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Interview: Riley Kalbus / Photographer

This week Slate sat down with Photographer Riley Kalbus.
Tell me a bit about how you got into photography?
I began my artistic career painting and doing illustrations. When I broke my arm and was in a cast, preventing me from painting, I borrowed a camera from a friend and fell in love with the creative process of photography.


You’re originally from California, but reside in New York, which place do you feel fuels your creativity more?
I believe both fuel my creativity in different ways. When I am in California I feel more inspired by the expansive, physical beauty of the landscape/seascape. While I am in New York I work on more introspective/ fine art projects over a longer period of time.


What was your first ever camera?

My first camera was a Canon G12 point and shoot.
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Who would you consider to be your biggest muse?

My biggest muse would have to be water, specifically the ocean.

 

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I strive towards a clean and refined element in my work. I like for each photograph to embody an atmosphere, images that have immersive qualities.
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What was one of your favorite projects to work on and why?

My favorite project was this series of large format portraits I did of young competitive swimmers. It was done very similarly to Richard Avedon’s American West series.


Do you have any tips for an aspiring photographer, who is picking up a camera for the first time?

Try not to think so much about technicalities when you’re starting; it just gets in the way of finding your own voice within the craft. I’m not saying technique doesn’t matter but I believe that it is secondary starting off. I would also push them to try everything. Shooting portraits, fashion, landscape, still life – try it all to find out what you really love and then specialize in that.
Thanks Riley! To see more of Riley’s work, check out his Instagram.