Sian Kennedy


My father was a professor of cultural anthropology and moved our family of four all over the world. Between teaching positions and research projects we lived in Cairo Egypt, Chico Cailfornia, Buffalo New York, Los Angeles and Sanaa Yemen. My mother was a graphic designer, as well as a housewife and career auxiliary for my dad. I am equally indebted to both my parents.

To me the world is beautiful, absurd and comically bittersweet. By using an apparently unbiased, fact-recording device – the camera, mixing it up with alchemy of photography, I tell lies which are my truth. Is that a sentence?
My photo gods are Lee Friedlander for the formalism he sees in chaos AND his genius mind, Garry Winnogrand for seemingly casual effortless technique that is really sophistication on the Next Level (humor, wit and despair), Lynsey Addario and Simon Norfolk for their humanity, grace and taking me where I want to be, Jack Pierson for his romantic, beautiful and free mind, Diane Arbus for taking us to places that only she could, and the list goes on.

A recent revelation has been the University of Instagram. Amazing and unimaginable -everyday, every hour. My teachers are asian students, an
artist clique in Israel, the huge population of photo freaks in the US and Europe, housewives and firemen, dishwashers and dentists, photographers and art directors….

So what’d I learn? It’s all about Connection. Surprise. Weird cropping is refreshing. Strip down your speech to a soundbite.
Make that square throb, pulsate and glow. Effortless non perfection is honesty and zen. Categories I have for IG photos : WTF??, Autobiography, Curveball, Lighten up, Content is King… I found that the right brain is where the fun is but photos that
speak to men and women equally is where amazing lives. Don’t be above the lowest common denominator.Show your heart. Let the reader finish your
sentence. Ambiguous subject matter like smoke, fog, shadows, motion, blurriness, out of focusness are cool and reflections of
smoke, shadows, blurriness are even better.

I live in Seattle with my beautiful wife and daughter and cats and tortoise.

Recently I have felt Instagram has been a little dictator, making me too dependent on feedback and likes, making me tailor what I do to what works
as a little square instead of what is the best possible photo. Sometimes nuance and subtly are sacrificed for instant like-ability.