yourUPstate is an exciting new visual experience from The Urban Phoenix, featuring urban images from talented photographers from across the state each week.  From Geneva to Buffalo, from Utica to Binghamton, every week these correspondent photographers are stoked to share their beautiful cities with you.  Check out bios, websites and social media outlets to learn and see more!

Ken Smith, Uticaimage1

Twitter:  @Tolerated13, @SMITHImagery315
Instagram:  Tolerated13, smithimagery

I’m a Utica area native who has embraced his city and promotes her as much as possible. I co-own SMITH Imagery with my wife Amy, and we provide quality affordable portraits, and photography services.
I began my photography life in high school as a yearbook photographer with my dads Pentax k1000, later I worked for a couple years as a Studio Photographer with Lifetouch portraits. After a few years away I returned when I got my Canon Rebel t3i and have never looked back. I like to describe my non-portrait style as Postcard/wall art.

Patti Schwartz, Binghamton13346587_640532979439182_1478393518945451456_n

Website:  Facebook:

There is so much to love about Binghamton and the surrounding area.  Unfortunately, people tend to focus on what they perceive as negatives rather than on all the positives happening in this area.  We can experience five straight days of the most glorious weather ever; and there are still those who will complain – it’s either too hot, too sunny or just too “whatever”.

In May, 2013,  I had my fill of the constant negative vibes filling up my social media newsfeeds. It was time to join the ranks of several other community sites and speak up about all the wonderful little, big and in between things there is to love about Binghamton and the surrounding communities.

 Mary Zawacki, Schenectady


Instagram:  zajaczka / schenectadyhistorical

Urban change ignites me as a photographer. I am drawn in, endlessly, by subtleties in the streetscapes around me. Schenectady is a city in transition, and through my photography, and as curator at the Schenectady County Historical Society, I seek to document and share the story of its growth.

Arian Horbovetz, Rochester


Twitter: @a_d_photo

Instagram:  ariandavidphoto

 Arian Horbovetz has been a wedding and portrait photographer in Rochester for 10 years.  In 2015, Arian started The Urban Phoenix in the hopes of highlighting urban success stories in cities with less-than-stellar reputations.  The surprising popularity of The UP has given rise to this new and exciting venture, as he blends his passion for writing, sociology, macroeconomics and photography to help lift perceptions of our long-struggling Upstate urban landscape.

Alex Long, Geneva

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Instagram:  brilliantvisual


Hi, I’m Alex Long a photographer, native to western New York, and living in Geneva, NY. Geneva is a very unique blend of cultures and diversity rolled into a unified community, that I’m proud to call my hometown. I first picked up a camera many years ago and began shooting film at age 10. And I have fallen in love with producing images ever since.
For the past few years I have studied the masters of photography and been advancing my skills always looking to better myself. A photograph isn’t simply taken it is made, like any other traditional work of art. I have a real passion for street and travel photography, telling the stories of living cities and the people who inhabit it.

Michael Shriver, Buffalo



Instagram:  buffalophotoblog


My love for photography started three years ago when I joined a few friends to take pictures in Buffalo’s Theatre District. I was instantly in love with our city’s architecture and decided that I needed to start capturing it as much as possible. My interests quickly expanded into urban exploring, nature and nighttime photography in and around Western New York.

George Patterson

Instagram – georgejpatt
Twitter – @georgejpatt

Facebook – geo.j.patterson

George is a photographer, writer, and stay at home dad residing in Syracuse, New York. Since rediscovering his passion for photography in the fall of 2015, George is rarely found without a camera or two.
He loves all kinds of photos, but specializes in portraits, landscapes, and dilapidated urban architecture.

Maria Piscitella

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Website (Tumblr):
Instagram:  troynewyork_
 My name is Maria and I am a 21 year old, aspiring young professional who seeks to make an impact in the advertising and media industry. I was born and raised in Troy, NY. I attended Troy High School then went on to continue my education in Communication and Advertising at Marist College. After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I decided keep the education going and pursue my Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication.
 Photography has always been a hobby of mine, whether it was snapping photos of scenery, food, buildings, or really anything that caught my eye. I decided to start an Instagram page dedicated to Troy because it gives me a place to express my love for my hometown, while also doing something that interests me. Photography also benefits me because it helps expand my advertising skills and creative eye. I normally use my iPhone and GoPro to take my photos, mainly my GoPro because I love the wide angle the frame captures.

Mike Colangelo Sr.

mike c portrait
 I’m 54 years old and have been married for 31 years. I am a lifelong resident of Rome New York and wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been into photography approximately 5 years. I do it as a hobby. About eight years ago, I started a Facebook group People and Places of Rome, New York. When I started taking photographs around the city, I started posting them to the group. Much to my surprise, the response to the pictures was overwhelmingly positive. Which encouraged me to pursue photography even more. Photography has opened up so many opportunities for me! My photographs have been published in books, calendars, local newspapers and local TV news stations. Also the city of Rome has used many of my photographs to promote our city. I’m not sure where my future in photography is going to bring me what I am looking forward to the trip!

Sean Russell

Instagram:  seanrussellphoto

No bio as of yet

Eddie Quinn

Instagram:  enjoytroyny

No bio as of yet