Kevin Rossatty is a young talented photographer with a passion for self portraits and fine art, join me as I get to know him up close on this interview
Well, my name is Kevin Rossatty and I’m a self-taught photographer from Guatemala City. I’m 21 years old, and I’m studying graphic design at one the local universities here in Guatemala.
How long have you been doing photography?
I started taking pictures in 2011 when I got my first camera, and pretty much all my childhood I was always amazed by photography but never got a chance to take pictures with a decent SLR.
What type of camera do you use?
I use a Canon 6D, which I got around March this year, and my first camera is a Canon XSi, in which I learned pretty much everything of what I know today. I also got two film cameras (a canon AE and a Canonet QL17).
What is your ideal camera?
I’ve always craved a Nikon F or any camera in which you can achieve a natural tilt-shift effect.
It seems like most of your photos are taken outdoors, do you believe nature plays a big role in your style?
Yes. I’ve done some pictures indoors, but I love how much you can do with nature and the human figure. I’d like to do studio shots once I get the right equipment to achieve decent images.
Your photographs look like beautiful paintings, was it a lucky coincidence or are you inspired by paintings?
My initial inspiration got from my favorite photographer, which tends to give his pictures a painting style, but I think I haven’t reached the style I want to achieve in my pictures.. It’s still a work in progress.
I get often inspired by paintings and lately Greek mythology has become one of my biggest inspirations.
Do you sometimes feel underrated as a photographer? You don’t think you have the support that you deserve by other members of the Flickr community?
Well, I actually don’t see myself as a popular or well-known photographer. I think I’m not at that stage yet. I’m still exploring my photography style. Still I think that with every time that passes more people are getting to know me, which is nice. But I don’t make art for everyone to notice me, I do it because I like to photograph and create something, if anyone finds it beautiful it gives me a really great feeling, but I don’t look for the public’s praise.
I’ve got to admit that I don’t use Flickr as much as I use DeviantART, I feel that more people get to see my work there.. I’m not sure if I deserve more support, I guess I must earn it like everybody else has.
Do you prefer self-portraits or working with models?
I absolutely love self-portraits. I feel that the picture gets more personal.. and I kind-of always wanted to be a model, so it’s like a guilty pleasure.
Walk us through your creative process (from coming up with the idea until it’s fully executed).
I dare to reveal that my best pictures are improvised.. But in most cases I begin by looking up for locations. Since I love to work with nature, finding the right spot is crucial.
I only have made like 4 photoshoots since last year, 3 of them where improvised, and the “Tea Party” began with a basic sketch of how I wanted the cups to look, and the pose of the model. I also tend to write down my ideas in my computer’s stickies, because I have the worst memory ever, so I need to keep a record of everything that comes up in my mind.
After the pictures are taken, I select the first batch that will go trough the post-processing progress, and I select a few outtakes that will be released months after the main pictures are done.
What type of photography do you find challenging?
Conceptual photography. I always struggle with finding the right props and making the right editing to the pictures to get nice conceptual pictures. I admire conceptual photographers which mix their fine-art style in them. I’ve only done one nice conceptual picture which is Skinny Love, and to achieve it I got lots of help from two of my best friends, besides from that I think that I’ve only done fine-art portraits.
Who do you look up as a photographer?
I have two favorite photographers, one who I look up because of his amazing talent as a fine-art photographer: Robby Cavannaugh, and the other one because of his amazing and outstanding style: Marwane Pallas.
Describe your favorite image taken by you.
Oh-well.. I still haven’t taken the picture of my dreams, but so far my favorite picture is the first picture released from my “Found” photoshoot.This picture means a lot because it was the first picture I knew I was going to edit when we finished shooting, and was the first picture that gave me a more defined style. Also, this was my first pictured that made it to my Vogue Italia portfolio (after I sent nearly all my old pictures), this was the one who basically “made me”.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by another photographer.
I recently discovered a photographer at DeviantART,which has the most beautiful dark style. So I find this particular picture incredible, because of the color, the texture and the concept. I can feel the weakness of the subject without seeing much of him.
If you could be anything other than a photographer what would you be?
Definitely I’d love to be a high-fashion model, or a runway model.
What movie/play/book/music inspire you?
I love English bands, I often get very inspired by Depeche Mode, Muse, Friendly Fires, Bastille and The Killers.
What inspires you the most?
Watching other artists, and my inspiration comes from french photographer Marwane Pallas.
How can you describe your style?
Dark, and in the same way beautiful. I like to play with strong contrasts and shadows, but always leaving space to play with the light and bright colours.
Did your photography change you? Your vision? The way you see the world?
Pretty much. With every photoshoot I make I get to know myself a litter better, and to see myself more clearly. Because we photographers put a something of ourselves onto every picture.
If you had magical powers what kind of pictures would you be taking?
Hard to say, I think I’d like to fly, so I could get to different locations maybe?
What do you like to do other than photography?
I like to sleep.. Seriously, and believe it or not, I always end up very tired after taking pictures.
How would people describe you?
Most people find me very shy, but I can be as outgoing as anyone with time.
Can you share a before and after?
Well, as you see I owe all my beauty to Photoshop.
Do you watch any photoshop tutorials, or read any books?
Actually I don’t. I’ve always done everything by trial and error. I’ve read a couple of blogs on how to use certain tools in photoshop, but most of the things I’ve learned are by accident and many attempts.
When you first started using photoshop, what was the most challenging thing for you to learn?
How to fix the light and contrasts.. and now I find it hard to make photo-manipulations, it’s something I admire from other photographers.