This video interview of photographer Nadav Kander has been making the rounds the past couple of days. Put together by the National Portrait Gallery as a part of their exhibit, “Road to 2012” it delves into Kander’s approach to photography and, more specifically, portraiture. Nadav Kander’s work has fascinated me since I first came across it a few months ago. He has a brilliant eye that very few photographers have and is able to shoot extremely unique images. His portraits are amazing. He seems to be able to capture something in people that you don’t see very often. They are genuine in that they never look posed or overly polished. He explains how he achieves this in the video, saying that he doesn’t talk much at all during shoots. He likes the connection and tension that happens when you first meet someone and lets that feeling work for him. He puts his trust in his instincts, knowing he and the subject can work together to get what he wants without using a lot of words, relying instead on body language. He says, “I really like the connection that human beings have when there isn’t a great knowledge, like when you first meet people. I would find it very, very hard to photograph a friend well, or to photograph someday that I knew well. I think that that tension when you first meet people allows you to communicate without speaking.” In every photography class I’ve ever taken, when working with people, the advice has always been to talk to your subject and make them feel comfortable. That’s when, supposedly, you get the most honest and interesting photographs. Kander, however, is just the opposite and has developed a non-verbal approach, even a shorthand, if you will, that allows him to make incredible images that really capture the essence of his subjects.
[via A Photo Editor]