Interview: Paul van Kan

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We’d like to know more about you. Can you tell us more about yourself?

Born in France to a dutch gypsy mum who dragged us kids halfway around the globe, I was blessed to experience growing up in places such as South Africa and Australia. Such contrasting countries left me hungry to see the rest of the world, so I spent a good part of my youth doing just that. It wasn’t until I had a beautiful daughter, I thought I better stay put and, maybe…. get a proper job. So now I live and work in Sydney, Australia.

When did your love affair with photography begin?

While travelling I always had a film camera around, but I never thought there was even an industry to make money from such a hobby. The love affair was always there but it’s morphed into multi-faceted relationship now.

What are the ingredients for success with photography?

I don’t think there is just one recipe for success. If there is, I have no clue what those ingredients are. There’s so many different avenues of photography to pursue and so many ways to get there. I think, just find out what you like to shoot and shoot it well. Success comes from belief in oneself.

What’s the biggest (life) lesson you’ve learned through photography?

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

When you photograph, do you have a theme in mind?

Light. It doesn’t matter what I shoot, I’m always looking at the way the light falls on things.

What are the top three things you like to do when you have free time?

Surfing, Travelling, and watching my daughter grow.

Have you ever traveled? If so, where to?

I’ve been to most of Asia, Indonesia, some of Europe, Africa, United States, Canada and Mexico. Still a lot more to experience.

For you personally what are the pros and cons of being a photographer?

It’s great to be doing something I’m passionate about and every job is different, so it keeps things interesting, not to mention the occasional travel.

The downside of working freelance is there’s no security. You never know when you might go through a quiet period, so generally, I never say no to work.

Thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists ?

Don’t forget why you started to doing art…. to be creative. If things aren’t going just the way you planned, just be thankful you’re doing what you love.

One Comment to “Interview: Paul van Kan”

  • Well done Magnum


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