Kwasi B. Interview

This is the second of three interviews with the Snapshot Galleria founding photographers next is the architect behind Snapshot, Kwasi B.. Aside from his photography he is a illustrator and designer. Before the title “visual creative” was coined, Kwasi was using all facets of visual creativity that only a few people I know have tapped into. We met some years ago thru a mutual friend and began a back and forth conversation thru the years about life, design and most importantly photography.

Introduce yourself to the Snapshot readers.

My name is Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin and I document neighborhoods in Los Angeles with my camera.

If you had to pick a film and camera combo, what first comes to mind? Why that particular combo?

My first choice will be my Contax T2 and a roll of Portrait 160. I feel like for the type of work I do, that combo consistently gives me the best results. The Contax hasn’t failed me once in the 14+ years I’ve been shooting with it. It’s almost connected to me spiritually at this point. And Portra 160 has a color palette that perfectly represents the combination of southern California’s perfect weather and nostalgia that I strive to inject into every picture I take. Can’t beat it.

I’ve known you a lil’ over ten years now Kwasi, I’ve seen your passion for creativity firsthand. Explain to the readers how photography fits into your inspired endeavors.

Photography is the tie that binds my thoughts about life, love, existence and Los Angeles together into something I can show other people. I’m from a city unlike any other and I think I’m lucky enough to have a unique perspective on what that means.

Both of us have an affection for city transit and if always shows up in our work. What is it about the transit system that creates such a visual story?

Riding the bus showed me what life in Los Angeles was really like for the majority of residents. It’s where the real soul of the city can be seen and it’s up close and in your face. And I’m not only talking about what happens on the bus but the process of walking to and from the bus stops and riding slowly through the city. Over time that routine trained my eye to see the city in a different light. I rode public transportation for my entire life up until about 3 years ago so it’s impossible to overstate how much that experience has influenced my photography.

Snapshot has evolved into a curated perspective of the film photography community. What’s your take on it? Where do you see it going in the next year?

I’m amazed at what we’ve been able to accomplish so far and look forward to expanding on our vision. Although we’re focused on film photography, I always wanted it to be more about work we show than the medium it’s shot on and I think we’ve done that. Going into the next year I would like to put out a printed zine featuring some of our contributors and get our online store going. And of course keep interviewing talented film photographers from around the world.

If there was a missing ingredient in your photography skills, what do you believe it to be?

I think the missing ingredient in my skill set is “instant”. I gotta say that’s one area I would like to improve on and integrate into my workflow.

Any special projects or events that our readers should be informed about in the coming weeks/months?

I actually have a pretty big project that I’m keeping under wraps at the moment. More details coming soon. Other than that, I’ll be giving a lecture on my photography from the San Fernando Valley at the LA Central Library next February as part of the Photo Friends series and hopefully making another appearance at LA Zinefest in 2017.

Check out the website The Los Angeles Recordings, all photography curated by Kwasi and give him a follow on IG via @l_a_recordings.