Kevin, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides photography?
I was born in the summer of 1988, product of a Spanish man and a Belgian woman in a town on the outskirts of Barcelona, and if time cycles haven’t changed, I should be 27 years old by now.
I’m currently a freelance fashion/portrait photographer living in a small town very close to Barcelona although until recently I’ve been working in different areas, mostly as a waiter and stock boy. I’m currently trying to expand my photography activity to weddings, events and editorials.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Well, my goal has always been to devote myself to art and make a living in it. That’s why I attended film school. Before starting with photography I’ve been involved in filmmaking activities as I was studying (that also included somehow photography), either directing my own short movies or assisting my classmates on every different aspect that I could help with (lightning, sound recording, script and assisting direction). After that my work has been more focused in small video projects for friends, relatives and particular customers, being that practically marginal as later on I took some sabbatical years away from the audiovisual world.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
Thank you! I’m not really sure if to call it creativity or personal delusions, but I guess I’m somewhat eclectic. Inspiration is something hard to get and I tend to not force it, whenever I have that “stimulus” I try to translate it into an image, or at least try to. I get a lot of inspiration from movies more than from photography itself, could it be a whole movie, or just a still, or a sequence, an actor/actress, an atmosphere, a message… but I also get a lot of ideas from music, paintings, literature and current world affairs. I must say however, that I get a lot of help from the amazing people I work with thanks to their vision and will to create beautiful stuff.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
Well, from the very beginning and ever since I had use of reason my main interest was focused in cinematography. I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker. But as I started getting into the business and seeing how complicated, competitive and draining it was, I got discouraged to continue my journey and I took a few years gap away from the industry. I’ve always liked photography and it has always been directly or indirectly part of what I was doing. I got my first DSLR camera in 2010 and ever since then I’ve been shooting but not with a particular reason, It was more for fun, for myself or just for picturing my relatives. It wasn’t until more or less 1 year ago that I decided to deepen into photography, after following some of the amazing work my former classmates are currently creating and recalled back some of the eagerness I had to create something, and so photography became a micro window to translate into pictures what I couldn’t express in movies. I never really wanted to get away from audiovisuals.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens?
My first camera (which I still keep with me and use as well) is a Canon 500D. Currently the camera I most use is a Canon 5D MkIII. I’m a photographer that started “going serious” in the business with digital photography only, which I’m ashamed to say since I personally think that a true photographer is made of film and negatives. That’s why I would like to start doing some of my shootings in film as well and experiment with different techniques.
About having a favorite lens, I can’t say I do have one particular because it all depends on what you want to do. But I have a priority for prime lenses above 50 mm. I still have to try so much gear!
My workflow starts from the moment a shooting is settled. During the previous days I try to collect different ideas that I can use for the project, talk with the people involved (makeup artists, stylists and models) and I deliver them some examples of actual footage. If they give me green light I start working on the concept immediately. I try to be efficient during the shooting, I take only the gear that it’s necessary, I come with the lighting scheme ready and try to not lose too much time (especially when I rent a studio) Nonetheless, during the shooting I love to improvise and make the crew feel comfy and participate in every single aspect of the shooting so we can come up with unexpected great results, and it works!
I keep in touch with the crew even during post processing and I show them different edits so they can chose and give me a clear idea of how the final result can look substantially better.
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work? Any subject that attracts you?
Like I said before, what most inspires me are movies and filmmakers like Kubric, Fincher, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Burton, Haneke and so, so many others but when it comes to photographers I find such a great inspiration in Lara Jade’s work, Frank Doorhof, John Keatley, Zack Arias, the master Cartier-Bresson… The list can be endless. I’m attracted by people, I love to photograph people in any areas, I like to look and try to tell something through their expressions in an attemp to portrait their personality and communicate something; and may I say that one of my favorite kind of photography is street photography and documentary, being Vivian Maier a formidable role model for me. There are so many great artists I still have to enjoy and learn from them.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other photographers?
Unpredictability! ahah, No, I don’t know if my work can be unique or different from any other, it’s still too early for that since I don’t quite have a particular style yet. I don’t think that my work is currently any different from the world’s standards imaginary. I have still to figure out a lot of things, and what’s most important, learn. All I can say is that I try to approach every single shoot with an established personal view at a 50% from the final result, meaning that the other 50% comes from experimentation and ideas that come up during the shooting. It’s not that much like a screenplay from a movie, which gives me a bit more of flexibility when it comes to photographing something.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
Among my few shootings, for now the one that I like most is Extravagant Infantry. I always had this idea of shooting a female in a military outfit (nothing original, I know) but I like in general the result and the atmosphere created. I think it's the shooting where I most thought about location, outfit and concept in one. I loved Olga’s (the model) performance and attitude and the amazing makeup work and styling of Anna Opala (the makeup artist)
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
Every shooting I do becomes fun when the crew’s attitude is positive and everybody is motivated for the project. There was this shooting we had, it was for a wedding makeup portrait and we wanted a natural glimpse on the model’s face. The mood at the studio wasn’t quite cheery so we decided to make the model feel smiley all the time but I was so uninspired that all I could say to the model was: think about something funny, that you’re getting divorced or so, or think about caca! I don’t know if this silliness helped to mend the shooting but the thing is that she didn’t quit smiling the whole shoot to a point that we got a very good result! ahaha
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
I would tell to any newcomer that the first thing he/she should do is absolutely love and be positive about what he/she does. No matter what results you get, how notorious they are and even if they are a failure, believe in what you do and never stop trying. I’d tell them also to be cautious and realistic about this world’s expectations, everything is tremendously competitive and there are so many great artists there that can do what you do and better, that’s why I recommend them to keep always their feet on the ground and know that only a few fortunate can afford living from this (I’m not one of them). And I’d also tell them to not rely on gear so much because like we all know, the photographer makes the picture, not the camera, that’s why to every newcomer photographer, I’m telling you don’t aim for the best camera body, the best lens or the best flashes, that’s something that comes by itself with time and all the amount of money and time that you can spend on gear while being a newcomer, spend it on creating interesting sets and ideas and also on learning, learning and learning! Never take discourage as a defeat.