When Chris Arnade isn't plying his trade in finance he is likely in the Bronx or another locale far away from the bustling bubble of Manhattan, taking photos of New Yorkers. With each picture, Arnade posts a brief but detailed caption that makes his Flickr account an engrossing chronicle of various neighborhoods and the people who call them home. Recently, he has gained acclaim for his series, Faces of Addiction, shot in Hunts Point, but Arnade shoots everywhere, from East New York to Cobble Hill. We spoke with Arnade about his methodology, why he photographs addicts, and what he hopes we'll take away from viewing his work.

You first went out to shoot addicts in Hunt's Point in 2010. What compelled you to shoot there? I have been exploring the less-visited parts of New York with my camera for well over five years. I started exploring the Bronx in conjunction with my series on Pigeon Keepers, and that led me to Hunts Point. I found a residential neighborhood of roughly 4,000 families cut off from and largely ignored by the rest of New York.

I eventually came into contact with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children and its founder Maryanna Hedaa, and spent some time taking pictures of the children and various HPAC events. I started to shift my camera from the children of HPAC to other parts of neighborhood, and like anyone who spends much time in Hunts Point, was stunned by the number of addicts on the streets.

Do you have a specific plan for what you're going to shoot before you head out? On your Flickr account you note that one of the first places you gravitate to is a bodega—are there any other neighborhood nexuses that are vital to find subjects to shoot, or just to see or hear what's going on? Before I start taking pictures in a neighborhood I like to just walk around and get to know a place and talk to the residents for a few months. My prior work on Pigeon Keepers helped me a lot in the Bronx. I would locate a flock, find the owner, and from there get to know an area. It was a great stepping stone. The bodegas are also great places to meet people, as they often act as community centers. I find that bringing back prints to my subjects is not only the right thing to do, but goes a long way to building trust.

Do you prefer to shoot at night or during the day? How do you make that decision, and how do your routines differ? For the addict series, going out at night has been a must. I generally let events guide me, and go with the flow. If you are open minded and curious you will be amazed what you can find.

On one of your photos from last year you write that you've never had a "bad" experience in Hunts Point. Is that still the case? You never feel uneasy carrying around a nice camera late at night? I have been walking around all parts of New York for almost twenty years, the last five with my camera. In all that time I have never had a bad experience. I find that if you treat people with respect and trust you largely get treated the same way. Even in the highest crime districts the overwhelming majority of residents are playing by the rules and just trying to get by and provide their children with a better life. The obstacles are higher, but the goals are no different.

[Ed: Arnade declined to answer a question concerning the NYPD's presence in Hunts Point, directing us to a photo he shot of Castro, in which his caption describes the man being beaten by a group of men. It reads in part, "They caught [Castro] in front of the Monestary and beat him. A police car, slowed, then pulled away, while the men continued to punch and kick Castro."]

After you photograph Prince, a heroin addict, you offer to pay his fines for outstanding warrants if he goes to rehab, and he accepts. How many times have you done this? Are there any particular success stories? Mostly its bringing blankets to the homeless (many are donated to me by friends and folks who follow my series) and buying lunches. I do my best when asked a specific question to find someone who knows more than me who will know the answer. Many of the people I have photographed in Hunts Point have since gone into either the hospital, rehab, or jail. There have been small successes, some have lasted so far, and some only seem temporary. There have also been some pretty big setbacks health-wise.

There are some great success stories coming from HPAC. Many of the children have graduated and gone on to college. I am working with them to document those stories in greater detail.

What has changed in Hunt's Point, for better or worse, since you first started going there? They have started to put some nice parks along the waterfront. That is a very good thing. otherwise not much has changed from my perspective.

Is your family comfortable with your hobby? Yes, very comfortable and supportive. My wife has been great at helping me write the descriptions and offering feedback on the photos themselves.

A lot of the coverage of your work has made a big deal of your career in finance, but do you personally see an incongruity with your job and your hobby? Do your coworkers? I very much enjoy my job in finance, it constantly challenges me. My photography is also challenging, but in a different way. I am very fortunate to be able to do both. I honestly don't see any incongruity between the two. My coworkers are big fans of my work and very supportive of the project.

You explicitly state that you're not a journalist—but I'd say you definitely skirt the line. Why aren't you a journalist, and how would you describe your work? I am there only to document and listen. What I am hoping to do is allow the people I photograph to share their dreams and burdens with the viewer, to provide a platform for them to tell their story.

Besides your show on Friday, could you talk about the next project you have down the line? And why did you choose to support HPAC with the proceeds? Often forgotten amidst the headlines of addiction and crime is that roughly 4,000 families live in Hunts Point, cut off from most of the resources New York City provides. The children grow up facing so many obstacles: few economic prospects, high crime, and poverty. I have huge respect for the founder, Maryann Hedaa, who knows Hunts Point much better than I do, and consequently will leverage the funds better than I could.

I would also like to finish my series on the Schwinn bike clubs that are in Brooklyn and Bronx. Otherwise I will just continue walking around New York and seeing what I find.

On Friday, Brooklyn's Urban Folk Art Gallery will celebrate the opening of Chris Arnade's show, Portraits & Pigeons, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. All proceeds from sales of the prints will benefit the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, and the show will run until April 4.

Urban Folk Art Gallery // 101 Smith Street, Brooklyn