Sunset Park has lost an exceptional man and photographer.
Sunset resident, 25-year-old Christopher Serrano, who had a large following on Instagram for taking high-risk photos from the top of New York structures such as bridges and skyscrapers, died while trying to take photos while on top of the F train at the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street station on Wednesday, October 5.
Although early reports indicated that he was intoxicated and train surfing, the late photographer’s father, Herman Serrano, wanted to set the story straight on what led to his son’s death. “They reported that my son was coming home drunk and decided to train surf, but he was what they call an urban photographer,” Serrano said. “He did a lot of risky things. We were always afraid for him and wanted him to be careful. And we somehow knew one day that something might happen to him because of the risks he was taking.”
According to Serrano, the accident occurred after a dinner with Christopher’s friend and girlfriend at around 10 p.m.
“For whatever reason, he decided to take pictures with his phone this time,” he said. “He just wanted to get a shot from the top of the train.”
Although it was reported that the accident occurred around 5 a.m., Serrano told the paper that wasn’t the case. “He was on his way home around 10 p.m. and was always on time,” he said. “That was the reason why, when he wasn’t home by 11 p.m., we started to get in touch with his friends.”
At around 1 a.m., the Serrano family rushed to the 72nd Precinct to discuss the situation. Cops found his body at around 5 a.m.
“He died doing something he was passionate about,” said the father, who along with his wife, always feared his son’s work.
“Our hearts would sink when he showed us video pictures of what he was doing, climbing bridges beam to beam without a harness,” he said. “He’d sit on the edge of buildings and take pictures with his feet dangling. He enjoyed the adrenaline-rush pictures he was taking and I think that’s what attracted him to photography. They’re amazing. He had an eye for it.”
Christopher, a Bishop Ford alum who had over 100,000 followers on his Instagram account @heavy_minds, loved his hobby, but his plan was to go into law enforcement and he was slated to start the Corrections Academy in December. “He was looking forward to it so much,” he said.
On Friday, October 7, during wake services at which many friends and family showed up to pay their respects, the Serrano family decided to put up his art. “Some people do memorials of the person,” Serrano said. “We want to show people the way he saw New York and what he recorded.”
The family will keep on finding ways of displaying their son’s works, and will be reaching out to galleries in hopes of having them display the photos. “We are not stopping with this,” Serrano stressed, adding, “I want his legacy, which is his work, to live on.”