INTERVIEW

March 3, 2020

LET THERE BE LIGHT

IN CONVERSATION WITH KEVIN ICABALES

Photography by Kevin Icabales
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Filipino street photographer Kevin Icabales sets a scene with a bit of a tongue-in-cheek humour. You can see his love for candid moments in his photography with his distinctive style of candid storytelling.

"And God said, let there be light, and there was light."
-
GENESIS 1:3

"Photography is all about light. Seeing and experiencing the wonders of His creation urges me to see beyond what I cannot do. I know that I can be creative because He created me in His own image and likeness."

TPL: Kevin, when did you start getting interested in photography?

KI: I started photography after I graduated from college. My twin aunts bought me a DSLR for a graduation gift. I started shooting weddings and concerts. I realized that I love taking pictures of decisive moments or candids. That passion led me into street photography and I knew where I was called to do. I now use a Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration?

KI: I find my inspiration from my family, when I let them evaluate my work, and also, how they will respond emotionally towards my photos. Also, seeing the viewers change their ways and making them reflect their lives from my photographs makes me eager to continue doing so.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us?

KI: My favorite photographers are Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Garry Winogrand and Elliott Erwitt.

TPL: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

KI: My style of shooting has changed a lot when I started street photography. I am more aware of what to put and exclude inside my frame. It is like making music with lots of scales in your mind, then eventually you will pick the best melody that works. For me, this genre should be the start of all aspiring photographers. You will not just learn the technical stuff but also it will build your character as well.

TPL: Where is your favourite place to shoot?

KI: My favorite place to shoot is around metro Manila in the Philippines.

TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?

KI: I believe that an equipment can never outdo what your vision wants to create. These are just mediums of your creation. Let us break the mindset that says, "You take good pictures because you have an expensive camera". You cannot say that "the food is delicious because the stove is expensive", same goes with photography. If you have the means to buy higher equipment, then go for it. But always remember that the best camera is the one that you have at the present time.

TPL: What characteristics do you think you need to become a photographer? What’s your tips or advice for someone in your genre?

KI: Always be strong and humble. Be a man or a woman of integrity because it all starts there. Be open and accept constructive criticisms towards you and your works. Meet new like-minded people, build rapport and inspire one another because each of you is a unique individual.

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?

KI: I was inclined to music before photography. I was a guitar and vocals in our rock band when I was in college and I also write songs.

TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?

KI: I am currently working on an Ad Gone Wrong project. I'll let you know once available.

TPL: "If I wasn’t photographing what would I be doing?...

KI: Singing and songwriting."