Image copyright Kevin Kuster. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Every so often I run across a spectacular image from a photographer I've just met, and it's fun to share their work. So, it's time for you to meet Kevin Kuster.
But there's a fun backstory here and even a lesson or two behind it:
I'm honored to be speaking at Chicago's ClickCon conference in August, and Sherry Hagerman recently shared a nice comment on Facebook about us working together over the years with the banner for my programs. Typical of Facebook, a lot of people saw it and Kevin Kuster, who I've never met, commented.
His response sounded like he might be a photographer needing a little help. If you've met me or followed me for even the shortest amount of time, then you know how proactive I am. I'll always opt for instant fulfillment when I want to meet somebody, and I just picked up the phone and called him.
My assumption couldn't have been more off base. Kevin wasn't a future attendee looking for help, but one of the instructors himself. He's been a photographer for twenty-eight years, and that was part of the reason for my call to him. Looking at his website, I saw so many outstanding images and wanted to have a conversation.
In terms of the image I wanted to share in this profile, it was from a Civil War reenactment group several years ago. Click on the image to view it in the SCU LightBox. Kevin sent me the specs on the portrait. It was captured with a "Canon EOS 5D Mark III and 24-70 mm lens, shot at f2.8 at 1/250. All available light.No retouching. Smoke fell perfectly around his eye. Converted RAW file to black and white in Nik Silver Affects Pro."
But the story gets better. Kevin mentioned he hadn't updated his website in a long time, because he's putting all of his energy into Watts of Love. Visiting their website, I couldn't help but like what they're doing, and it's so perfect for his background and love for understanding light - not just in photography but in helping to bring light into people's lives.
It's a great play on words. I grabbed a screenshot of their belief statement from their website where Kevin is a founding member and Creative Director. And, take the time to watch the short video about Watts of Love below.
"All great change comes from the passion of others."
More Than Just A Light from Watts of Love on Vimeo.
Looking to see more of Kevin's work? His website is just a click away. And, I've written so much over the years about giving back. Check out Watts of Love and your opportunity to join a dedicated group of people working to help create change in so many different lives.
Kevin is also very active in social media. You can follow what's he's up to on Instagram: @kevinkuster and Twitter through @kevinkuster247.
So here's my point this morning...take the time to meet people - whether phone, social media or best of all in person.
We're all part of an incredible industry, and if I hadn't made a call today I would have missed out on meeting Kevin; seeing some spectacular work from a passionate artist, and learning about a non-profit focused on making the world a better place...one light of hope at a time!
Kevin and I are both speaking at ClickCon in August. Whether you're attending our classes or not, take the time to come by and say hello!
The best part of this industry has nothing to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. What a kick!
See you in Chicago!
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.