Taylor Davidson · Kyle Dean Reinford

Digital technology is what brought me in to the photo industry.
by Taylor Davidson · 02 Feb 2014
Credit: Kyle Dean Reinford

Kyle Dean Reinford Credit: Timothy Cochrane

##What do you do?

I’m a full time photographer working mainly in the music industry. I do portraits, documentary and live music photography, working with different labels, magazines, and directly with bands. I try to do a lot of work with smaller bands that I really believe in.

##What is the influence of digital technology on your photography?

Digital technology is what brought me in to the photo industry. I would not be here if I had to take classes and learn on film. I started in photography by trial and error and I wouldn’t have had the budget to do that if I had to pay for processing and film. And in the same way it helped me get started, it’s helping a lot of others - and that makes things competitive, which is sometimes good but also stressful. Another influence digital has had is that now people expect photos for less money, since it’s “free” to take photos without film. Never mind the startup/maintenance costs and my skills and time.

##“Everyone is a photographer”. Agree or disagree, and why.

Somewhat agree? I won’t argue that it’s exciting to see everyone’s view of the world - and there are some incredible photos being taken and shared by people I didn’t know had an ounce of creativity in them. But I’d say everyone’s a photography in the same way that everyone is a singer - we all sing in the shower or do karaoke, but I’m not going to trust just anyone to sing at my wedding.

##What is your favorite photo app, and why?

I love VSCO. I use it both mobiley and on my computer. I love having the options of filters (based off of old film) but also total control on some really nitpicky details. They make it really easy and beautiful to edit my photos the way I want them to look.

One thing about the future of tech/photography: Tech is making things dangerous for photographers. As cameras and phones get better and better, I sometimes wonder if the job of photographer will even be a thing in 5 or 10 years. What I have to tell myself (and I believe this to be true) is that while it’s getting easier and easier to take a great photo, technology will never give somebody the eyes that I have - that’s what makes me marketable, not the gear that I use.

##What does “editing” photographs mean to you?

This is an interesting question to me, because honestly so much of the marketing that we see every day is not, well, real photography. I mean it is, but not really to me - editing photos for me is touching them up a bit, making sure the colors and the crop look good, etc., but a lot of what I see on billboards and in ads are “better than life” graphics + photography. I don’t want to do that - at least not at this point in my life. I want to take photos of real things in an interesting way, not take a photo of 5 different components and create a completely new image incorporating all of them with a bunch of graphic design. I know there’s value in that, but it’s not the way I see the world.

Follow Kyle Dean Reinford at @kdr and view his live music, portrait and documentary photography at kyledeanreinford.com. He also has a great weekly newsletter about new music.