We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Everett Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle Everett, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
It’s been hard to stay motivated with everything that has been going on in the country and worldwide. Covid-19 has made our country and the world a very strange place. Top that off with all the civil unrest within the country as well. It’s a strongly pivotal moment in our history. These things are all so important to us as a people to carry on together, united. When the pandemic first hit stateside I didn’t want to do anything. I lost all my motivation for taking photographs. A lot of artists I know where in a similar boat. The pressure, whether it be from outside or within, to keep creating and keep being productive can wear a person out. I took a break from taking photographs and that’s ok. It’s ok to just stop and realize that there are larger issues going on than worrying about posting a photo to Instagram and seeking its approval from your peers. Since taking a break, I have slowly seen my motivation come back. I know that I will always keep going. I create my work for myself. It is my passion. I would still be making photographs even if I didn’t share them with anyone. That is why I will never stop.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My photography isn’t for everyone and I understand that. I make images of very banal and boring things. I focus on color, lighting, and composition. Those are the three key elements to my work. I will wake up before sunrise and drive to a location however far away just to ensure that there is the correct lighting and no people wandering around that could possibly be in my shot. It’s a very introverted process, but for me it’s my meditation. It’s not easy, nor is it hard. I have to constantly search for places or things to photograph. I’m always getting lost driving around and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I may not have the same workflow as my friends and peers within the arts, but I am ok with that. This isn’t my job, it’s my passion. And I prefer to do it by my means. I am very proud of how far I’ve come (it is not that far by any means) and am very excited to see what the future holds.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start by taking them to any nearby mountain range and go hiking, fishing, and possibly camping for a night or two. Then once back in the city, probably wouldn’t do anything out of the ordinary. There would be a lot of skateboarding to be had. Some definite beers in the park, homemade pizzas, burritos from Las Glorias, lunch from the lovely people at Trencher, and coffee from the wonderful staff at Woodcat Coffee. We both come from a small beach community, so there’s honestly no pressure to do anything extreme. Maybe go go-cart racing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, my partner, my friends, my photographic influences, and those seeking to abolish the systemic racism within our country.