Kenvin Pinardy is a professional Indonesian photographer living in the capital of Jakarta. He primarily makes his living doing weddings and fashion shoots for domestic and foreign magazines, though his interests as a photographer range well beyond that.
His professional work centers on wedding and pre-wedding photography, businesses that are “aggressively growing in Indonesia,” Pinardy says. But his hobby is his more photojournalistic work. “Whether it is for a magazine or for my personal collection, I can spend my whole day doing it with full enjoyment and without any complaint.”
Examples of his personal work include Little Girl #2, shot at morning prayers during the Moslem holiday, Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. During the holiday, he says, “people are gathering for morning prayer, after which they gather their whole families and relatives together and forgive each other” for any transgressions of the past year.
As with most photo-journalistic work, Pinardy’s usually requires patience and a sense of the crucial moment, as when he caught the two girls facing each other in mirrored poses that break the regularity of the other people present at the ceremony. Another example is Going to the Top, an image of a man leading a horse up a mountain at Mount Bromo, East Java. “From a long distance,” he explains, “I saw a group of tourists were riding horses toward the top of the mountain. I waited a long time to shoot that perfect moment.”
In addition to his more journalistic images, Pinardy has been working on a series of underwater images that require his spending time in the depths of a swimming pool wearing diving gear and oxygen tanks while an assistant feeds oxygen to his models between shots. The images were influenced by photographer Zena Holloway, but have required a lot of experimentation and work on Pinardy’s part. When he began the series, he didn’t really know how to photograph underwater and began with inexpensive cameras in cheap underwater housings. “The results disappointed,” he says. So he moved on to Sea and Sea casings on a Canon 5D. He generally covers the tiles of a pool with cloth and keeps the lighting simple—normally using nothing but the noon sun.
“For me, the most difficult challenge in underwater photography is how to get beautiful expressions on the models and a beautiful pose,” he explains. I still do them in swimming pools, but I am pretty sure someday I will shoot in the sea.”
Pinardy first became interested in photography in the mid-1990s while a college student. But that initial enthusiasm was put on the back burner as he finished a degree in accounting and went to work for a chemical company. His interest in photography returned in 2004, and he quickly became interested in portraiture. “Initially, I preferred a more classic style of photography,” he explains. “I don’t find what I would describe as ‘classic style’ images to be boring, but I am bored by ‘straight’ portrait images. I started working to create my own style that was classically based, but dreamy and dark. I always try to give my photos that feeling, and to create photos with my own unique style, rather than following the style of others. Digital photography has really helped me to create photos that align with my imagination.”
He adds that while it may seem like he does a lot of post-processing in his photographs, “I very seldom change the actual situation, I just make it more dramatic. I use Photoshop, I never use any plug-in to make the photos more dramatic. I often use a pattern for the background like wood, an old wall, sand, old paper etc. Usually I set the background darker than the subject to make the subject appear more exposed. After that I fine-tune with the color balance, channel mixer, or filter settings.”