photographer | director
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Thoughts

Lessons with Kytzia

It was challenging photographing Kytiza. Likely it was my mental block around photographing Kytiza a certain way that got in my way. For the last few years, I’ve been photographing artists and yogis, both who regularly converse with self expression on a regular basis that makes it easy for them to let go in front of a camera.

What I learned from photographing a camera shy person are lessons that I think are important no matter who I photograph in the future.

·       Start with intention, but no expectations. I forgot the biggest point in why I wanted to photograph Kytzia in the first place. I wanted to photograph a beautiful and loving soul who’s love and generosity has been such a wondrous source of inspiration to me. Instead, I focused on making a damn good photo that would get praise—for technique and style. Though highly important, those are not the reasons I started photographing in the first place. I started photographing to understand the world around me and mostly to listen to the unseen. While photographing Kytzia I focused more on getting her out of her shell when in fact she was already radiant just as she was. There was some preconceived image of Kytzia I had that would fulfill my social media brand that I forgot the magic of surprises.

·       Conduct not direct. Photography often sounds predatory in nature—do a photoshoot to capture the image. But in that rhetoric a power struggle overshadows the subtle essence within a photograph. Kytzia wanted me to give her direction as reassurance for her shyness in front of the lens, and I took that to mean over producing an artificial look. I think about the great conductors, such as James Levine and Leonard Bernstein, who elicited inspiration for their players. The best conductor I worked under was Nicole Paiment, who gave a vision that allowed me to sing the way I needed to sing, even when I was inexperienced. The photographer is a guide, a railing, not a line boss.

Those are my two cents from my session with Kytzia. The next session is on Saturday with friend and photographer Luciano. Let’s see if any of this sticks.

Genevieve KimComment