February 23, 2022
Photography by Noisy Kid
Interview by Melanie Meggs
Noisy Kid has been around for quite a while; first as a musician, and now as a photographer. His fun, outgoing personality and willingness to talk to anyone make him the perfect street photographer. He's known for his unique style, which he describes as 'Wherever you are, I shoot you!' His photographs capture candid moments of everyday life with an attitude that's both playful and spontaneous. At an exhibition of his work, a lady asked him how he could photograph people so easily. Noisy Kid explained that he has the ability to connect with people quickly and without hesitation. He never waits hours for the perfect moment and instead relies on his instinct and proximity to his subjects. He's an artist with a distinct approach that comes from his experience as a musician, and as a photographer, he has mastered the art of noise in photography.
“I played guitar in a punk rock band with which we did a few gigs. I had a tumour on my auditory nerve and after the operation it was prudent to stop playing music. I am a bit deaf on the left side. My nickname as a musician was Noisy Kid, now it is my nickname as a photographer. I was lucky because the notion of noise exists in photography.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH NOISY KID
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Noisy Kid please tell us about yourself.
NOISY KID: I am a 53 year old Belgian photographer. I am very dynamic and very sociable. I live around 40 minutes from Brussels. My house is in the countryside, so it's pretty nice during a pandemic. Only the moment counts for me. I never analyse myself in relation to the past. Today I'm ok in a crazy world, I always see the glass half full, never half empty. I think that my sociable side is reflected in my images.
I have a second job as an office worker (administrative expert).
TPL: What draws you to photography and art? How did your journey into photography begin?
NK: I started drawing when I was a little boy. I think the reason is simple, I liked comics and I wanted to reproduce what I was reading. There's nothing to intellectualise, that's the only reason. When I was older, I gave up drawing for music. I played guitar in a punk rock band with which we did a few gigs. The problem with the band was that one of the members was a drum machine, which never replaces a real drummer (at least at that time, late 90s). As for me, I had a tumour on my auditory nerve and after the operation it was prudent to stop playing music. I am a bit deaf on the left side. My nickname as a musician was Noisy Kid, now it is my nickname as a photographer. I was lucky because the notion of noise exists in photography. To start with, I bought a Nikon D7000 and joined a photo club whose members had a lot of experience and good advice.
TPL: Tell us the story behind the series of images that you have sent to us. What do you want to express with your work?
NK: I walk, I photograph, I talk to the people I sometimes put in the situation, I laugh. My photographs don't have to tell anything special, by its nature a portrait already gives off a lot of emotion. However, I always look at what is happening in the viewfinder of my camera. My eyes tell me if it's okay. Note that while I like photos that are simply beautiful and decorative, I do not reject those that tell a story. I've stopped photographing the homeless, it's too easy and I have no lessons to give. I prefer to give them $2 or a bowl of soup.
TPL: What have been some of your favourite memories or moments in your photography journey thus far?
NK: I will tell you about a moment with a London policeman I wanted to photograph. He was very playful and had a typical English humour. I felt that my camera was a remote control for him and only for him. I could ask him to do anything, even to jump in with both feet. I swear it wasn't Mr Bean.
TPL: Do you have any favourite artists and photographers?
NK: Robert Doisneau, Stanley Kubrick, Frank Horvat, Dennis Hopper, Léonard Misonne, Peter Lindbergh, Brassaï, John Bulmer, William Claxton, Bruce Gilden, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Larry Fink, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Alice Springs, Chuck Close, René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Renoir, Piet Mondrian, J.M.W. Turner, Victor Vasarely, Paula Raiglot, Driving Dead Girl, Séverine Day, Hammer-Jam-Her,The Kinks, The Ramones, Cosmic Psychos, The Monsters, Ennio Morricone, Frank Sinatra, Rock garage, Punk-Rock, Hardcore, Alternative rock, Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson, Louis de Funès, Bourvil, Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Bernard Blier, Brigitte Bardot, Diana Rigg, Benny Hill, Jerry Seinfeld, Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson (Bottom), Marc Jolivet, Robin Pourbaix,...
I walk, I photograph, I talk to the people I sometimes put in the situation, I laugh.
TPL: If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose?
NK: Peter Lindbergh, just great. I'll watch, I'll listen, I'll learn.
TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length? How much post-processing do you do?
NK: My favourite camera at this moment is the very versatile Nikon D750, perfect for me. I keep an eye on Fujifilm's medium format cameras, not just a dream, I hope.
I always look for contact, proximity with people, I always face them. Therefore, a 24-70mm f2.8 lens and a 35mm lens are largely sufficient. I also use the 24-70mm when I take pictures during concerts. A 85mm lens is my maximum limit in studio photography (portrait, fashion photography). A 70-200mm f2.8 lens? Why not but rarely because I don't have this lens. For street photography, I sometimes use a cobra flash if it's absolutely necessary or to satisfy an artistic intention.
I have 2 x « Elinchrom ELC 500 monolight studio flash » + many light shapers. I use Lightroom to develop my RAW files, I use Photoshop for retouching and editing.
TPL: What are your goals as an artist or photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? What do you see as the next chapter in your exploration for future projects?
NK: Let's just say I'll stop taking pictures when technology allows us to take perfect photos with our own eyes. Just to say, look Blincam in 2016, a wearable camera which attaches to any pair of glasses. It lets you capture the moment instantly by a wink, or a blink. There's already a race to develop technology for the contact lenses of the future. Medically it will be great, but artistically it won't be fun for me. We will be in the world of fast and effortless photography.
In five years' time, I will of course still be there. The pandemic is constraining but I want to do new exhibitions. I also hope that my online shop will be successful. The large prints I sell have a really nice quality (piezography or chromaluxe). I don't sell worldwide. For the moment I only sell where I can deliver myself, so mainly in my Belgium.
TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…
NK: When I'm not out photographing, I like to listen to music, play guitar for myself...let my imagination go.