Will Shargo is the Bear photographer to watch this year

From skyline photos of NYC to behind the scene shoots, Will Shargo is one of our favorite up and coming photographers. 

The 26 year-old and photographer was born and raised in Oceanside, Long Island, New York, before moving on to the big city where he is currently based.

As a kid, he spent a lot of time at the boardwalk and on the sand and was always interested in the arts. Will was in middle school and was maybe 14 years old when he was introduced to film photography by his older sister, Biana. Shortly after, he was gifted an old 35mm Chinon film camera and a bunch of lenses, film and accessories. 

By the following year, Will purchased his first DSLR Nikon and began taking photography classes at school and growing his camera collection. Will studied photography for almost all of high school, finishing with the AP photography course before graduating. In this time, Will had also self-taught extensive photoshop editing skills and began taking on freelance graphic design, photo editing and photoshoot gigs as they came. 

NYC-based photographer, Will Shargo

By 19, Will had moved out on his own and was working 3 jobs. One as a professional portrait photographer for Island Photography, which specialized in school portraits and sports coverage, based in Long Island, NY; another job as a graphic designer for a risk assessment firm, making logos weekly for several years, and filled other gaps of time by working in the restaurant industry with various skills. 

By 22, he moved to New York City to further pursue photography in search of more opportunity. During the pandemic, Will shifted away from Nikon and portrait photography and explored a new style of street photography / visual storytelling and NFT crypto art with his new Fujifilm mirrorless camera—sparking an entire rebranding. 

Will moved his online platform to Twitter where he can be found @digileftovers as well as @willshargophoto on Instagram. Will has amassed a slight cult following on Twitter of over 3000 followers in just about a year and a half, and has been growing steadily since the end of 2021. Will has worked closely with various talents like model/singer Geshie and musician/show writer/actor Nakia, as well as the esteemed designer Anat Fritz on her hat design project featured in Netflix’s Queens Gambit.

Will has also worked with a lot of the local drag artists around Queens/Brooklyn shooting portraits and fashion photography. By 2022, Will has gone on to be published in several magazines, including Metropolitan Magazine (both NYC and Palm Beach editions), Diabolical Rabbit Magazine, and his photos are the face for San Diego start-up magazine Midlight Magazine. He has also been featured in various online artist recognitions around the Twitter community and his work can be found for sale online on platforms such as Opensea and Foundation. 

I find myself staring into Will’s high quality photos with every set he posts. Will has a knack for bringing our dynamic colors and shooting in angles that are visually stunning. There are several photo sets of his that I feel as if I’m stepping into a different world in an uncanny yet realistic way. There is something about this distinct aesthetic that enamors me and many others, so I had to ask him some questions about it along with some more questions about his journey as a photographer.

Bryce Quartz: How did you get started in photography?

Will Shargo: One day when I was 14, my older sister gave me her old film prints from high school and I was so enthralled by feelings those photos evoked for me. Unfortunately, later that day while waiting for my train home, a strong gust of wind swiped the photos from my hands and they were lost onto the train tracks. Those prints had such a classic feel to them and I felt so bad losing something original and timeless like that, so this inspired me to sign up for photography classes at my own high school.

From there I studied for several years, taking extra time to teach myself various editing techniques through online tutorials. Later going onto AP photography I discovered a true love and passion for the art which began my career working professionally for various portrait companies and my own freelance services. 

BQ: Is there a particular style of photography that you love the most?

WS: I used to shoot portraits and sports/action photography for Island Photography, primarily basketball, soccer, tennis, even skateboarding, all while it was happening live. I was immersed in the action full time, but when the pandemic hit in 2020 everything shifted entirely—people couldn’t meet up as easily and public events being canceled caused me to be out of work.

In turn, this led to a depression and a near year-long hiatus from any photography for the first time since I was 14. I felt uninspired and unmotivated in what I was familiar with that I decided to start an opposite approach. 

I then made the switch from Nikon to Fujifilm; being alone in lockdown I would walk the streets of my neighborhood, especially at night and started to capture anything that caught my eye, anything that evoked a certain emotion in a particular moment, or abstract scenes that paired with music that inspired me at those times as well. This acted as a coping mechanism for my depression while simultaneously, unknowingly developing a distinct style featuring street and abstract photography with elements of creative writing, poetry and storytelling.

It can be hard to describe the particular style of photography that I have blended together but I like to consider it as “selling nostalgia, tangible vibes, depicting emotions”, etc. In addition to the emergence of NFT photography, crypto art and web3, it has been said that my art has elements of ethereal surrealism, cyberpunk, future nostalgia, and dystopia. 

BQ: So, nerdy question: What is the first camera you ever used and also, what is the camera you use now?

WS: My first cameras were a Chinon CM-7 35mm film camera and a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. I dabbled early in film but moved forward professionally using several Nikon cameras before I finally upgraded in 2020 to the Fujifilm XT4 mirrorless camera, which is one of the highest quality cameras on the market right now.

BQ: Are there any motifs in your work?

WS: My work is very personal to me and shows a more vulnerable expression. Some common themes represented in my work are: anxiety, depression, loneliness, feeling lost, falling in love, and heartbreak, including elements of abstract, colorism, minimalism, additional influences from liminal spaces and psychedelic art. 

BQ: What are three of your favorite photos you’ve ever taken?

WS: The first one would be this photo. It was one of the first I shot with my new Fujifilm and signified a new and distinct editing style that I was able to develop and combine with my interest for car photography. 

The second would be this photo, which was one of the first where I was able to distinguish a more ethereal sense to my work while encompassing my love for New York City at the same time

The third one would be this photo was one from a very significant and memorable trip to Nevada and Arizona in 2021. It really captured the essence of the whole trip in one keepsake, also showing technical clarity and where I can see how far I’ve come in my own progress. 

BQ: How can people support your work right now?

WS: If you just take the time to look at my work that means a lot to me. Please go follow me on Twitter: @digileftovers and Instagram: @willshargophoto and @digital.leftover. If you are interested in collecting and owning some of my work you can check out my NFT photography on Opensea at and you can also email me at to purchase any physical prints as well.

My Venmo is @digitaleftovers and Cashapp $nyccubby if you would like to donate to the cost of printing and developing film, equipment and shooting costs.

BQ: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions for us, Wll!

Be sure to follow Will Shargo on the social media mentioned above to keep up with what he’s doing next, and follow up with him if you’d like to commission some work!

Bryce Quartz

Bryce Quartz is a queer, cubby rapper currently based in Brooklyn. In addition to contributing to Bear World, he is also a writer for Ryan Cassata’s music blog Rock The Pigeon. He has performed at bear events across the US and has worked with popular drag queens, including RPDR alum Brita Filter.