This is the hardest part of the site to do. Trying to explain myself, what I stand for, my experience, my vision. It just seems so self serving, and bloated.
My particulars are that I have been shooting fashion and beauty since 1989 full time. I started in Portland, but after 7 years of honing my skills I needed a bigger market. Hence the move to Milan for a summer. To put it simply, I got my ass kicked there. With every ass kicking, comes a valuable life lesson. Mine was to get my style down, so everyone would know who I was in a few shots. Hard to do in Portland at the time, so off I moved to Athens Greece. This was a really great place for myself at that point in my career. A very open place, and lots of work that got published fast. The only problem was, all the type was in Greek and everyone knew that. So back to PDX for a few months before I decided to make the move across country to live and work in Miami.
Miami is one of those places that you love and hate all at the same time. The work was great, it was always sunny, but everyone seemed like they were on vacation all the time. Tough to get anything done. While in Miami, I shot a ton of catalogue work, as well as editorial, working with some really big clients and models. Hanging with the “it” crowd. I figured out fast, that the “it” crowd were a bunch of self indulgent, insecure, idiots. In the end I figured that Miami is like a movie set, looks great on film but looks like shit from the backside. While there, I was shooting for a ton of magazines out of London. A beauty editor told me I should move there, and thought I would clean up shooting beauty. Who am I to not go with the flow.
Off to London I went for a week, with a list of photo reps. I decided on my top 5 and if one of them would take me, I would move over to London. First on my list was Penny Rich, and she signed me on the spot. Back to Miami to pack!
Moving to London was amazing. Some of the most amazing editors and art directors I have worked for were there. Just a really open art community,great museums, and easy to see clients. This is where I really honed in my style and skill set, feeling like I could out shoot anyone, I decided that NYC was my next stop.
NYC. You just feel the energy when you step off the plane. This is my city, I love this place to this day! New York is funny. When you move there and are involved in the fashion industry, you are all excited the first month, then the second month it starts to wane. By the time month 3 rolls around, you are starting to not like it so much. If you can make it to the 6 month time frame, you can make it. New York was the first time in my career that I felt like home. I can still remember the first day there, two guys bumped each other as they were walking past each other. A nice “fuck you” and then a follow up by a “fuck you too!” to each other and they kept walking. I smiled and said to myself “these are my people”. They know how to stand in line, don’t cut, don’t take any shit, don’t waste time, just get it done. It’s also the first time that an art director said they hated my work. At first I was shocked, but I ended up thanking him. What a breath of fresh air. I didn’t have to waste my time sending promos and follow ups. Nothing worse than hearing that you do “nice work”. I was not offended at all. I understand that not everyone will like my work, and that is OK. Had a great agent, was working all the time, then 9-11 happened.
I don’t want to get into the gory details, and there are many. On 9-11 I lived 2 blocks from the WTC, and my son’s daycare was 3 blocks on the other side of it. Once the second plane hit, my only thought was top get to my 6 month old son. Even though it was only a few blocks, it took me almost 30 minutes. In those minutes I saw stuff that no person should see. The choices those poor people in the buildings had to make haunts me to this day. I sill have nightmares, but they have waned with time. The human mind heals in it’s own way. After getting my son, the first building fell. I just wanted to get out of the area. I headed uptown to my wife at the time. She was a buyer at Bloomingdales. After making it uptown and to a friends house I decided I needed to see if our two dogs made it through or not. I walked downtown again, walking through Times Square right down 7th ave and there was no one, and I mean no one in the streets. I walked in the middle of 7th ave with no cars, taxis, or people. Running a gauntlet of police barricades, I made it too my neighborhood. The sights I saw along the way are still embedded in my mind. I made it to my loft, got my dogs and headed uptown again. The stories I can tell would take pages, but let me tell you I would not wish that day on my worst enemy.
3 months later after living in a hotel room, we were allowed back to our loft. It looked right on the pit. I wanted to move back into my loft, just to give a finger to the people that did this to our city. After 6 months, we moved out of the city, first to Long Island, then to South Jersey. Once you live through something like that, it gives you pause on what you are doing. This is when I decided to move back to my hometown of Portland, Oregon. The place I left 20 years ago.
Knowing that there is not a lot of fashion in Portland, I have had to reinvent myself a bit. The great thing is that I have all those years of experience to draw upon, so it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Just needed to find my voice in the sportswear-fitness world.
So I guess you could call it Kevin 2.0