Interviews: QNS Makers

Steve Vazquez


The release of this profile is in conjunction with the launch of the QNSMADE HISTORY section in collaboration with Steve Vazquez of Queenscapes. All Queens neighborhood photographs and information is provided by the founder of the famous hashtag #queenscapes. Follow Steve’s work on his Instagram.


Where did you grow up in Queens?

I was born in Richmond Hill and raised in Long Island City.

Where do you call home in Queens now?

Queens Village.

The QNSMADE team hanging out at Singlecut Beersmiths on one of the last days of summer.

The QNSMADE team hanging out at Singlecut Beersmiths on one of the last days of summer.

When did you start Queenscapes? And more importantly, why?

I started Queenscapes back in January [2014], primarily because of the lack of representation of Queens on Instagram. As time went on it turned into a personal mission of mine to fully discover the borough in which I have spent my entire life. After 34 years of living in Queens I was able to find a new perspective of my hometown, at a point where I feel most residents would have looked to move out of the borough.

How did you come up with the name?

Queenscapes is a combination of Queens and the word landscapes, I just thought it had a catchy sound to it, so I ran with it.


Your background isn’t in photography and you take all your Queenscapes photos on your iPhone. Tell us what you think about the future of photography.

I believe the future of photography will be presented exclusively in mobile wireless devices. This is being evidenced right now with Instagram. The ability to take, edit and post a viable image instantaneously gives the world of photography a whole new dimension.

The Queenscapes project was selected as 1 of 3 winners of Dave Krugman’s photographer initiative contest, where the prize was a Fuji x100 camera.

How many neighborhoods have you identified in Queens? Where do get your facts and resources?

I have identified 125 Queens neighborhoods so far. My resources are retrieved from Wikipedia,, NYTimes, and local Queens publications like the Queens Tribune, Queens Courier, Queens Chronicle and Queens Ledger.

And how many neighborhoods have you captured so far? And when do you expect to be done?

I’ve captured 80 so far and should be done before Winter starts this year.

Steve has two boys, Roman and Saul whom he takes with him along his explorations of Queens to capture his Queenscapes photographs.

Tell us what goes into taking one photo, from the capture to the post?

I’ll start the process by researching the neighborhood online. I’ll jot down some notes, then head out to explores the neighborhood. What I look for once I’m in the neighborhood is some sort of landmark that fairly represents the area. I’ll take multiple shots, of a certain place, pick the my favorite image then edit it through VSCO and/or Picfx—two editing apps on my iPhone. Lastly, I take bits of the most vital information in each neighborhood and couple it with a little known fact of each area to create a small blurb.

What has been the reception like via Instagram?

The reception on Instagram has been fantastic. I’ve been featured on popular Instagram pages such as @made_in_ny, @rsa_streetview, @rsa_the_yards, @icapture_nyc, @ig_nycity and @instagramNYC. Also, many current Queens residents have asked about a Queens Tour, which I plan to organize by the end of Fall.

NBC featured one of Steve’s Instagram photographs in their “Autumn in New York” series on

And finally, where do you see the future of Queenscapes?

I see the future of Queenscapes as a published directory, either online or printed, that offers people a reference point to help them fully discover and enjoy all the resources Queens has to offer.