You know him on Instagram as Kill.613, the daring photographer who knows no limits, bridging edginess and art, through a lens. With over 1200 followers on IG, Kill.613 is a local photographer I was extremely excited to feature. The interview gave me an insight into Kill.613, but also the man behind the lens, Nathaniel Kane, himself. The scene was set at Starbucks with the smell of fresh lattes and the live buzz of espresso shots, uplifting conversations surrounding us.
Let’s begin with who exactly you are.
Nathaniel Kane: Well I was born in California and moved to Canada at age four. I then moved back to California for quite some time before finally moving back to Canada yet again, and have been here for about ten years. I am 23-years old and currently I’m studying Hospitality at the Old Ottawa Tech High School.
Where did you get your start in photography?
NK: I think it’s common place for most who do photography that they had exposure when they were younger. My entire family, more so on my dad’s side, are very visual people. My dad was a painter and my dad’s sister used to sculpt. When I was younger, I picked up my dad’s point and shoot camera with 4 mega pixels and started taking photos of random things. My photography advanced when I got my iPhone and I discovered Instagram, allowing me to broadcast my photos of corners and plants [laughs]. Then, about a year ago, my ex-girlfriend and my father pitched in for my birthday, gifting me a DSLR with the full photographers’ package. But, Instagram is really what initiated everything to where it is now. The networking through Instagram allows me to meet different people and it brought me to places like Toronto. Instagram is very cool.
With your initial intrigue with photography, what attracted you to it?
NK: The quote, “A picture is a moment you capture, and a photograph is a moment that captures you,” describes my attraction. Once I realized you can capture people’s emotions and draw them into their own little world by producing an image, it was almost self gratifying. It’s that ability to instill emotions within someone.
There are many great names that artists inhabit but yours is very interesting. Why did you choose the name Kill.613?
NK: At first my name was Lemonis7, but then I saw a handle that had the name kill in it and I loved that idea. There’s the colloquial term killin’ it. Killin’ it in the 613.
Photography is a key aspect of your life and you can have multiple ways to express it’s meaning to you. But, what is that one word you would use to describe photography?
NK: That is a very hard question but, I would say emotion. You can produce emotion from your own work. Art should make you feel something and that something depends on emotion. Everything should have emotion. I like to express my emotions through writing and depending on the emotion I’m trying to convey, my writing is more selective. Photography allows me to produce all of my emotions taking the aspect of selectivity out. Every emotion becomes fair game.
Artists tend to have tips and tricks they use that is special to them, separating their art from others. With photographers, in capturing the perfect image, you might have your own tricks. What would be that trick for you?
NK: There’s too many tips and tricks dependant on the situation I’m shooting in. With models, I like to meet with them beforehand over coffee, as we are now, to get a feel for who they are as a person. This helps me determine the setting the shoot should be in and even what type of shoot it should be. Tips and tricks are galore but I am also constantly learning something new. I hang out with people who I learn from and that helps me as well.
You often use colours with your photography, like with your smoke bombs. What colour would you distinctively give for your photography?
NK: Green. Green has an almost pacifying feel. Dark green can be moody and atmospheric. Lighter green can be welcoming. My favourite colours though are blue and green.
What would be your favourite editing software?
NK: Lightroom. It’s an Adobe product so it’s part in parcel with photoshop. In my opinion, photoshop is more for graphic design and producing an image, whereas Lightroom is meant solely for editing the image. I additionally have a lot of apps on my phone.
Within the photography world, who are some of your favourite photographers?
NK: Corwin Prescott who shoots for SuicideGirls. Prescott focuses on beautiful women and beautiful scenery. Local photographers would be Temi Tope, who is a creative director for Red Crown Clothing. I also love 13th Witness and 7th Legendary.
As an artist, often we take on this image of ourselves publicly and privately. Does your persona online via Instagram (as the local photographer), and then you as Nathan Kane (the Hospitality student and writer), overlap?
NK: [laughs]. There are no similarities really. People actually always think I’m black and I am not sure why. [laughs]. My Instagram is a lot darker than I am. I think, possibly, the only similarity would be that I am very reserved at heart and my page has an element of mystery to it. But, I am a pretty open book for those asking the right questions.
Of all the social media networks currently, why choose Instagram as the platform to highlight your art?
NK: Instagram is on the forefront of social media platforms for personal and business reasons. Almost every business I know is connected via IG and so it is good marketing for businesses and good networking for individuals. With the introduction of being able to tag people and companies in your photos, it is a good way to network with that company and open the possibilities of work. Either public service work or for a monetary sense. It is also nice to get recognition from people from all around the world. It has to do with networking and recognition. Instagram is also more personal.
What do you think about Ottawa’s art scene?
NK: It is getting bigger. Considering it is the capital city, one would hope it would have a lot of art but in comparison to Montreal, it is like a little brother. IG allows us to collaborate with one another and this helps to expand the art scene further. For example, there is a new magazine, similar to that of Street Dreams Magazine, that will be starting in Ottawa. Street Dreams Magazine was founded in New York and it’s a magazine that features artists. Ty Castanho, in Ottawa, is starting a similar magazine. Then you have Creations Of LA, who used to live in Ottawa. Ottawa is definitely expanding and growing.
You speak rather highly of collaborating. For you, what is the best part of collaborating with other photographers?
NK: Meeting like minded individuals. Everyone around me has something different to introduce.
Do you have any other hobbies besides photography?
NK: Being reckless [laughs]. Just exploring, biking, reading, and writing.
I notice a lot of people, especially in Ottawa, tend to copy or mimic the other. With art sometimes drawing inspiration is good and highly advised, but, what advice do you have for someone picking up a camera for the first time, trying to cultivate their own art, distinct from the others?
NK: Do your research. Read. There are so many online articles that can help you. The second biggest piece of advice I could give would be to go out and shoot. Figure out your settings and figure out what you want to shoot. Copying can be beneficial so long as you are not directly ripping them off. You can copy aesthetics but then also do your research to further understand what you are doing. It is nice to be influenced by someone but do not get stuck in a rut. Research and practice.
Stay connected with Nathan Kane on IG HERE.