Member Spotlight: Kim, Newcastle UK

‘If you enjoy what you do, you don’t work a day in your life’
Still Life Image By Kim
© Kim

Kim’s favourite piece of equipment is a Canon R6 with a 70-200mm lens

Like many visual artists, the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in many side steps in Kim’s professional photography career. Spending more time studying at home wasn’t all bad though, and helped Kim to discover new fields of interest and grow in confidence through experimentation. Her story reminds us that our community is full of artists who work in multiple jobs to support their passion and strive towards their ambition of being a professional artist. 

Describe yourself as a creative…

‘My interest in photography started only a few years ago. I wanted to become a travel photographer. After some self-study, I joined a beginners' course and steamrolled from one course to another. In the second year of my BA course, Covid forced [me] to study from home, and I discovered the delight of studio photography - hovering between commercial and fine art….Despite [the fact that] I have a master's degree, and [have] won some international photography awards, I struggle to find paid work so now I am focusing on creating a set of images to display in an exhibition and for my portfolio.’

Check out Kim's Instagram too!

Landscape Image By Kim

© Kim

What or who inspires your work?

‘Dutch grandmasters such as Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals [who] were, in my opinion, true masters on capturing light. The details in some of the paintings are extraordinary, especially in the reflections on shiny objects and their grubby atmosphere. The subjects were chosen carefully but not always for their beauty. The people show character and the objects around them often have a meaning to tell a story about the person’s lifestyle; vanity, wealth, knowledge, and a reminder that everything [must] come to an end i.e. Memento Mori.

I like to recreate these stories and feelings in my still life photographs, [creating] painterly pictures.'

What is your favourite subject to create work about?

‘Still life. Sometimes food, sometimes composites, and at the moment I am working with objects with meaning - as in the golden age of still life paintings.’
Landscape Image By KimLandscape Image By Kim
© Kim

What is your favourite piece of work that you have created?

‘The last picture I took… Because I learn and improve with each project, I would like to think that the last picture is the best. However, there is one old image that I like but other people seem to love; a pot of tea with tea flowers in the pot. The lighting technique I used for this image is dark-field photography.’

How has your style evolved over time?

‘It started with wanting to become a travel photographer. My interest was landscape, wildlife, and street photography. This was all with natural, available light. Then [during] the Covid pandemic, I was forced to work from home and I began to shape light with artificial light.

For a while, I did a lot of composites where my objects had a lot of energy. There was a mixture of still life, macro, floating objects, and splash photography, which I combined in post-production. Now I am focusing on creating painterly pictures… I’ve experimented with artificial light as well as ambient light.

I still do not have a recognisable style because I love to learn and experiment. Yesterday’s style is completely different than today’s, and tomorrow I will try something new.’

Splash Image By KimLandscape Image By Kim

© Kim

What does a typical day look like for you?

‘Photography is not yet my profession. I work in a care home for people with declining mental health. Depending on what shift I work, I [will be] researching, looking for props, test shooting, watching tutorials [from Visual Education], and looking for photography jobs in every spare moment.’

What does your workspace look like?

‘My studio “ aka spare bedroom” is tiny. It is just two meters wide and three meters deep. Often I have to put the lights outside in the hallway to create the desired falloff of light.’
Behind the Scenes Image By Kim

© Kim

What is the one tip you’d give creatives starting out?

‘Try every genre of photography. Experiment with different lights and subjects and don’t forget to have fun. If you enjoy what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.’
Still Life Image By KimStill Life Image By Kim

© Kim

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