We were first introduced to Kris Por when we interviewed the Secret House crew last year and saw his editorials for the collective. From then on, we’ve been stoked to see what he comes out with next as each shoot uncovers a new angle, a new edge, and a new side of his models and his own personal style. Kris Por hails from Vancouver where he works to bring his unique hyper-realistic aesthetic and eye for all things sexy to each and every shoot. At the root of it all though, he’s just constantly striving to make his models look their best and get out of their comfort zone so he can capture that truly memorable shot. His shoots have taken him everywhere from bedrooms to nightclubs to locations flown in by helicopter in the mountains outside Vancouver. We caught up with Kris to meet the man behind the lens and find out what inspires him, how he gets his models to relax, and how he takes such dope photographs. Read on and make sure to check out even more of his work (and new prints available!) on his website.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHERE YOU LIVE, AND WHAT YOU DO.
I live in the valley, just outside of Vancouver, BC. I’m an artist and conceptual photographer, which means I produce original artwork and pictures. It’s what I spend my time doing…all of my time.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING AND WORKING IN VANCOUVER?
Take a look at the Helishoot series again. It’s the snow-capped mountains, the dense green forests, the ocean, nature and its vivid colors! It’s some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, next to my other fav place…the beaches and palm trees in California. It’s a west coast thing.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I graduated art school, which is partly the reason I shoot the way that I do. My style is a revolt to the way grading in art school is structured. Trying to BE an artist, and having a fear of your own peers’ perception of you. Once you’re out, it’s like the real world hits you. I started shooting what I want, when I want, and how I want. And I do it like that today.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BIG SHOOT, AND WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE?
Every new photo shoot seems like the biggest and best. Lamborghini was pretty epic (I love bulls). Flying around the mountains finding sick spots to land the heli, on top of rocks and in the snow, with a beautiful swimwear model. That was an amazing experience too. Shooting a series called In Her Room for a magazine in Vancouver was really fun. Getting to meet uber-sexy women and shooting them in their own home was a wild experience. It’s all about the people you meet and work with. It’s the collaborative process that makes the experience what it is. Shooting an editorial on gogo dancers in an upscale dance club, on the main-strip downtown made a few heads turn when those photos were released.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PROJECT?
I don’t think I can fall in love with just one. It’s like each new shoot I do is my personal experiment to see how hard I can work to make myself and my crew fall in love again. My photos are about a person, place, and time in history, I want them all to be remembered and loved.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Bigger, better, more production. Persuading people to give me the largest budget possible, so I can produce the most striking visual representation of what the subject is, and who I am. That’s the biggest challenge in my career. I have a need to make things sparkle, and it takes money to make shit happen.
SHOOTING PORTRAITS, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MORE IMPORTANT IN CREATING A DOPE SHOOT: GREAT MODEL OR GREAT LOCATION?
In shooting portraits, it’s the subject that matters most, the person I’m aiming the camera at. The location and concept behind the model is really meant to tell a story about their personality, who they are at that very moment.
YOU’VE SHOT SOME INCREDIBLE WOMEN IN THEIR MOST NATURAL STATES, DO YOU EVER GET NERVOUS BEFORE A SHOOT?
Haha! Beauty to me is a bouquet of exotic, colorful flowers. Every time I go to a shoot I’m nervous, but it’s actually more hype about the project, because I feel like it need to make it my best work, no matter what the subject or concept. Pretty people inspire me to produce pretty work. That’s why my work is so bright and colorful and full of life. The world is so dark, so I try to make things look more beautiful than they really are.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TRIED-AND-TRUE METHODS FOR GETTING YOUR MODELS TO RELAX?
They’re people just like you and me. Only difference is they have the balls to pose themselves for a wild, Kris Por style, thematic photo documentation of who they are. I crank the music, make sure there are drinks, get my entire crew involved in making the magic. We often get our favorite shot in the first few shutter clicks when the subject is amped on the situation and the entertainment of what’s going on. It takes at least two people to make a good portrait. I push people as hard as I can to act and to be creative. I like to push edgy concepts, sexuality, and the excitement of them knowing how good they’re going to look in the final edits.
IF YOU COULD PHOTOGRAPH ANYONE ALIVE TODAY, WHO WOULD IT BE?
If I have to pick just one, I’ll say Lana Del Rey. I’ve always had a thing for her. It’s that weird nostalgic, old school Hollywood, California kind of vibe. I grew up on the west coast and spent most of my childhood cruising up and down along the ocean side. Plus, she’s super sexy in Lovecat Magazine, and in her cover shot for Interview Magazine where she’s posed with a huge bumblebee on her lip. I love entertainers! I hope to shoot her sometime, but there are literally hundreds of names on my list.
ANY ADVICE FOR INSTAGRAMMERS AND AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHERS LOOKING TO MAKE THE JUMP TO FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHY?
Just keep producing. Keep creating. Your experiences as an artist are what define you. Your work is an extension of who you are. Follow and work with anyone and everyone that inspires you. The only way to get better is to learn from the best. If you want to be the best, be the only one doing it. The world is so globalized now…If people like you, they’ll tell you.
LASTLY, WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU IN 2014?
Large-scale, high resolution, photographic print work for exhibition, worldwide. I want to see my artwork in Guy Hepner Gallery (in Hollywood) someday, so I’ll be busy photographing the best work I’ve ever shot.