Something About

KEVIN  O’CONNELL

I have had a passion for photography for about 25 years.
After my sophomore high school photography class, I
started working with cameras and taking pictures. It wasn’
t until a few years later that I knew this was much more
than just an interest. One day as I was walking down the
street, I noticed a Photography studio with some large
photographs displayed in the window. The portraits were
amazing and unlike any I have ever seen. I walked in and
asked the photographer, Al Buschauer, if I could assist him
on some shoots to learn from him and he said surely. This
is when I knew photography was more of a passion than
just an interest. After assisting Al for a short period, I
started to find my own style, which was eclectic powerful
documentary style photography. As most of us know,
photography is a very expensive hobby and takes a long
time to build up a clientele to become a professional. Still at
this point, I did not want to become a studio photographer
and be like everyone else. I had so many ideas of what I
wanted to do but didn't’ think anyone would appreciate
them. Then in two thousand, I moved to the City of
Chicago and one of the things on my list was to join a
photo club some were in the city, and I did just that. My
fist day at the club was competition night. I sat down and
watched as pictures were judged and critiqued. I was
terrified because there was a lot of screaming and anger
between the members of the club. They were making fun
of each others photographs and I thought for sure
someone was going to start a fist fight. I decided never to
go back. While in the city, I became very intrigued with
medium format cameras and eclectic skyline cityscapes.
At the same time I started my first documentary on unique
people in Chicago to see if my pictures could tell a story
without being exploitive. I talked to many people and found
certain subjects that fit my criteria. I wanted to find unique
subjects that also have very interesting facial
characteristics. After I got to know my subject I would
ask if I could get some photographs of them for a
documentary. If they said no, I would honor their wishes
and move on. I never did or would use a telephoto lens to
hide a block away to shoot and exploit my subjects. This
took me three years to do and I have met some very
interesting people in the process. I feel that my
photographs are more of the eclectic portraiture than
anything else. At the end of 2002 I moved to New Lennox
Illinois and joined a photo club in Palos Heights. I brought
my photographs in for competitions and did very well with
them and also at the Chicago area camera club
competitions. Even though my photography was a little
obscure, I still did well. Many photographers told me that
my work resembled other well known photographers,
which I have never heard of, so I did a lot of research and
started educating myself about other Artists and there
work. I took bits and pieces of Mary Ellen Mark and
others who inspire me to go further and pursue more of
my creative sides. I like to incorporate my cityscapes with
the type of people I met in the city no. I am in the south
Pacific now working on a Documentary in the Marshall
Islands. Just got back from two years in the Islands and
became good friends with the King, Imata Kabua. He made
me honorary member of his Kava Club and told me many
stories of his people. I am now back home and getting
ready to work in Antarctica for six months in Oct of 2007.
.
To take photographs is to hold one's
breath when all faculties converge in
the face of fleeting reality. It is at that
moment that mastering an image
becomes a great physical and
intellectual joy.

- Henri Cartier-Bresson
The magic of photography is
metaphysical. What you see in the
photograph isn't what you saw at the
time. The real skill of photography is
organised visual lying.

- Terence Donovan
The ultimate wisdom of the photographic image is
to say, 'There is the surface. Now think - or rather
feel, intuit - what is beyond it, what the reality
must be like if it looks that way. 'Photographs,
which cannot themselves explain anything, are
inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation,
and fantasy... The very muteness of what is,
hypothetically, comprehensible in photographs is
what constitutes their attraction and
provocativeness.
-Susan Sontag
Photography can never
grow up if it imitates
some other medium. It
has to walk alone; it
has to be itself.
-Berenice Abbott
There are many teachers
who could ruin you.
Before you know it you
could be a pale copy of
this teacher or that
teacher. You have to
evolve on your own.
-Berenice Abbott
When I'm ready to make a
photograph, I think I quite
obviously see in my minds eye
something that is not literally
there in the true meaning of the
word. I'm interested in something
which is built up from within,
rather than just extracted from
without. -Ansel Adams
KEVIN O'CONNELL