The older I’ve gotten, the more creative people I’ve been lucky enough to discover. From farmer’s markets to art shows there is talent in every city. However, not every great artist is always easy to find. There are many talented artists within my hometown of Roanoke, VA that I’m sure I have yet to discover. There are also a few great artists that I only discovered by chance. Once of those artists is photographer, Kent Moore of MKMoore Photography.
I was first introduced to Kent Moore’s photography via Facebook while browsing the fan page of a the local band I had just discovered called Another Roadside Attraction. I then followed Kent’s photographs online of and on. Eventually I met him when he messaged me about buying some handmade soaps from me as a birthday gift for one his friends.
In person Kent is shy and quiet. However, his photographs speak volumes through their vivid imagery, colors and mood. His live band photographs are always exciting, taken from interesting perspectives and angles, while his still life photos of abandoned buildings and houses are filled with a quiet foreboding.
Being a fan of Kent’s work, I really wanted to learn more about him and his own insight into his photography. Since he’s more of a behind the scenes kind of guy whose usually behind the camera rather in front of it, I requested an interview with Kent which he was happy to give. Following is Kent’s commentary about his work, influences and dreams.
Q. How long have you been shooting photographs?
A. I started in jr. high when my brother showed me the basics when he was home on leave from the Navy. I didn’t get serious about it until 10-12 years later though.
Q. Did you always have an affinity for the arts or did you think you’d go into a completely different field when you were young?
A. I started out wanting to do music recording and production. I went to school for that and found out I wasn’t really into it at all. I just didn’t have the patience for it.
Q. How would you describe your style of art for the majority of your works?
A. Not really sure what the style would be called but in a lot of my color photos I like to exaggerate or shift a few colors to something that’s just a touch outside of reality so you have to look at it twice to decide if it’s something is out of the ordinary or not.
Q. Has your focus always been on digital photography or did you start with the basics in a dark room?
A. I started out with film. I shot for about 20 years doing my own darkroom work before making the switch to digital. When I made the switch it was almost like having to relearn everything. The digital sensors saw the world much differently than film did. I absolutely love working with digital though. I’m definitely not one of those old school types that sit around and whine about the death of film. I do miss Kodachrome though.
Q. What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph?
A. My favorite thing is live music and band portraits and I recently started getting into abandoned building and urban exploration photography thanks to my friend Daniel Overstreet at Abandoned Love Photography.
Q. Who are some of your favorite artists and influences (and what medium do they work in)?
A. My favorite photographer is Lee Miller. She was pretty big in the Surrealist movement in the late 1920s early 1930s and during World War 2 was one of the first female combat photographers. Her pre-war photos are a huge influence on me, just absolutely brilliant photos. I love the surrealist movement in general but her work is my favorite.
For contemporary photographers I really love Sebastião Salgado’s photos. I’m also influenced pretty heavily by music. Bands like Sigur Rós, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and Mono (Japan) put me in a certain mindset that makes me much more creative and can completely change the look of a photo.
Q. If you were gifted with a limitless income, where do you see your art leading you?
A. I’ve been trying to figure out how to finance a trip to Cambodia to photograph a recently discovered ancient city that’s 500 years older than Angkor Wat. I see that as the ultimate abandoned place photography. I would also love to travel to Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia to photograph the former Yugoslav war monuments. That’s definitely on the bucket list.
Q. Where can people purchase your work?
A. Most all of the photos on my website, MKMoore Photography, are available for purchase either directly through the site or by emailing me and we can work out a purchase deal. Locally I have some prints for sale at Bazaar Consignments here in Roanoke.
Q. Tell me something quirky about yourself. (Or something that very few people realize about you.)
A. I briefly played bass in a Ramones cover band and was so bad at it I fired myself before our first show to avoid the embarrassment.
You can view more of Kent’s photographs by visiting his website, MKMoore Photography, or by following Kent on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Pinterest. You can also contact via email through his website.
Photo Credit: All photos © Kent Moore/MKMoore Photography