Life Through The Lens
Q: What inspired you to be a photographer?
A: I remember as a child seeing an enlargement of the very famous photograph by Robert Doisneau, “Le Baiser de L’hôtel de Ville”. Even then I was struck by the blend of reality and art that photography could produce. From that point on I was always searching for the magic in imagery that could tie together the experience with the esthetic. I’m fortunate that now I can bring my own expression of this phenomenon as a working photographer.
Q: What did your parents teach you about life?
A: My family has always been very supportive of my at times erratic choices in life. They encouraged me from a young age to pursue what fulfilled me and made me happy. I’m paraphrasing, but my father told me that “Each person is innately great at something” and I extrapolated from that finding. Pursuing that core ability is the purpose of a successful life.
Q: As a photographer, what message were you hoping to capture while photographing spoken word poet Shane Koyczan?
A: I was hoping to portray a number of things from my shoot with Shane. Primarily I wanted to show that he and his message could be a source for change, but I also wanted to show the character that was behind such powerful and emotional work. I chose to shoot him in a neutral studio setting so as to remove the distractions of stage and performance that are normally associated with him and bring his character, rather than his stage presence, to attention.
Q: What was your first impression of him?
A: Damn! I will never be able to express myself as clearly as this man. Shane’s work is a source of inspiration and his goal really is to incite change.The greatest actions stem from simple, transmittable ideas and I really feel that Shane’s work is littered with those ideas, those seeds of change.
Q: As a child, were you ever bullied? If so, please share that moment with us.
A: I think we can all attest to being bullied. I was once bullied into being a bully and coerced into hitting another student with a tree branch. I really didn’t want to do it, but I did and I’ve never forgotten the shame of acquiescing to that pressure and abandoning my values. I’m still a little disgusted with myself now, 20 years later.
Q: Why is it important for people like Shane to spread awareness on bullying?
A: Our culture is such that although we can all see the problems that affect and limit our potential we’re afraid to take action. We’re always looking for someone
else to lead the way. It’s the few and the courageous, like Shane, that ultimately give us the tools to make a difference.
Q: What are three words you would use to
A: Courageous. Honest. Loving.
Kaare Iverson, along with his wife and camera, is currently exploring the United States and Canada before transitioning to a new base in San Francisco. He’s 28 and has been shooting professionally for five years. His work focuses on portraiture and adventure sports.