Hi Ken, please tell us a little bit about you.
Grew up in the Bronx. Learned how to swim by turning on a fire hydrant. Did Graffiti. Went to art school (SVA - BFA/Photo). Got to California. Swam in pools. Created Photo Educational Online Show. Married a beautiful actress. Love photographing characters. Love cats. Been called a "Strategic Creative Thinker". Cook very well. Play a 12-string guitar. Creating a concept around a personality is fun. Creating images others are proud to be in, is my passion. New York soul, California heart.
When did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?
Age 9. Blogged all about it too. Dad took me hunting the year after he killed his first deer. Not wanting me to witness something he didn’t’t feel great about, we went hunting with his Nikon F, circa 1971 and my Kodak 126mm Instamatic camera. I ended up using his.
You’re inspired by who or what?
Who: Federico Fellini, Ernst Haas, all classical masters, and impressionist painters.
What: Light inspires me as much as how it reflects upon those in front of my camera. How does it tell its story and how can I bend it to fit into my story to bring out the beauty I see.
How has the pandemic affected you?
To me, it all leveled the playing field like it had when we all first began to migrate to digital. I went digital in 1997 and never turned back. Rode that crest very well and I hope to take that experience and repeat that kind of prosperity again.
What is your take on the future of advertising?
I once asked a successful still life photographer if he had any insight into our industry, after over 40 years shooting ad campaigns. This was about the same time we moved from film to digital. He handed me a paper torn from a spiral notebook, written in pencil, was a spiral vortex, with arrows going in and out from it. He then said if I can figure it out, let him know. Well with that said, this may be one way to describe where we’re heading, but I believe creation from nothing will always be a commodity, and the idea of allowing others a sense of feeling through our senses will never end. However, advertising may alter a few ideas about itself and perhaps the middleman, ad agency will fall more to the boutique creatives… kind of how children who are being kept home since the pandemic and being taught in “pods” with great teachers they all chip into to afford. Maybe something like this.
A run-down of the most fulfilling campaign you worked on...
I was awarded a wonderful 5 figure creative fee campaign for 5 images, for an online recruiting company. I had to make employees appear to be trophies. What made this a bit of a hallmark, was it became the first gig I did all myself… shoot and post. For years prior to this I had a partner who did all the digital. That ended after 911. Took me almost 3 years to train and feel I can trust myself to accomplish the post work on a professional level. I had, and more. Found out it won an award for the agency too.
Yet whenever I’m asked what my favorite image is, or job, I always say, “the one I’ve yet to create.”
Which do you prefer, still or motion…?
Instagram or Facebook or…??
What would your ideal job be or consist of?
One that allows me to share ideas with my creative team and to accomplish something we could not create separately. To be able to bring this spirit to my jobs and to share the execution of it all, and more, with our creative director or client. No matter what I obtain in front of my camera, I strive to make each, the ideal job. Now would I like to go on location somewhere in the world? … of course. Been to the Egyptian Pyramids to shoot for 8 days. That was simply priceless.
Represented by Robert Bacall www.bacall.com