Two photographers from Vancouver are taking part in today’s ‘The Swap’ by the name of Andrew Querner and Kamil Bialous http://theswap.info/aqkb.html.
I asked them the usual questions about their experience of taking part in the project.
How do you know each other?
A: Through the online photo community. But when I moved to Vancouver last year, we started hanging out in real life.
K: Andrew and I met as a result of social media - often times you hear of others photographers online, through blogs or Instagram, and you decide to connect if you happen to be in the same city or place and share ideas over coffee or drinks. or at least hang out. This is pretty much how we came to hang out.
How did you feel being the subject of a photograph as opposed to the photographer?
A: Without the responsibility I was free to simply enjoy the exchange. I was surprised by how good it felt to put my trust in him.
K: It’s an interesting situation to be in, and I approach it in a trusting way. I know who I am, and I’m comfortable being that person. I kind of let go of everything else creatively, and just enjoy the creative moment. I really liked watching Andrew look or find locations he thought would make for a good photograph.
Did you discuss the shoot prior to taking the images?
A: A little. We agreed that it would probably occur outdoors.
K: We discussed the shoot to the extent that we wanted to spend some time outdoors and go for a hike. We’re both fortunate to live in a n area where access to the mountains is available within a minutes’ drive, or even walk, and knowing Andrew, I can say that spending time outside is important to both of us. So I think shooting outside in the woods or mountains and keeping it casual was definitely the right approach.
Did you enjoy the process?
A: The portrait almost became an afterthought to the idea of simply going on a walk in the woods. So of course, this is enjoyable. I am less used to photographing friends, so the process pushed me a little.
K: Totally. Spend time in a forest in the mountains. No doubt it was awesome.
Did you experiment with a new style of photography or did you reflect your normal approach?
A: For me, it was my normal approach albeit with above mentioned twist.
K: Definitely reflected my normal approach. It’s quite unforced, trying to allow the environment to speak loudly, I then like to position the subject within the frame, give them some guidance. The positioning doesn’t always have to make sense to me, I like to enjoy a bit of a question as to what’s happening. Andrew and I adore good light, so that was important.
How do you think the two portraits relate to each other?
A: We made the pictures in Squamish, British Columbia. For different reasons, this location is significant to both of us. The portraits quietly speak to this. But both of us are simply into the outdoors as a place of refuge and inspiration.
K: I think they both speak to the shared importance of the outdoors in both our lives. Despite the photos being made in the exact same forest on the exact same mountain, there is a definite sense of each of our styles within the individual photographs, which is exactly what you want when it comes to art.
Andrew and I took photos of each other. Grant was the legal witness (sort of). You can read the gripping account of the events here. A very fun project indeed, and always a worthy reason to spend time in the mountains.