“He is often described as a positive, utopian, and committed photographer. Born in Belgium, David Ken lived in Brussels, Milan, New York, before finally settling in Paris. A recognized portraitist and an essential figure in the world of advertising photography, David Ken is the author of the LOL PROJECT, the largest gallery of laughter in the world!” (Figaro)
“I chose the Eiffel Tower as the steeple of my village; Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.”
At the age of 23, he began his career as a photographer in the Fashion industry and quickly collaborated with prestigious magazines such as Vogue Italy, Harpers Bazaar, Amica, Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and more. He crossed paths with top models like Linda Evangelista, Estelle, Claudia Schiffer, and Laetitia Casta. His images were quickly noticed for their dynamic style and sincere emotion.
Numerous brands around the world were captivated by his perspective, including Lancel, L’Oréal, EDF, SFR, Crédit Agricole, ENGIE, AXA Banque, BNP, Functionnalab, Coca-Cola, JACOB, JOSEF, Nice Klaup, Connexion, TF1, Pages Jaunes, Auchan, Adidas, to name a few.
Parallel to his work in the fashion and advertising industries, which he conducted between Europe and North America, he took the time to develop personal projects always centered on humanity. In 2006, he conceived the photographic concept of “GUARDIAN ANGELS,” where any personality helping in the fight against cancer was portrayed and transformed into an angel. For over four years, he voluntarily photographed celebrities and ordinary people involved in the fight against cancer, creating a formidable Gallery of Guardian Angels for the Cancer cause, featuring individuals like Nikos Aliagas, Arthur, Valérie Damidot, Michel Jonaz, Omar and Fred, among others.
In September 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, as a response to the prevailing gloom, David Ken conceived the “LOL PROJECT”, an immense gallery of portraits capturing bursts of laughter based on the magical moment of “letting go”!
As a passionate lover of street photography, his other project, also centered on humans, “FACING PARIS”, resulted in a book (out of print)…
In early 2014, he embarked on a new book project, “Traits pour traits”, in collaboration with the writer Nicolas Gouzy, where he would narrate the behind-the-scenes of 25 years of portraits, encounters including Steven Spielberg, Jean Rochefort, Nagui, and the boxer “Sydney Beau Jack Walker”.
Preface thanks to my friend Nikos Aliagas:
David Ken is a sensitive man. His sensitivity is not a weakness; it is the source of his strength, his thirst for new experiences, and his love for humanity. If affection is not present, he quietly moves on without unnecessary chatter.
I met the photographer about fifteen years ago on a humanitarian project, between the smile of a child undergoing chemotherapy, full of dignity, and the brave look of his parents. David stood there, camera in hand, his long curly locks on his forehead, gliding like a light acrobat between the gravity of an unjust ordeal and the hope of a better tomorrow. He spoke of images, not photos, like the omens of a journey that would bring solace and bring smiles back to a family struck by a long illness whose name remains taboo, cancer.
David used his expertise and experience for a cause, asking for nothing in return. He brought light to the eyes of children to blow away their sorrows. He continued to do so for many years in hospitals with his LOL project, photographing patients and hospital staff with their biggest smiles. Because life is stronger than fate, because a smile is stronger than death.
David knows light well, the light of the limelight, cinema, and television, but above all, the light on fashion runways in Milan, New York, and Paris. He was the youngest photographer of supermodels in the 90s. The world’s greatest artists have passed through his lens. Yet, for David, a human being remains a human being, whether you’re called Steven Spielberg or Anaïs, a hospitalized teenager. His photographic approach is the same, focusing on the truth of the present moment and the exchange. The rest is staging and communication. And David is not a man of marketing.
I love his kindness and his gentle madness. Not fitting into any box and, above all, never losing his enthusiasm. Such is the creed of this photographer with a big heart who never became someone else along the way. David Ken’s lens reminds us that life is beautiful when we focus on the essentials, the “healthy and simple” view of all things, without postures or malice, without imposture or artifice.
David’s images are like fireflies in the night; they trace luminous letters on the perishable, three letters that resist the passage of time and vanities, three letters that have guided our steps since time immemorial and are called life!
You have a project ?
David Ken is at your service for your corporate photo projects, portraits, fashion and advertising photos or Streetphoto. Discover the extent of the talent of the instigator of LOL Project !