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Kanrapee Chokpaiboon – Capturing NYC 24/7

With Project 365 being showcased on multiple platforms and gaining attention, there is no doubt that Kanrapee Chokpaiboon or “K.C.” will be a street photography legend in years to come. His sense of composition is structured and lively, while the expressions he captures tells a story or two. With his project being well under way, I had the chance to talk with Kanrapee one on one for a Q and A.

AJ: When was it that you were first interested in taking photographs?

KC: Since I was in Middle School. There was a Science Fair at school and my teacher was looking for someone to enter the photography competition at the fair and she chose me. She gave me a compact camera, and then I went out to shoot some photos. When the results came in, it turned out that I won first prize. From then on, I realized I loved photography and wanted to shoot more.

AJ: Growing up, was there anyone in your life that helped push you to go into photography?

KC: Everyone in my family, especially my dad supported me. He’s the one who inspired me since I was a little kid. He loves to draw and so every birthday I would ask him to draw a picture of me and I remember that the drawings were always very beautiful. Because of his understanding in art, he always supported my decision when choosing this path.

AJ: What’s the most fascinating thing about a photo when you take it?

KC: I think everyone has heard of the quote “a photo is worth more than a thousand words.” For me that’s exactly what it is. It captures that very moment in time and freezes it in a frame. When we come back to look at that photo, it reminds you of what happened; the colors, sounds, lights, emotions and every other little details that you might have forgotten. A photo is almost like a reminder of what has happened in your life.

AJ: What do you think makes a great photo?

KC: A great photo is a photo that has a story behind it and also raises a lot questions for the audience, which means you’ll never get bored of looking at it, while still trying to figure out what it means to you.

AJ: Starting Project 365 Days, what was your intention and what do you think will be the outcome of it once it ends?

KC: At first my intention of the project was for me to force myself to practice and motivate myself to go out and take photos every day. However, I can’t really foresee how the outcome of this project will be. I am certain that it will show how much I’ve come and improved though. Certainly I would like to hold an exhibition for it; but I’m still unsure if I want to use the name Project 365 Days for the exhibition or not.

AJ: How did the Lucid exhibition come about with artist Gongkan?

KC: I have collaborated with Gongkan before for our Warmest Winter exhibition in New York and we like working together. This time we wanted a stronger concept for our next exhibition. We then we came up with the concept ‘lost and found’. Killian was the one who pushed the project forward so we had the opportunity to exhibit our work in South Korea.

AJ: Was there any time when you have taken a photograph, and the subject or the environment had emotionally taken over?

KC: It’s inevitable that sometimes emotions would take over when you look into a viewfinder and see your subject in a certain emotional state. It’s different than looking at it with naked eyes because you are more focused on what is happening and the stories behind it. the latest example would be when I went to take photos of Donald Trump protesters, which had been an array of emotions; sadness and despair. Without realizing it, I cried on the spot.

AJ: What do you hope for in the next 10 years of your photographic career?

KC: 10 years seems like a really long time for me. I have to admit that I’ve never thought that far into the future. Although, I hope that in 10 years my skills are developed and I have gained new experiences in life that give me a wider and more broad outlook on life. One thing I am certain about is that in 10 years I won’t stop taking photos. Photography for me is a chance to escape to another world; your own world. I’m happy every day when I go out for a walk looking for some potentially great photos. I believe if we continue to do what we love, eventually great opportunities will come knocking on your door.

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