Nadav Kander is a sought-after and immensely productive portrait-maker, shooting covers of some of the world’s most important individuals (Obama, Blair, Kissinger) for some of the most respected publications.
But alongside this public-facing oeuvre, he has spent decades pursuing personal work in the landscape tradition. Although the working methods in each genre are completely different, to Kander, there is little difference in the end result. In each case, he says, “I’m looking to be moved by the image, and I hope for the viewer to recognize something of themselves in the image too.”
Given Kander’s success as both a commercial and artistic photographer, he has a lot to teach us in terms of successfully pursuing a creative path through life. Indeed, for this year’s edition of the ING Unseen Talent Award, Kander was asked to be a mentor for a group of five hand-picked emerging artists. Their assigned theme was “Common Ground.” To knit them together, Kander brought all five artists to his London studio, to get everyone “on common ground,” and establish an immediate sense of intimacy amongst one another. He then followed up with them via LensCulture’s Sessions platform for long-distance mentoring.
In this exclusive interview, LensCulture managing editor Alexander Strecker spoke with Kander about his roots, the importance of mentoring and the challenge of staying true to oneself in this age of visual glut.
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