Interview for Fen Hong Se Magazine
Portrait of me by Adam Kafo
Definitely not! But both of my parents are art teachers, so I grew up surrounded by beautiful imagery, and I think developed an eye for strong compositions, colour palettes and graphics early on. I was a graffiti artist when I was in high school (much cooler than I am now haha) and first picked up a camera to document my HSC work. I enjoyed the process and ended up studying photography at Uni, where a studio lighting elective class that changed my life forever. The studio is where I am happiest, and I now spend most of the week hanging out in mine!
My work is clean and minimal, with glowing, glossy skin and detailed retouching (though I like to leave enough ‘flaws’ in to make it look real.) I love to use blocks of colour, and graphic lines and shapes. It’s dreamy, it’s romantic, it’s all things beauty.
I’ve always adored portraits by David Bailey, especially those key ones from the 60s. I think his strong, clean and beautiful images still impact the work I try to produce today. I’m also obsessed with Tim walker - I love his dreamscape fashion editorials, and I love the personality he always manages to capture in portraits. My favourite current artist is a girl called Elizaveta Porodina. She is insanely creative and inspiring to follow. She uses colour in the most magical way. Somehow all her work is wildly different yet perfectly cohesive. Everyone should check her out immediately!
It’s such a cliche answer but it’s true - I find inspiration everywhere in my day to day life. Sometimes at galleries, in movies and magazines, maybe from a strange outfit in the crowd, or something bizarre in Bunnings, or just deep dives in instagram or Pinterest. I love trying to find two things that majorly mismatch, and trying to zip them together in a fresh and new way.
WINDSWEPT which was published here in FHS! I have kind of done the opposite of most photographers, and started out with studio lighting, and never really learned what to do with natural light, and this shoot pushed me out of my comfort zone. I shot with available light only, and it was really satisfying to be able to get it right. It also ended up being a major crowd favourite, the dramatic image with the plane flying through is by far my most liked image on instagram, and its generated a lot of new enquiries for me. I love how magical and dreamy it is - it’s exactly the kind of photography I want to be creating.