PQs Main Character Aesthetic.

photography, retoucher & creative director Kira Ricard

model Cameron Young

words Rozwell

An interview with photographer Kira Ricard.

If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?

If I could live anywhere in the world I’d choose to live somewhere in Europe. The architecture and history there is endless. It’s essentially a photographer’s playground.

What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?

Excited and nervous, I’ve been doing a lot of shooting and no matter how many times I do it I always get nervous just before.

What sort of work do you specialize in?

I specialize in editorial/fashion and creative photography.

Did you go to school to study photography?

I have not gone to school for photography, I haven’t even graduated high school yet, however I intend to study film and directing.

How long have you been a photographer?

Since 2016 with my middle school yearbook, I got a Camera for Christmas that year and that was the beginning.

What or who got you started in photography?My uncle gave me a disposable camera on a trip when I was 5 or 6 and I had more fun taking photos than anything else we did.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as a combination of dark with a lot of berry tones, the duality of my photography is important.

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

Canon EOS Rebel T6Canon Rebel Ti (35mm Film)

What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?

My camera bag, I received it recently as a Christmas gift, its galaxy print, I love space and it has definitely made getting ready for a shoot a lot easier.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

My Canon EF 18-135mm, I like a zoom lens when I'm shooting because I can get more of a variation of shot from one angle without having to move as much.

What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?

My external flash and a reflector, I typically shoot during the day for natural light.

Can you describe how and when you use flash, video light, reflectors and natural light during a shoot?

I tend to use flash on the rare occasion that I shoot at night in addition, however I use reflectors during the day or during the night, in order to get a good sharp photo of the model(s) it's important to have good lighting which is why I prefer natural light, with a reflector.

What is your favorite computer and editing software? Are you a MAC or PC lover?

My favorite computer is my Macbook, it's really light and it's small which I like because I have small hands. I also primarily use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

How important is your editing software in your final images?

Mildly important, I like to edit my photos but I don't do any extreme retouching ie. dodge and burn, I prefer to focus on composition and colors for my photos than relying on editing to make my photos good.

Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?

I have my eyes on some film developing equipment, I started shooting film recently and I absolutely love it, however I want to get more involved in the process.

Can you briefly describe for the readers your photographic workflow?

60% of my photography is planning, I like to be able to start shooting and get the shots that are needed so that there’s time to get some more artistic shots and even trying new things. The other 40% is dedicated to shooting and editing and the ratio differs each time, but planning is the most important part to me.

How do you feel about cropping an image?

Cropping an image is important especially portraits because there are certain features and things that should be included in order to make the photo complete.

What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such great imagery?

History and its events and how they are being retold in the future,

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?

I challenged myself to 30 days of photography?/editing and on the third day I had to photoshop myself into a background of 6-7 cameras and it took me forever. I attempted to get it done in way less time than I actually had and I will never do that again.

Do you have an assistant? If so why?

No I do not.

Where would be your dream destination assignment?

Paris, I have a friend who is a fashion designer and I love her work, not just because she’s my friend, and in a perfect world we’d get to work together, even more so since I do editorial and fashion photography.

What is your favorite image you have shot recently?

A photo I recently took of one of my old friends, it was more of a shoot just for fun but the photos turned out to be some of my personal best.

What do you think of the photography industry at the moment and where do you see it in 5 years from now?

I think the photography industry as it is now is going to see a downfall of the hierarchy of photographers who have been deemed good solely because they’ve shot with celebrities. In 5 years I see a reduction of this clout culture Instagram fed and an increase in people creating more for themselves again, almost like a second renaissance.

A photographer who inspires you?

Vuhlandes, he's a medium format film and digital photographer based out of Detroit. His work is stunning to look at and his style is so unique that once you see one of his photos you can recognize any of his photos.

A website and/or blog you visit often?

Pinterest, when you’re an artist of any kind you never stop wanting to create, even if you're tired so for me I use Pinterest to create Moodboards for future shoots.

The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

Jessica Kobeissi, I’m watching her edit right now as I fill out this interview, since making the switch from landscape to portrait photography her videos have really helped me transition.

The last workshop or seminar you attended and why?

I attended a virtual seminar on color grading. I wanted to get a better grasp on the concept not just for photo but also video.

How important is an awesome website for your business?

Extremely, even if it's just a basic portfolio or your name and a link to your social media. It’s an essential to seeming and being professional.

Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?

I want to photograph Yara Shahidi and Luka Sabbat. In that order, I know that the photos would be amazing and the shoot itself would be immaculate. I w

What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?

The same advice everyone else probably gives, get a camera and start taking photos, and just keep taking photos until you're happy with them.

Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?

I have a love for both space and mythology so a lot of the creative work I do is influenced by those two things meanwhile for my editorial style shoots I will usually choose a some god or goddess to embody that shoot, for example Hera the Queen of the Greek Gods, or Ra the Egyptian Sun God.

Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?

I wish I would have started sooner. I was so afraid of people not liking my work I almost forgot that I liked it.

If you could be invisible for one day with your camera…

Oh for sure break into area 51, people need answers and I would have the ability to get them. But on a serious note I’d probably just take some candid shots of my friends so I could surprise them.

Something you’re still learning?

Dodge and Burn editing, it’ll be another few months before I get good at it.

Something you’re saving up for?

Medium Format Camera

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?

Probably Tim Burton, his directing style is so aesthetically pleasing and he has a lot of talent it'd be amazing to get to talk to him about his creative process.

First thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Buy a Mamiya Medium Format camera.

What photographic ambitions have you not yet achieved?

Fully learning how to retouch, some of these techniques are really hard and are just about practicing.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?

Directing my first feature film, or being a full time photographer

And the last questions, if you had one wish…

I think I’d wish for infinite fries, I know it's not photography related but they’re my favorite food.

Your readers can find out more about me:

Website: danslavide.com

YouTube: youtube.com/kiraslifedanslavide

Instagram: instagram.com/lavide.jpeg

Twitter: twitter.com/kiradanslavide