds and then explores the area around him to take more shots of the model.

Image by Yung Phily – Instagram @yung_phily

He takes more than 200 photos and edits them down to a good 15 of the best pictures. After he displays his work on Instagram where he is shown a tremendous amount of love and people asking for him to do photoshoot with them.

“I’ve progressed so fast with my work because of the constructive criticism I was giving from family and friends and led me being to a well known photographer in my city,” he said.

Phily uses photography as a way to get out of the dangerous neighborhood he lives in and to set an example for other young black men around him. He wants to show that there are other routes one can take to stay away from the streets. He feels that being in the streets is something he never wanted to be a part of and that photography saved him from not reaching that point.

Phily’s future plans with his photography is continuing to do what he loves and presenting to the world his beautiful work. Phily is a senior at Midwood High School where he is looking to double major in photography and business at colleges such as : NYU TISCH, Syracuse, and Binghamton.

Phily is not only a photographer he also is on the wrestling team and with his free time he is a professional barber.

“Every professional at a point in time did not know how to use their talent,” he said,  “Just be your best don’t, half-ass anything.”

To see Yung Phily’s photography you can find his work on Instagram @yung_phily

– by Brandon Louisor ’21