Portrait et People

David Ken, Portrait Photographer

“Making a portrait is, for me, the most challenging thing. It’s like posing a question mark on someone.” (Henri Cartier Bresson)

When you discover David Ken’s work, you think less of a portraitist’s work and more of a biographer’s. Each image is so full of truth, so faithful to the subject’s personality that it literally springs off the paper!

With talent, sensitivity, and profound humanity, the portrait photographer captures the right expression, seizes spontaneity, and conveys the whole truth of their subject. This is where photography becomes a full-fledged art.

From Jean Rochefort to the Gay Pride:  :
Diverse Portraits !

The least one can say about David Ken is that he is an exceptional portrait photographer. Blending street photography with tightly framed subjects, he excels in capturing the human essence at the heart of events, such as the 2017 Gay Pride in Paris. It’s true that colors, energy, and the talent for self-presentation are omnipresent at this event!

More intimate but equally touching, the book “Trait pour traits” presents some of the most beautiful photos taken by David Ken. The book is a joint effort with Nicolas Gouzy, an unconventional author, and – perhaps not coincidentally – profoundly human as well… Throughout the pages, you encounter the sparkling gaze of the late Jean Rochefort, the great Steven Spielberg, the weathered face of composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, or the inimitable expression of delight of Audrey Tautou.

David Ken captures personalities on every occasion, as evidenced by his close-ups of flamenco dancers or passersby encountered on the street.

Portrait Photography, a Skillful Blend of Passion, Mastery, and Talent

David Ken began his career in fashion photography, where his keen eye and unique approach quickly earned him recognition. Although he sometimes faced setbacks, the artist has always managed to bounce back and refocus on his personal projects, never losing the passion that has driven him since childhood. Today, he channels his impressive and diverse experience into portraits that are much more than beautiful images.

As a self-taught photographer who loves people, the portrait photographer has made the most of theory and technical advancements to create increasingly authentic images. He retains the reflexes acquired during the days of analog photography when taking 2,000 shots of a subject to get a perfect shot was simply unthinkable. Mastery of light, careful composition, and building a human connection with the subject are his strengths in delivering artistically and technically perfect portrait photographs.

"A great photo is a photo I can't redo."

This is probably the best way to sum up the talent and work of David Ken, in his own words. In fact, this is where the famous LOL Project originated: a gigantic gallery of portraits capturing people in the midst of hearty laughter. A true happiness boost in these gloomy times!

Indeed, a hallmark of a great portrait photographer is the ability to capture the magical moment of letting go while preserving the beauty of features and their sincerity. Like Cartier-Bresson or Doisneau, as well as photographers like Dorothea Lange, Horst P. Horst, or JR, David Ken leaves his mark on his photos without ever betraying the personality of the person being portrayed. The same logic applies to his street photos, some of which resemble portraits, without the comfort and control offered by a studio.

Portrait Photography in Service of Humanitarian Causes

David Ken has always blended humanity and photographic talent, which has naturally led to meaningful projects. For example, the calendar published by the French League Against Cancer for its centenary features magnificent photos by the portrait photographer. David Ken immortalized the biggest names in pastry to inject a little sweetness into the lives of patients and their families, as well as caregivers – a true success, thanks to images full of life and lightness, despite the shadow of illness.

One cannot overlook the LOL Project, which was born during an economic crisis and widespread gloom… The first photo session at the Garches hospital truly launched the idea of this giant exhibition of laughing portraits, which now boasts over 35,000 participants.

Portrait photographer,
a profession and an art…

Reserved in its beginnings for wealthy people, complicated to implement and expensive, portrait photography has fortunately become democratized, in particular thanks to technological advances... and the talent of artists. A worthy heir to a centuries-old tradition that he has been able to revisit, David Ken offers the world his images full of emotion and always sincere, whether he works in the studio or in the field, with anonymous people or celebrities.

Discover David Ken’s Portfolios, his many areas of expertise and his multiple projects!

David Ken is at your service for your portrait photo projects. Discover the extent of the talent of the instigator of the LOL Project!

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