Kory Jean Kingsley is a young photographer based in Savannah, Georgia, and one of the editors behind the contemporary photography publication, Aint-Bad Magazine. If you aren’t familiar with Aint-Bad you should bookmark it now (do people still bookmark things?) it’s become one of my favourite places to visit for photo inspiration, and the printed version is definitely worth your attention.
I’m excited to introduce Kory as a guest contributor for the next little bit, and look forward to seeing some work by people I’m not familiar with. Enjoy this brief interview and please give her a warm welcome!
Jeff Hamada: Where are you right now? What are you listening to?
Kory Jean Kingsley: I’m sitting in my apartment in Savannah, Georgia where I am residing until I finish my BFA this spring. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hurray for the Riff Raff, they played a show here in the fall and now I can’t stop listening to their music. Outside my window is a humid yet beautiful evening in the lowcountry – spring has finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier.
JH: I’m checking them out now, the girl’s voice is terrific. Are you musical at all?
KJK: I’ve never mastered an instrument although I’ve tried many. Music is very important to me and I’ve found that I’m lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by musically talented people, especially at home in Vermont.
JH: How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
KJK: My work is driven by my desire to document the places and people who have left a mark on my life.
JH: Are there any photographers in your family? Was your first camera passed down to you?
KJK: My dad was a photographer – or at least he carried a camera around with him everywhere when I was younger. Owning a restaurant and a nightclub on top of that took away his time to photograph. I like to think I picked up where he left off. My dad recently handed down a Leica M4 to me that belonged to his friend who was once a photojournalist.
JH: I think a big part of being a photographer is the commitment to carrying around a camera, at least it was, especially when everyone didn’t have a phone that could take photos. Whose photography are you looking at these days, who is influencing you?
KJK: Working as an editor for Aint-Bad Magazine, I am constantly looking at photographers and new work. Some of my biggest influences and favorite photographers include Acacia Johnson, Harry Cory Wright and Susan Worsham.
JH: And now you’re one of the head editors! How do you balance looking at so much work online and actually making your own work?
KJK: Taking classes and working can be time consuming at times but I’ve developed a way to balance my time. I’m looking forward to graduating in this spring and having even more free time for personal work.
JH: If you took a trip without a camera, would it drive you crazy to not be able to shoot?
KJK: In some situations, yes, but it’s possible to find other ways to document your travels. For example, keeping a restaurant tab in a journal can have the same significance as a photograph – it’s just another reminder of the places I’ve visited.
JH: What can you tell me about this series of Polaroid photos here?
KJK: This series consists of Polaroid emulsion lifts using Fuji’s FP100c film. I put the Polaroids in hot water and lifted off the emulsion to make transfers. Some of these images were photographed with a 4×5 large format field camera and others were shot using a Polaroid land camera. This is an on-going series that I plan on continuing in the spring.
JH: They’re really delicate, like scarves or something. It adds a layer of quietness to the images. Has taking photos taught you anything about yourself?
KJK: One of my favourite quotes is by Nan Golden “I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.” After studying photography I’ve developed a better understanding of time and the impact it has on humans. I have documented so much in the last six years of my life that I’m much more aware of the people who have come in and out my life.