Michael Ernest Sweet

Photographer and Writer in New York City

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Hi, welcome to my website. My name is Michael Sweet and I am a New York City based photographer.

Between 2012 and 2022, I was a street photographer. I published a couple of books of work during that time with Brooklyn Arts Press. Those books are now out of print and I am no longer really involved in street photography.

All the work displayed in the gallery above is from my newest (2023) series, “Underpainting”. Although these works may look like paintings, they are actually photographs. Each image started out as just “a normal snapshot” from my archives. The photographs were then all manually manipulated with editing software (no AI) until, eventually, they resembled abstract paintings. The “Underpainting” series is only available as a limited boxed set of all eleven 5x7 prints housed in a solid walnut box (limited to 10 examples). All prints are hand signed and numbered. Price, $4950 USD. SOLD OUT

New Work in 2024 - I will be releasing a new series of Polaroid prints in 2024. Check back for more info.

If you are more interested in my older, street-based work, I suggest doing a basic Google search to find that work or checking major used book retailers for copies of my out of print books. I no longer have any available copies of The Human Fragment (first or second edition), Michael Sweet's Coney Island, or Disposable Camera. I also no longer sell prints of my street photography. You may, however, download a free copy of my 100 page e-book on street photography using the download button at the top of this page. The book features work and exclusive insight from more than 25 photographers including Joel Meyerowitz, Fred Herzog, Jill Freedman, Richard Sandler, and Roger Ballen.

  • Education
    • The Johns Hopkins University
Michael, I thought my colors were bright, but now I know I am quite muted!
Martin Parr
Michael Ernest Sweet's photos are not sweet at all - they are rich and investigative, with a unique voice that speaks of presence, mystery, and selectivity - a highly personal vision.
Jay Maisel
Michael Ernest Sweet's photographs transform ordinary reality into the unforgettable.
Roger Ballen