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Australian new breed photographer Ryan Kenny

21 FEB 2011 | Posted By: Luke

Australian new breed photographer Ryan Kenny

Adelaide-born photographer Ryan Kenny is one a new breed of up and coming Australian photographers. Having only been behind the lens for the past 2 years his work has already begun to make a bit of noise across our land and abroad. I sent some questions Ryan's way to see what makes the 19-year-old man tick.

Luke Lucas: What do you look for in an image?
Ryan Kenny:
Beauty, I guess – I know that is heaps broad. I like the idea of making people see something they already know very well, but in a new/exciting way. I’m working on it.

LL: What was your first paid gig? 
RK: I think it was selling prints in an exhibition. It only took a year before I started getting noticed, which is extremely lucky, I know. I’m hoping to do more fashion editorial type work very soon.

LL: What image or series are you most proud of?
I wish there was a good answer for this one – I’m never really happy with my work for too long, but it’s a good thing because I'm always shooting new ideas/projects. I like my Central Australia collection, Are you ready for the country? That was real cool to do. 

LL: Who are you your favourite photographers? What inspires you?
My favourite photographers at the moment are Juergen Teller, Helmet Newton and Brad Elterman. But that’s constantly changing. Life inspires me. Especially love. I find it really hard to photograph people/things I don’t feel strongly about. My best photos are of girls I’m obsessed with, landscapes I’ve dreamt about or friends that I’d do anything for.

LL: What are you working on at the moment?
Lately I’ve been doing a little series on the band I’m in, Fake Tan. We’ve just added another member, had some weird recording sessions and just got the main support for Californian band Wavves, when they come to Adelaide. I’m kind of documenting all the change and seeing how that turns out. People might never see these photos though; they could be crap, illegal or just stupid. But that’s just one of many little things I’m trying out.

LL: You’ve got a show coming up at Artifact in San Francisco... How did that come about? Can you tell us anything more about it?
I was just sitting at home one day and I got an email from the gallery. I thought it was a hoax, so I forwarded it to a few trusted friends and they told me it was legit. Turns out, it was legit. I’ve had a few Skype meetings with the curator, boss and such. No date is set in stone, but it’s going to be a big summer exhibition kick-starting the summer over there. I’m hoping I’ll be making my way over there for it, depends where I’m at money/work wise over here. Hopefully someone will hire me to shoot their bikini range, and then I’ll make it to San Francisco. Ha ha. But with all seriousness, I’m utterly amazed and grateful for this wild opportunity. 

LL: It’s a bit of a weird time in photography at the moment where anyone with a Knoll lens flare pack and a reasonable familiarity with Photoshop calls themselves a photographer? How do you feel about that? Are you a purist or is technology your friend?
We’ll after working in a photo-lab for a year I realised how much they manipulate film prints, without anyone knowing; so because of that I change my colour balance slightly without feeling cheap. Technology can definitely hinder creativity. But at the end of the day people can call themselves anything; but they only get anywhere if people agree. I could call myself a football player, and if I was good enough at it people would agree. My point being that, technology will always change. And sometimes people, for the sake of money, will try to take the easy way out and conform to the crap that is of high demand. But my only hope and trust is with humanity (although Larry David teaches me not to trust). I hope the purists, the creators and the innovators continue to rule the photography world. But I’m not one of them, I’m just a 19-year-old pretending to know what he’s talking about.

LL: Anything else you want to share?
I may have showed and told a bit too much. But... Pick up the latest copies of Fallen and Oyster – I’m featured with an interview and heaps of old photos in Fallen. And I’ve got a summer party series Same Shirt, Different Day in Oyster. 

More at ryanthomaskenny.com.
Interview with Dave Potes of Hamburger Eyes
Brad Elterman Interview
Chris Jordan Interview
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Comments on this Post
There are "1" comment(s) on "Australian new breed photographer Ryan Kenny"

Respect Katie
Great photos, seems like a humble gentleman too.
Katie  -  3 years ago
Reply  |  Report

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