Whenever we’re looking for artists to feature in the Magazine, we always ask ourselves if we share the same fascination with the analogue process. When we came across Kid Richards and his work, we felt that there’s this connection. And after seeing what he had in store for us on the interview, there was no denying that he was as passionate about it as anyone can get. Kid describes shooting with film as something magical and we respect that. In this world digital manipulations, maybe a dose of analogue magic is just what we need.
Hello, Kid. Welcome to the Lomography Online Magazine! How did you get started on your photographic journey?
Hey, everyone! I began this journey — shooting film — around 4 years ago. It came mostly because of my curiosity about the medium. The action of using a film roll, the old cameras. Search for the square one, and learn from the beginning. When you like something, I think it’s important to know where it came from — the origins.
How would you define photography?
It’s one of the most powerful tools we have to express ourselves, a tool to keep moments forever. A photograph is so powerful. You can freeze a moment forever. You can grab a photo and say “You see? this happened!” That’s amazing! Oh, and with film, you can have that actual frame in your hand! What about that!?
What do you like most about it?
Well, I really love everything about it. From buying and always searching for new cameras to try, to the idea of having limited shots to do with a roll of film, and not a memory card. Everything in film photography is so physical. Even the cameras are so much different — really heavy, cold, so cool! It’s a romantic thing… a love affair that I have with film photography. Even if I prepare the shoot, I like that feeling of walking on a rope… There’s always something that can go wrong, and you need to know what you’re doing. I usually say to people that tell me that they want to shoot film: grab a fully manual camera, and you’ll see the magic of it.
We love the emotion that goes into your photographs. They give the images a moody atmosphere. Was that a style you were going for?
I think I was always searching for something, but at the same time, I always go with the flow. It’s a difficult challenge for me, all this time, to try to find my own identity. That’s a struggle that I have and think about every day, but eventually, without noticing, you’ll find your way along the path. I think that at the end of the day, in photography and in the art world, that’s the main goal — to have your own identity. When you see a photo from Avedon or a photo from Herb Ritts or Helmut Newton, you know that those photos belong to them. That’s identity. That’s your mark in history.
We also like the way you use light in your images. They add flavor to your photographs. Which do you prefer — natural or artificial light? Why?
That’s a difficult one. I began shooting indoors, and around that time I didn’t have enough money to spend on professional lights. So I made a way to buy and use continuous light — cheap and normal kitchen ceiling lights that I would glue to some drum cymbal tripods with gaffer tape. I’d paint them over with different colors, etc. I still use them. So I got used to using continuous light. I like the idea of seeing live the light you are doing. Just some months ago, I began playing with studio strobes and my Mamiya RZ. I like natural light too! And I love doing long exposures at night with the available light at the scene.
Why choose film for your creative work?
Film is magical. It makes me much more creative when shooting. Once again, it’s more physical. I like the feeling of not seeing what you’re doing. You need to know what you are doing. It’s much more special. And all the processes after shooting — developing, enlarging. It’s so different from digital. I don’t know, it’s the real deal. Film always gives me the will to try something new, something different. Some weeks ago, when I went back to LA, I bought some old Kodak 110 Instamatic cameras with some Lomography Tiger 200 film to play around with and, to be creative with that medium. It was really cool!
Who are the artists that you follow? Why?
Well, I follow a lot of people, with different kind of works. But from time to time, I need to step back a bit and close myself to all that information. Nowadays we have access to literally everything, and I think that it’s amazing, but at the same time, it could harm us. It can make us compare ourselves, and that’s not good. Seems like everything was already made, and at some point, it was. We are trying to absorb and assimilate all our references and do something from our own. It’s cyclical.
Do this exercise: Check out the Taschen Pirelli Calendar book, that has all the shootings since the first one, and you will find all the aesthetics that you’ve been seeing on Instagram for the past five years… all of them, from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and so on.
Anyway, I’m fortunate to have amazingly talented friends, that are photographers too, and they are big references and inspirations for me. Like Bryan Rodner Carr, Pat Martin, Mau Mau João, Dennis Swiatkowsky, Tiago Costa “Deadline”, Celso Colaço, Donari Braxton, Atisha Paulson, and others. And I have so many friends from other art areas that inspire me a lot, like the legendary Tigerman or Ryan Golden Kirkpatrick, for example. And there are always the classics with me — Avedon, Penn, Ritts, Newton, Demarchelier, D’orazio. You can’t go wrong with them.
Why do you make images?
To keep moments with me forever. To not forget.
What challenges you to create?
That’s the main point. This is a constant challenge, a constant struggle. I think that I’m always searching for the photo, that perfect shot. Probably I’ll be searching for it until I die.
When it comes to gear — do you think having a certain setup affects your ability to produce quality content?
Sure. Shooting a Mamiya RZ or a Canon prima will give you different results for sure. But here’s another thing that I love with film, even if you’re using cheap cameras, you can do amazing things. That’s something I like to do, to always search for new cameras to see what I can do with them. At the end of the day, you can have a really expensive camera with amazing lenses, but if you don’t have the eye, then all that gear is pointless.
What does a perfect day look like for Kid Richards?
A perfect day? Well, I can get a good cup of coffee with almond milk. Then I can go downtown to search for some new books and magazines while shooting some diary photos on the way. After lunch, I would have a shoot with my team. By the end of the afternoon, I would be back home and I’ll go to some buy-and-sell websites to check some new vintage gear and search for a cheap new Contax for 50 bucks. After dinner, I would have a rehearsal with my band.
Lastly, what’s next for you?
I really don’t know. I wish I could tell you. I hope there’s something good ahead, but I don’t know. I really don’t. I’m working hard for it. But most of the times I don’t know what will happen. One thing is certain: I won’t stop shooting film.
We would like to thank Kid for letting us feature his images in the Magazine. If you’re interested in his work, you may head over to his Instagram for more.