A LUCEO Collaboration: Kevin German

    When it comes to living in Vietnam, I often feel like an island. Photographic collaboration is hard to come by. I miss the influence and camaraderie of others. During my last stint back in the States, I had the opportunity to collaborate on several projects with my LUCEO colleagues.

    While I valued the chance to include my style in said projects, frankly I just like to see how other people work. I study their interactions. I watch how they use their cameras as an extension of their bodies. I listen as they interpret a scene.

    We all have a different approach that is unique to our personalities. Those personalities are what more oftentimes drive the type of photographs we make.

    Looking back at my photographic career thus far, I can pinpoint the exact time where I first learned to be a documentary photographer. It wasn’t in some college class or on a certain internship. I was a waiter. A waiter at a small seafood restaurant in Port Angeles, WA.

    I had to quickly learn how to interpret what my customers needed from me. What were their personalities? How could I best cater to that, yet still maintain sincerity? As the summers progressed I became more and more comfortable with myself and how I interact with people.

    As an artist, sometimes it’s difficult to set aside your ego. But working with my colleagues it’s easy. I trust them. I respect them. I know that the final product will always be far greater than anything I could do on my own. I know that they all have a different approach that I’ve never even thought about. That’s why their photographs are different. Their sincerity and compassion drives the final product.

    At the end of the day, all photographers can make a frame. That’s not the hard part. What your subject allows you to take makes all the difference.

    You can watch one of our recent collaborations for AARP here.