An interview with Adam Katz Sinding

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I discovered Adam Katz Sinding and his work in the spring of 2015, as he was the special guest of the Digital Divas 2015 Conference. I liked his style and vibe, so I started following him on Instagram and Facebook right away. The reason why I still follow his feed and website is because he offers a photo-journalistic view into the world of fashion from cities and Fashion Weeks around the world. There are a lot of bloggers and photographers who attend Fashion Week and take pictures, but most of them focus on outfits and celebrities, not on emotions and genuine moments. Well, not Adam. He wants his photos to tell a story… Make the viewer feel how’s really like to be on Fashion Week… See the good and the bad… And as long Adam we’ll continue to share such photographs, I’ll keep following him.

What’s also admirable about Adam is that despite he’s a famous and busy photographer, he’s a really nice and decent man. When I wrote him an e-mail in which I told him that I want to take an interview with him for my blog, I felt skeptical that he’ll respond to my e-mail. Not only that he did respond to my e-mail and accepted my request, but he’s been really prompt too. Faith in humanity restored!

You can find below my dialogue with Adam Katz Sinding:

 Date and place of birth?

Adam Katz Sinding: May 3rd, 1983, San Francisco, California

What were your dreams as a child?

Adam Katz Sinding: As a kid I REALLY wanted to be a paleontologist!

How and why did you start taking photographs?

Adam Katz Sinding: My dad was a hobby photographer, shooting amazing panoramic photos during his frequent backpacking trips.  I loved his photos and would watch him work, but I absolutely never thought I would become a photographer.  When he passed away, his cameras and other gear found their way to me.  I didnt use them much, and for some reason they didnt really work.  In 2004 my college girlfriend asked me to use her camera to take a few photos of her.  I did, and the pics turned out not so bad, so I decided to buy a Nikon D70, which at the time was a great piece of beginner digital equipment.  I just shot around as a hobby with a few of my coworkers, and had a blast.  Never shooting people until 2007.

Do you remember any funny moments from that time?

Adam Katz Sinding: Not really. I mean, we would go to closed locations at night to shoot, and sometimes get thrown out by security guards, but it was pretty tame.

How long it took you to become a professional photographer?

Adam Katz Sinding: I’m never professional. No no, I suppose it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that the opportunities began to open in front of me.

What photography gear do you currently use?

Adam Katz Sinding: I’m a Nikon guy. I also own an old Hasselblad 205FCC, Mamiya 7II, Leica MP 240, Contax T2, Contax T3, Contax G2, Nikon F6, 2 Nikon D5 and a Leica S Type 007.

Do you get along with other photographers?

Adam Katz Sinding: I don’t talk to too many.  I am way too neurotic and focused on my own shooting.  I just prefer to do my own thing mostly, and let them do theirs.  We all need to be very focused.  I have a few people I hang out with, but I find the more I interact, often times the more photos I miss.

 What inspires you?

Adam Katz Sinding: Travel. New people. New cultures. I’m a human. I love novelty. But also my friends. The people I have known the longest constantly push me to be better.

Who would you photograph every day?

Adam Katz Sinding: Jo Ellison, Christine Centenera, Natasha Goldenberg, Larissa Hofmann, Markus Ebner. There’re tons more, but these lists are hard, you always forget some of the best!

Which are your favorite cities?

Adam Katz Sinding: Copenhagen, Tbilisi, Paris, Oslo, New Orleans, Montréal, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Prague, Riga are probably the best I’ve been to so far!

How would you describe fashion weeks?

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Adam Katz Sinding

Adam Katz Sinding

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Adam Katz Sinding: Honestly?  Aside from a few people, I see them as a way for people to promote themselves.  I love fashion week.  It’s totally the most exciting part of my career.  However, sometimes I get a little sad about the inauthenticity.

 How does a regular day from your life look like?

Adam Katz Sinding: During FW? Wake up early, coffee, be late to the first show, shoot shoot shoot, sandwich while walking, shoot shoot, coffee, shoot, water, coffee, shoot shoot, upload, run, tag, select, edit, send to clients, sleep, repeat.

Name the celebrities that you photographed so far (online influencers + TV celebrities).

Adam Katz Sinding: I don’t shoot celebs. It’s not interesting to me. Unless the situation is perfect, I don’t get caught up with the paparazzi hustle.

The thing you’re the most proud of is …

Adam Katz Sinding: My website!

What are your plans for the future?

 Adam Katz Sinding: Same old thing!  Fashion weeks, travel, no sleep, party, meet new people, try to be healthy.
Photo credit: Adam Katz Sinding/ Le 21eme