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Keeping Your Creative Drive: Tavish Kincaid on Photography & Sustainability

McGill tends to keep us wrapped up in midterms and all-things-academic; so it can be hard to retain our creative spark. Tavish Kincaid is a Montreal-based photographer and has been shooting since he was 12. I sat down with him to discuss all things photography and how to renew our creativity amongst all the academics. 

Tavish has experience on the McGill campus, shooting for Mosaica dance company two years in a row and also shooting for Tonal Ecstasy – one of McGill’s resident acapella groups. He also photographed our very own Her Campus writer Connie Coles-Garrad!  

Kate Brinksman for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): What first captured your interest in photography?

Tavish Kincaid (TK): I just picked up a camera and was like that’s it. I liked how I could express myself through it. Being able to put what was in my head into a photo was something more concrete than just thoughts. 

HC McGill: What’s the hardest part of the job?

TK: Being happy with what you have. It’s not hard to take a photo, but it’s complicated to produce one you’re actually happy with. Personally, because I expect so much from my work, it’s hard to get it up to the standards I’ve set for myself. 

HC McGill: What would you recommend for someone who has an interest in photography and wants to develop it?

TK: YouTube videos are honestly great, there’s always going to be some 15 year-old with Photoshop skills better than anyone else. School can only teach you so much, learning for myself, especially through experience, has always been what’s worked best for me. Just go out and do it, that way you’ll realise what you like and what you want to shoot. You don’t get good by just wanting to get good. 

HC McGill: What’s your view on editing, and how much is really retouched?

TK: It depends on what you’re shooting, a lot of people are against retouching but most of the time it makes sense to finalise the photo. In my opinion, it’s okay if it keeps the photo realistic. I’ll get rid of blemishes and small things like that, but I’d never thin people down. My view is never to get rid of something that’s permanent. In this industry a lot of people take it too far, and you need to know when to stop. It’s evident when an image is obviously retouched, keeping it simple is best; it retains what the photo and the subject is all about that way. 

HC McGill: You’ve been shooting for a long time, so what new and upcoming projects are you currently working on?

TK: I have an exhibition on December 20th at Dawson College, so most of my energy is currently going [into] that. I’m also working on a photography book that highlights the importance of sustainability and what’s essential in order to create a sustainable future. 

HC McGill: Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give about creativity? At McGill, it’s easy to get held down in academic pursuit, so how do you keep that creativity alive? 

TK: It depends on the person, but for me I’ve found that to shut off is good. Stop watching what everyone else does on social media feeds, leave it alone for a few days and think about what you want to do and who you want to become. Always do your school work first so you’re not stressed out, then think about what you want to create and just go do it. The worst is people who talk about all these big ideas and what they want to do, but never actually do it. You can think about it all you want but it’s never going to happen if you don’t try. 

Follow Tavish’s work on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tkincaidphotography

 

Images provided by interviewee.

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