5 Questions: Expert Instagrammer, Photographer David Kitz

We've been pretty much obsessed with David Kitz ever since meeting him as the drummer for Princeton in 2011. But he's more than just an almost offensively handsome stud on the skins, as it was soon revealed, creating the artwork for our single and full-length releases for the band and directing this awesome video for "To the Alps."

Naturally, over the years, David's work has refined — as demonstrated in this print he contributed to our artist series — and focused photography with geometric shape and vivid color, subtly captured in everyday life. 

David's Instagram account has become our most recent infatuation, in part because unlike many photographers out there, his account pulls exclusively from pictures shot on his iPhone. We brought this up recently and he said it's a matter of liking the limitations that come with it. Read on for a brief interview with the man and a look at some of his best shots. 

Why do you choose to use your phone exclusively for photos on your Instagram when it seems common practice for photographers to use another camera with more features and import in?

Laziness? Hahaha, no... I think it has something to do with liking the limitations of it. As we all know, Instagram is a mobile image sharing platform and I like the idea of adhering to the language built into it. Much in the way I prefer making chromogenic prints from my film pictures (analog to analog), I feel it somehow makes sense to keep my Instagram feed in the language and material — or immaterial — of iPhone pictures. 

How does your creative process change from shooting on your iPhone to a more "serious" camera?

The iPhone is obviously such an immediate tool. The picture you see on the screen is exactly what your picture is going to be. There are far fewer incidentals than when working with a film camera. I enjoy working with my large format camera in particular because the shooting process is so slow. I find it forces me to be more formal, more considerate of my light and of my composition. That said, there are a ton of pictures I've taken with my iPhone that I never could have taken with my large format, or even my 35mm for that matter. They say the best camera is the one you use every day. I don't know if I completely agree, but I think there's something to it. 

What do you look for in a subject?

I look for subjects that I think are going to respond in an interesting way to being made into a picture; subjects that I think will change a lot when flattened out and cropped (sometimes dramatically) from their found contexts. I like to pre-imagine how a subject is going to respond to the camera, and I try to exaggerate that response through the method by which I take the picture (angle, proximity, etc).

Any special tips, apps, etc. you use in your process that can lend insight to other aspiring Instagram photographers?

Try to find good, even, natural light. Daylight is key, so I try not to shoot too much indoors. I also think VSCO filters can be cool, but my favorite part of the app is the editing module. Knocking down highlights, bringing up shadows, and altering saturation can make a huge difference. 

Lastly, why do you use white backgrounds on your photos?

I like using white borders because it allows me to choose the orientation and aspect ratio of my pictures instead of everything being a square. Most of the time, I find my compositions benefit from a rectangular frame vs. a square frame. I use Squaready to get those backgrounds.

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