“I’ve always tried to make things more about the mood than the photo itself.”
Neil Krug (born in 1983) is a contemporary visual artist from the USA currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Interview with Neil Krug
Neil, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
I think it was a 35mm Canon SLR that my dad handed down to me when I was in high school.
Nothing from that era stands out in my mind as being worthwhile.
Why did you become a photographer?
Initially just to be able to make my posters for films I had hoped to be making right now.
Things never go as planned it seems…
What does photography mean to you?
The easiest and most direct way of communicating images.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
At the moment a place between Shūji Terayama & John Cassavetes. Not traditional photographers per se but the mood of their work spun together.
What’s your favorite quote about photography?
I don’t know any specific photography quotes but David Bowie once said in an interview that “whoever does it second will be the one to get it right.”
That’s not his exact quote but his point is a good one.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process?
I’ve always tried to make things more about the mood than the photo itself. I never think about what my “photographic voice” is or what importance it serves. My process is just chasing the ideas I have into images.
What’s important in order to develop your own photographic language and how did you achieve it?
For me it’s about staying inspired and evolving. I hope to always stay in a space where I feel like a student experimenting.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
I have no idea…
What qualities and characteristics does a good photographer need?
“You can approach photography like Hendrix or Tiny Tim and chances are you’ll find an audience either way.”
There is probably no absolutes when it comes to answering a question like this.
You can approach photography like Hendrix or Tiny Tim and chances are you’ll find an audience either way.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
I suppose the only criteria is if the work communicates an idea well regardless of how sloppy the presentation may be. It’s all subjective so my opinion means nothing to the person reading this.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Illustration and that’s always been the case. At least once a month I pick up my copy of Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Genga” to remind myself of other dimensions and conceptual presentation. Otomo is such a brilliant visual communicator that the medium doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned. You can apply all the same principles to photography although his mastery is killer whale to my tadpole.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
But does it float.com is brilliant. It’s curated well and a good reminder of how much incredible work there is everywhere.
What book about photography would you recommend?
I prefer Heavy Metal magazine from the late 70’s but most photography enthusiasts would find that annoying.