Monthly Archives: June 2015

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A place where you can almost touch the clouds above.

Thanks @jasonmpeterson, @niche, and @aoncenter.
#nicheXjasonmpeterson

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Running a photo walk at 9:00am at the Out of Chicago photography Confernece today. Also giving two talks. If you can’t attend, check me out on the app PERISCOPE. Hope to webcast the talks. Username: kevinkuster.

The mission of a good portrait is to capture a glimpse of humanity. If done really, really well, a portrait should reveal the viewers humanity through the eyes of the subject.

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To get ready for my talk at the Out of Chicago photography conference this weekend, I am posting some of my portrait images and giving a few tips on how to shoot better editorial portraits.

Some people hate having their portraits taken. Others love it!

If you’re lucky enough to stumble on someone who loves having their picture taken. Use that to your advantage and stay out of their way.

It’s like the famous Kevin Costner line in the movie Bull Durham, “you never talk to a pitcher when he is in the middle of throwing a no hitter!” Just stay out of their way and catch what they are throwing at you.

Oh, and I said Kevin Costner not Kuster.

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My next photography teaching engagement will be in my home town of Chicago. One of my talks will be on shooting editorial portraits.

To get ready for my talk I am pulling some of my editorial portrait images and thought I would post a few for those of you who can’t attend my talks this weekend. Link to conference is in my bio.

I shot this image durning a conservative fashion shooting. Although this was not the type of shot the client was looking for, I just had to create this one for myself. After I shot this and turned it into a B&W the client loved it!

Lesson #1. ALWAYS shoot the best light available at any given moment! Even if client or people think “what the hell are they doing” you can NOT be afraid to hear you’re doing it wrong.

Follow you instincts and let creativity be your driving force!

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The greatest Father’s Day gift was given to me without knowing it was being delivered or received.

On our most recent flight together my son, despite wanting to be considered and seen as a young man still clasped my hand when the plane was taking off.

Dad’s don’t need colorful ties, new shirts, fancy cards or material items given to them on Father’s Day.

Despite getting it wrong often and knowing we sometimes fall short, the best gift we father’s could ever receive is your trust.

To those that struggle on Father’s Day, I reach my hand out to you and say… “peaceful” Father’s Day. It might not have been what you thought you needed in life or the kind of relationship you hoped for, however, it was perhaps the best he could offer with the cards that he was dealt.

Thank you son. Holding your hand means more to me than you will ever know!

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Framed so perfectly that I just had too.

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Often when I fly I am convinced there is a place between heaven and earth.

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They call it a “classic” for a reason.

Started my day shooting with @travelandleisure with a little bit of a hiccup. It was so cold in my hotel bedroom last night that when I pulled my cameras out this morning to begin shooting they immediately fogged up with massive condensation! I’ve never seen anything like it. The condensation was so bad I had to go back to the hotel and warm up my cameras and lenses up with a blow-dryer for 30 minutes!

Note to self…”when shooting in New Orleans and the humidity is as thick as wet cement, don’t let the cleaning lady regulate your hotel room thermometer!

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It has been years since I have been back in New Orleans! I am so glad to be back here again and shooting for @travelandleisure.

The French Quarter is truly visual eye candy for a photographer. I love just walking the streets and taking it all in.

See you on the streets today Big Easy and don’t forget to smile.

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WOW! I have never seen the sky make everything look SO gray. No photoshop drama needed!

This is not the way I wanted my shooting for @travelandleisure to begin. Next stop New Orleans. If I make it.

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Although I have no idea if either one of these men knew each other, I could’ve spent days interacting and photographing both of them!

Both of these men had an such a amazing presence about them. Plus, each man had an equally impressive smile and laugh when they received their new @wattsoflove solar light.

I found the people of Nepal to be some of the most interesting people I have ever had the great fortune to meet.

I am very eager to return to Nepal and hope I will very soon.#wol, #givelights, #nepalphotoproject #nepal2015

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We have never worked with such a great group of village Elders than we did with the elders in Khalte VDC in the Dhading.

We were so honored to work with them and we were completely blown away with how seriously they took their task of helping us find those that were in the most need of a new solar light or headlamp.

In this photo you can see One of the village elders, Kishor Dhungana (rockin his @wattsoflove backpack and tee shirt) read from the list on who will be receiving a light. He and his list and all the village elders were AWSOME!

We can’t wait to return. #wol, #givelight, #nepalphotoproject

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We were informed that almost 90% of the homes in Khalte VDC in the Dhading district of Nepal had experienced some kind of structural damage or been completely destroyed.

Many of the people that we encountered seem to have internal wounds and trama that were equal to their homes external damage.

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…………………………………………………… Hey it’s @kevinkuster posting for our theme for today.

