Welcome to my first ever installment of Person of Interest...! I'm very excited to start this up, and what better way to start than with an extremely talented photographer who lives in the same little (and I mean little) town I do! I only recently stumbled upon Paul's work through the wonders of social networking meets zip code search technology, and I was amazed at what I found.
Now without further ado: the bold type are my questions, the italics are just me interjecting my two cents through-out... everything else is all Paul!
Name, rank & serial number? Aka who are you, what is it you do, where can we find you on the web?
My name is Paul Michael Kane and I am a graphic designer/photographer based in Ogdensburg, NJ. I am all over the net with two different web sites: www.pmkane.com (my design site) and www.paulmichaelkane.com (a site devoted to just my photography). I am also on most of the major social networking sites like myspace (http://www.myspace.com/pmkane), facebook (http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Michael-Kane/698353979), twitter (http://twitter.com/pmkane) and even my own 'photo-a-day' blog at http://pmkphoto.blogspot.com.
(go visit those sites, especially the photo a day blog, and follow it, because you will be amazed at the beauty this man can capture, and he shares a little bit of it with us each day)
How/when did you get started in your field(s)?
I've been shooting photography ever since I was 10 years old and my aunt gave me my first film SLR camera. That ran its course through high school where I shot for the school paper and even into my first job – that of a resort photographer in the Poconos, PA. That's right! I was the kid shooting honeymooning couples in the infamous heart shaped tubs! But as film and processing costs kept rising, my interest in photography waned and I got into graphic arts. It's here where I've been lucky enough to be a part of some very interesting project, even an official Lucasfilm movie poster for the 6th and final Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith! With the advent of digital photography, my interest had once again been piqued and it's been leading me back into the field full bore. I am most happy when behind the camera! The marriage of both my passions – photography and graphic design – have both come to serve me well!
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
Every project I seem to be currently wrapping up becomes my next favorite project . . . In April of this year, I put out my first book, Captured: The Ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary . Prior to that, I photographed 88 images for a set of para normal cards called the Konxari Cards. Together, these two projects are my current favorite.
(if you follow the link for Captured you can preview the first 15 pages! also if you visit the konxari website there is an interview with Paul!)
What would you consider your biggest success?
The above mentioned Star Wars poster is my biggest success – not for monetary gain, but for person gratification. I grew up with Star Wars. My twin brother and I spent hours playing with our action figures in the front yard. I am 37 now and still get chills when I watch my favorite scene in A New Hope – where Luke is gazing out over the dessert at the twin suns setting over Tatooine. For me to have been involved in an official capacity in the creation of a movie poster for Lucasfilm is not only a dream come true, but a career high that I am going to be hard pressed to beat!
(it's the one on the left go here to read about the making of the poster!)
Have you ever had a project disaster turn into something beautiful?
You know, as a designer, I never want to put anything 'out there' that would look disastrous – but as you answer to a client or a customer, you need to appease them – sometimes in direct conflict with standard design ethics. So while I won't mention the project by name, yes . . . there are a few PMK disasters out there . . . the beauty is, some like them – and that brings me more clients and business. I cringe when I get those calls, cause I know I'll be in for more of the same – the battle over pleasing the client and creating good design!
When did you sell your first piece?
My first photographic print that ever sold was to a sweet lady from Lake Hopatcong. She had seen some of my fireworks shots taken during the lake's Fourth of July celebration. I had posted a gallery up somewhere – not one of my regular sites as I recall. Anyway, she emailed me and asked to purchase a print for her home! I was very excited as I just began shooting digital and made arrangements to meet her at a Michael's Arts and Crafts store with the print and I even helped pick out the custom matting and framing for the print! It's the greatest satisfaction to any artist/photographer to know that someone, somewhere has hung an image created by you . . . I get that with every print sold!
(this is one of my favorite shots from the photo a day blog, shot in IR! tell me how freakin cool is that!?)
Any current/upcoming projects that you're excited about working on?
I just wrapped up work on a book called The White Album. It's a tribute book about The Beatles. It's set to debut at the San Diego Comic Con – the biggest multi-media event of the year! Each contributor was asked to pick three songs from the Beatles immense catalog and create an images inspired by the titles or lyrics of the songs. I am the only photographer of the bunch – the rest are all traditional media artists. I've seen some of the other works and I am honored and humbled to have been asked to contribute!
Is there any tidbit of wisdom you’d like to share with us?
This isn't one of my tidbits, but it's one I try to live every day of my life . . . here it is . . . if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life! My passion for photography and visual communication allows me to enjoy each and every project – even the disastrous ones! If you can find something to do that you love, don't let anyone tell you that you can't make a living from it . . . the biggest waste is life – if you aren't enjoying every second of it, something is wrong . . . make a change . . . challenge yourself to finding that one thing that will make you happy!
I’m interested to see how others may respond to the random profile question I got from blogger…. Your bow is not broken but you've run out of arrows. How can you fake being a bard?
Hmmm . . . I'd pick up the nearest large rock . . . begin speaking to it in a very Hamlet-ist way. . . confusing the enemy into thinking me a harmless, rambling bard . . . then stone anyone who got close enough! Not sure what that says about me, but it's the first thing that came to mind!
Ha! I like it, that's some good thinkin right there! I definitely approve!