Interview with Filipino Street Photographer Kevin Icabales

Who is Kevin Icabales?

A Filipino street photographer from Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines. Also a professional real estate photographer and a news stringer for Pond News Asia. 

His street photography works were exhibited in various countries such as the Philippines, Italy, Germany, Romania, India & Ukraine. He is the winner of the Italian Street Photo Festival 2019 (Single Photo category) and his works can be seen in known publications such as World Street Photography Book 5, World Street Photography Book 6, Eyeshot Magazine, Street Sweeper Magazine, Street Photography Magazine, and ProgressivE-zine.

How did you get started in street photography?  

I found my passion for shooting candid moments when I started doing photojournalism, wedding and concert photography. Fast-forward, my shooting style led me to street photography. I did not have any idea about this genre before until I read some books and watched online videos.  

Has covid changed your shooting style at all. What have you learned

While I was documenting during the heightened period of COVID-19, it made me realize how valuable relationships are. From there, the pandemic did encourage me to shoot more photographs outside my comfort zone. It allowed me to help others that were affected by selling prints and digital exhibitions. My shooting style slightly changed by distancing farther than my usual photo walks. But I believe it is new learning and development for me as a street photographer.

Tell us about your award winning shot and how you captured that? Did you know right off the bat that it was a good photograph?

I captured my award-winning photograph when I was currently shooting a hotel room in Richmonde Hotel Iloilo. When I looked outside the window, something’s happening down there. A man is lying on the floor and a car parked diagonally.  I took a few snaps then I got back shooting on interiors again. I felt uneasy because I’m not convinced that I got a good photograph. After a few minutes, I went back to my hotel room to look outside the window again. The scenario is still the same. Eventually, I saw a dog from afar. I knew then that if the dog walks into my frame to form a triangle composition together with the man and a car, it will be a money shot. It’s a simple composition but the cognitive friction is intense. Stories will play inside your head and you might not be able to sleep at night. 

What are some things you want to improve in your street photography?

In Street Photography, layering composition is one of the composition techniques that I like to improve because it is something that I don’t do much. 

Has street photography open new paths for you?

Street photography opened a lot of opportunities for me especially at the beginning of my journey when my photograph was selected and curated by Tim Huynh for World Street Photography Book 5 publication and it was exhibited in Hamburg, Germany last 2017. From there, I dared to start conducting street photography workshops to teach aspiring street photographers. And I’m grateful that people were inspired and had deeper connections with my photographs. 

Who are some of your favorite street photographers?

My favorite photographers are Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Garry Winogrand and Elliott Erwitt.

How can people keep up with your work?

People may keep up by following my Instagram handle here www.instagram.com/k.icabalesphotography

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