Mikael Kennedy: Ten years of shooting life on the road

Mikael Kennedy is an American photographer that has spent the last ten years of his life wandering the world, snapping photos with his polaroid along the way. I stumbled upon his work via an article written on Dazed Digital’s site for his most recent exhibit “Shoot the Moon” at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Aside from loving these photos, I was particularly drawn to his ideas on why polaroids make us react differently than other photographs do. In his interview with Dazed Digital he says,

“I think we react very differently to a polaroid than we do to other kinds of photography. It’s interesting that police and insurance companies used to use them as evidence, they were considered the truth of what had happened. I think that is why this documentation of a life with polaroids somehow rings true with folks. With a Polaroid the image is just there, it is what happened, there is no option to alter the image, there are no zoom lenses, so not only was it what happened but it means that the person taking the picture was right there. It’s a small photo too, so you have to get close to see it, everything about them is intimate.”

I’ve always been drawn to the old photographs I’ve found in my grandparents albums and this seems to help me understand, at least a little, why I like them so much. I also really enjoyed his philosophy as an artist. When asked what drives him his response was “life,” particularly his. He finds beauty in every moment and these photos are simply snapshots of those little moments. They’re the visual story of his life. Proof that he didn’t waste it behind a desk or melting into a couch in front of a television. It’s pretty inspiring, not that I’m going to up and move to Serbia but I’ll certainly think twice when I start to feel like I’m wasting away my time.


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Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010