Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Creativity has always been a part of me. I have an extensive background in music production, design, and many other art forms. When I’m not creating, I’m incomplete, so I always find myself in the middle of an artistic project.
I used to tour around and produce electronic music records. But the touring lifestyle was brutal, and I wanted to have better control over my work and life balance. Photography does that for me.
Being a creative producer is how I want to leave my mark on the world.
Why did you choose to pursue a career as a photographer?
I enjoyed the process of being able to manipulate what I saw. I still do. Using the camera and lens as a tool to take ordinary things and try to make them extraordinary. The process of shooting and developing my own film was always fascinating. Being able to have so much control over the outcome was attractive.
Fashion portraits and editorials specifically appeal to me because it’s exciting to see a client’s reaction when they look like a million dollars in a magazine.
How would you describe yourself to people that don't know you?
I don’t take things too seriously. I’m easy to work with. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work.
I like to use swear words. I’m unapologetic about that. People who swear are honest. I’m honest.
What are the key ingredients for a striking image?
For portraits, I believe the end result can’t be too manufactured. There must be some autonomy with the model. If it looks contrived, it won’t be striking. If I’m able to easily tell the story when I press the shutter, I did it.
How long does it take to create one of these wonderful works?
It depends on several factors. I have some shoots that are months or even years in the making. The shoot featured in this publication was conceptualized and executed in about four hours. I’ve worked with Tatum several times, and we have an amazing rapport. She’s creative herself and her input on the artistic side of things is just as important as my thoughts.
Has your vision and style evolved or changed over time?
It has. When I was getting started, I would go out and shoot anything, just to see what I could come up with. Much of it was me learning about what I liked. But it was also me just being young and naive.
As I’ve evolved, I now take a step back and ask myself “Why am I doing this and what am I trying to accomplish?” It’s about shooting with intention.
Could you share how you expand your vision of art, as a photographer?
I like to find models who are chameleons. I have a tight rotation of models that I use because I’m on this journey. When I start with someone new, often, it’s like we have to introduce ourselves to one another as artists. That takes time. If I’ve worked with someone before, there’s no need for introductions. We’ve already reached milestones on this path together. We understand each other and we can hit the ground running. Trying new idea is easier because the effort I need to put into understanding them can instead be used to expand what I can achieve with them.
This isn’t some secret formula or anything. It’s the very old practice of finding a muse. Find someone you click with and go on an artistic journey as partners. Together, you can expand your vision of art.
What do you think is the hardest thing in your life you've ever had to overcome?
I consider myself to be fortunate. My dream of getting into photography was derailed a bit by some financial hardships, but I eventually got back on course. I’ve enjoyed great health and there are people in the world who face much greater hardships than I’ve experienced.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and what are your hopes/dreams for the future?
I would say mentoring new photographers. Being at a point where I can share what I know is a reward to me. My hopes and dreams for the future are to help as many up-and-coming photographers be successful as possible.
For me, I’d like to keep moving up the ladder and take on more and more rewarding projects.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
My website is kevindealphotography.com. My Instagram is @kevindealphoto and my YouTube Channel, which I use to educate up-and-coming photographers is Kevin Deal Photography.
You can read The MAIN ISSUE Vol. 29 here: