"I shoot on film, and believe that narrative counts over technique". This is the first sentence you can find in the “About” section of Kenji Onglao’s website: it tells much about him and his irreverent way of photographing. A film lover, just like people who love Lomography.
Kenji is a 23-year-old photographer born in L.A., raised in Manila, and studied both in Madrid and Brussels. He started taking photos after taking inspiration from the editor of Purple Fashion Magazine (Olivier Zahm), who took a sort of photo diary in each issue of the magazine, with pictures of random stuff from his everyday life.
Been inspired from Olivier’s work, Kenji started documenting all the things he did with his friends, focusing in particular on relationships between people: I always thought that a picture can represent not only the relationship between the subjects who actually are in the frame, but also (and sometimes mostly) the relationship between the photographer and who’s in the frame. The effect, sometimes, can be a change in both the photographer and the subject.
The experience of dominating and directing the model changes the photographer, the same way as the model is modified by the artistic view of the photographer.
If the relationship between the subject and the photographer works, the result could be really cool; I saw many photography sets in which this wasn’t the case.
A little bit of photojournalism in his work is shown whenever he accomplishes to put a piece of reality in his pictures. The amazing challenge for a young photographer like him, is to understand what kind of photography style could be attractive from a selling point of view. As usual, commercial photography has a completely different standard from what’s suggested as the artist’s inspiration.
Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice). Read more about Alessandro’s work and life here or add him on Facebook or Google+.