NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - His thirst for the next best shot has taken him from the lowest lows to the highest highs, places ravaged by time and misfortune, forgotten by many and unknown by most.
He is 16, and he's known only by his Instagram name Shotalive. His album is an impressive portfolio of a New York City most of us don't get to see. And there's a reason for that. Much of what he does to get his shots is illegal, whether it's sneaking down subway tunnels or teetering on the rooftops of some of New York's most iconic landmarks.
Not all of his pictures stay up on his account for fear of getting in trouble. There are these photos from the Old Kings Park Psychiatric Center on Long Island.
Shotalive is part of a subculture of photographers -- many of them teens -- who call themselves urban explorers willing to risk even death to get those dizzying, extreme photos.
In December a young daredevil named Connor Cummings life ended tragically when he fell from the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan while taking pictures from a rooftop catwalk.
For Shotalive, it's about exposing that rare gritty decay hidden behind the bright lights of New York City. So it's no surprise that those portraits are now drawing the attention of celebrities who have roots here.
With that star-powered attention has come new heights--in addition to selling his prints for up to $1,000 apiece, Shotalive is working on a coffee table book and a clothing line. And from now on he says he is going to keep his passion for photography legal.