We are incredibly proud to present the next installment of The Handsome Project. Each month we’ll showcase an amazing young photographer who blows our minds, shoots our stuff and is all together fantastic. Read on to see the rest of Kevin’s WAH photoshoot and interview…
How did you get to here? (What’s your photographer history?)
My dad planted the seed early. Threw a camera in my hands and brought me with him to shoot on his wedding jobs. When I went to college, I really didn’t know what I wanted to end up doing but I felt like I should try something new, so I got in to advertising. However, that just led to an internship shooting furnishings in a large studio shooting everything from couches to wheelchairs. I learned a lot there and came to realize, why would I not want to live my life doing this? Couches got boring though…. and it’s hard to shoot them on the beach.
Are you a self-taught photographer or did you have a mentor/teacher that showed you the ropes?
A little of both. I didn’t go to photo school for any official learning. Between my dad and the studio I picked up enough to be dangerous. I feel like once you know the finer points of how the light and camera work together, it’s really up to you to develop your own style. Then just for fun, spend hours tweaking color!
How did you come up with the concept behind your Handsome Project shoot?
When I saw the lion suit, I couldn’t help myself. I needed a rock for her to stand on to play out Lion King in my head. Then the colors of it all seemed to fall right in with the warm tones of the rocks. Sometimes, you just have to shoot swimsuits on the beach.
What keeps you enthused in the photography industry?
I just love to shoot. I feel like if I’m not producing something and getting it out there in the world, I get lost in what I feel like I need to accomplish. There are so many fantastic photographers out there, and someday I want to be one of them.
Describe your approach in three words.
Sun, Exploration, Intrigue
Black & white or color?
I spend a lot of time on color after I shoot. Half the time I get to a point where I can’t tell if I love it or hate it and then just make it black and white. I honestly love both and really can’t decide more often then not.
Do you prefer film or digital? Why?
I’m a digital kid. I’m too impatient to wait for film most of the time. I like to shoot some film here and there but instant gratification is hard to beat.
I do it all with my Canon 5D MKII. And I use it because my dad shot Canon, which means my first little rebel was a Canon. And theres no fighting it, now I’m a Canon person.
Describe your photographic approach.
My first step is trying to visualize the mood. Whether a large part of that comes from the location, the coloration or the styling of the project, I want it all to just seem like it fits. I end up using available light quite a bit, because hauling big lights around is just about as fun as it sounds…. But the location’s light becomes very important to me, whether I do need to balance it or not. During the shoot I’m very low key and for the most part let it shape itself as it naturally would.
Oh man, some of the greats, Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Mert and Marcus are fantastic.
Peter Lindbergh – Mathilde, Eiffel Tower
What turns you on?
Energy, enthusiasm, being slightly ridiculous
What turns you off?
Apathy, Unwillingness to explore
How do you decide on locations & subjects for your shoots?
I’m always out exploring, finding locations and building imaginary shoots in my head. Then I take a good look at the reality of taking whats rattling around in my head and seeing if I can actually make it happen. From there my blue print is set and I just try to match the picture in my mind to whats available.
If you could take your photography in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where
would it lead? What new things would you try?
I would hit the road and travel to the most ridiculous places bringing a team with me to shoot. Who doesn’t want to shoot on a glacier? Really.
Best advice you’ve ever received.
Here use this mirror. Changed my style forever.
What is the one quality you think is needed for a photographer to be great?
Be open to growing and never get too stuck in your ways. Once you stop creating anything new and exciting, you become old news.
Where to next?
Keep building my portfolio and develop a stronger style. I also want to get a few travel projects going. The world is too filled with beauty to not explore it. I really want to shoot in Europe to capture some of the aged beauty, we lack so much in Los Angeles.
We would like to send an enormous round of applause and buckets of kudos Kevin’s way for creating this stunning shoot. As Kevin said, “sometimes, you just have to shoot swimsuits on the beach”. Definitely have to say, we agree in this instance! Beautiful model, bright sunny day, a couple of WAH suits and a fantastic photographer to capture it all – what else do you need?