Theme: Not for squares
Tag: #jj_notforsquares_56.
Photographer: @bobosnaps

They say timing is everything in life and this was timed perfectly. What a lovely moment. Please give @bobosnaps some #jj love and new followers.

Thanks to @jj_editor_earroyo

Keep scrolling #jj community. @kevinkuster

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As if pulled from a Steven Speilberg movie scene, I saw this boy pushing his hand made toy designed from a simple stick and two metal wheels through the rubble and carnage that was once his neighbors homes.

I will admit that there was something so amazingly beautiful about this boy and the environment that surrounded him that I could not stop watching.

Despite all of the difficulty and brokenness around him, this boy was able to find great joy with the simplest of items. He didn’t need a Xbox, the latest Lego set or a shinny new bike. As I watched him, I thought of my son and I wondered how well have I prepared my boy to deal with life’s difficulties and struggles.

Unlike the movies that wrap everything up nice and neat within a 90 minute time frame so everyone can walk out smiling and happy, today I do not know how this boy and his family are doing. I hope and pray that as the sun sets each night, the headlamp we gave him, is providing his family and him some assistance as they rebuild from the earthquake that shatter so many in Nepal.

After giving him his light and taking his picture, (which I was honored to do) I watched him push his toy through the rubble and rock, however, this time as I watched him disappear off in the distance I could see his new light illuminate his path.

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As if pulled from a Steven Speilberg movie scene, I saw this boy pushing his hand made toy designed from a simple stick and two metal wheels through the rubble and carnage that was once his neighbors homes.

However, unlike the movies that wrap everything up nice and neat within a 90 minute time frame, today I do not know how this boy and his family are doing.

Although I hope and pray that as the sun sets today the headlamp we gave him, is providing his family and him some assistance as they rebuild from the earthquake that shatter so many in Nepal.

After taking his picture, (which I was honored to do) I watched him push his toy again through the rubble and rock, however, this time as I watched him disappear off in the distance I could see his new light illuminate his path.

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“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” — General Dwight D Eisenhower

Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Normandy landings, which have come to become known as D-Day. Thank you to all men that bravely landed at five beaches codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword. Your bravery has not forgotten!

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A horrific rainstorm had just completed delivering it’s furry and additional difficulties for the villagers or Khalte VDC in the Dhading.

Although we had another large @wattsoflove light distribution scheduled, it was delayed because of the torrential storm. Once the black and rain-laden storm clouds passed our camp, the light recipients eagerly returned.

I decided to forgo capturing the large light distribution and adventure out. I have found that often getting out on my own and “seeing what happens” tends to create my most memorable moments both personally and photographically.

Not 15 minutes into my mud caked ridge-line walk, I saw this mother carrying her baby amongst several destroyed and vacant homes. The juxtaposition of her beautiful pink dress, yellow scarf and new born baby surrounded by the destruction and rubble was jarring. I also couldn’t help and notice her bruised eye and scape on her cheek. I knew she was a perfect recipient for one of the headlamps I was carrying in my backpack for my return trec back to camp.

With one additional backup headlamp still in my backpack for the walk home and this photo now residing in my camera, I continued my journey. Little did I know that the most meaningful moment of my entire Nepal trip was just about roll into my life…

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Tonight in Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, I am representing our entire #JJ Community at the Golden Trumpet awards ceremony. “Hey, what is that Kevin?” Well, since you asked… Our #JJ community was nominated for the best social media campaign of 2015 for our @fiatusa Open Road Challenge #2.Pretty cool huh?

Although we don’t know if we will win or not, both @Joshjohnson and I have a lot of people to thank. Most importantly we have all of you to thank! Without your dedication talent and belief in this amazing community, we wouldn’t be where we are today!

Special thanks @digicalligraphy @taylorhornecker @schanel5 @panog @jessicaabt who were all involve in some shape or form with one of our two Fiat Usa Open Road Challenge programs. A huge special thanks to Joe Haggard for creating one amazing video for us.

We also want to thank @authenticallystephanie for keeping us organized for this award and getting everything submitted on time!

Hey, I think I just saw Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Perhaps this is a good time for a selfie post with this little cute unknown couple. Ha!

I’ll keep you update and let you know if we win or not.

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They say that in the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci,  Mona Lisa’s smile revels everything and yet nothing all.

I believe the same could be said about this Nepali man’s gaze as well. I have studies his face for the longest time and I honestly no clue what his eyes are reveling. What are your thoughts?

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It was so great to see people from the village of Khalte 4 Dadagaun Dhading teaching other light recipients how to use their new @wattsoflove light.

The saying ” give a man a fish and you wil feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you will feed him for life” took on an entirely new depth for me. Please note the little guy watching so intently behind them!