Thirty Minutes with Kameron Sears

Kameron, a Chicago native, is a graphic designer. He believes many aspects of design and photography go hand-in-hand, making it easy to find ways to intersect the two areas that he's most passionate about.

I feel like Chicago has a little bit of everything. A variety of architecture, the river, the lake, the L, diverse neighborhoods, all four seasons, and overall, humble and real midwestern people. All those things combined with a huge photography community here keep me inspired.

I’ve been shooting for about 3-1/2 years now. Everything kind of started when I downloaded Instagram. I started following a bunch of shooters in Chicago and from then I was hooked. I continued to explore photographers on and off Instagram, constantly looking for inspiration. I currently use a Sony a7ii, but in my first two years of shooting, I strictly used my iPhone. I personally try not to focus too much on gear, to be honest.

I still feel like I’m trying to find my style. When I originally started, I mainly shot architecture and cityscapes. I still enjoying shooting that kind of stuff, but over the last few months, I’ve been trying to focus a lot more on street photography after being inspired by the works of Vivian Maier and Saul Leiter, just to name few.

A while ago roof-topping was really big in Chicago. I had some pretty crazy experiences doing that, but I don't like to talk about it too much. There are still people who are doing it today, but it’s just the same handful of spots.

I do all my editing in Lightroom when I’m editing shots from my Sony and Snapseed/VSCO when editing shots from my phone. For the most part I start out by using a preset from VSCO as a starting point then make further edits until I’m happy with the results. I usually don’t like to do extreme edits. In my opinion, less is more. 

Instagram has kind of taken a turn for the worse over the last few months in my opinion. It’s become so much more of a numbers game since they introduced a new algorithm. People are posting 3-4 times a day simply to try and ensure they stay towards the top of people’s feeds. I’d rather post once or twice a week and have the shot be one I’m really happy with instead of posting multiple mediocre ones in a single day. Even with that being said, I still feel that it is one of the best platforms to share your work and get inspiration. I’m always coming across new accounts that are inspiring and work that I’ve never seen before.

I’ve been really enjoying looking at books from photographers who essentially pioneered street photography. Knowing that they were doing it with film cameras, manual focus lenses, etc. is crazy to think about. Other times I’ll try to really slow down and simply stare and wait at a corner and see what kind of people come my way or how I can capture a scene differently.

Traveling and shooting. I think getting paid to travel the world and take photos is pretty much every photographer’s dream, and how could you blame them – it would be amazing. I look forward to continuing to grow/learn as a photographer and see where it takes me.