Instafamous: Kevin Lu, Sweatengine

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KEVIN LU: SWEATENGINE

183K Followers | Content creator. “I make squares with my iPhone.” | New York, USA.

What makes a good photographer? How do you differentiate yourself in an over saturated industry? We interviewed iPhone only photographer, Kevin Lu, to get the inside scoop on how he turned his hobby into a career.

How did you get into photography?

I bought my first DSLR 4 years ago when I was blogging about marathon running. Shortly after I started learning everything about photography on my own out of curiosity. Within an year I also discovered Instagram, which really brought me outside of my comfort zone to see the world differently. In a few months I quit my job as a biomedical engineer to travel around USA on a road trip for two months, and document the entire trip with my iPhone on Instagram.

What do you like the most about the Instagram platform?

The creative community within the platform is unparalleled. I find it fascinating that people around the world can share and engage with one another in real time. This is a truly streamlined mobile experience available to anyone -any time and anywhere.

What do you mainly shoot with? Are you iPhone only?

Since my road trip 3 years ago, everything on my Instagram is shot with my iPhone.

What sparked your interest in cinemagraphs? What sort of feedback have you received from your followers?

I like to make things I haven’t seen before. Although cinemagraphs have been around for a while – I still see it as a novelty in the new media space. Just like animated GIFs that are hugely popular on Tumblr – these short form videos are still not as mainstream as they should be. Most people looking at my cinemagraphs usually have no clue what’s going on or how I make them.

What sort of photography trends have you noticed in the last 6 months?

I think there have been more short-form videos being shared on social platforms now than ever. Many developers are making new apps for short video/GIF making. For example Instagram’s own Boomerang and VSCO’s DSCO aren’t really reinventing video making – but they do make it super easy for the average user to quickly make a short video. Also Facebook and Instagram allowed videos to loop indefinitely – which is big (at least for me) for short form videos.

Cinemagraph of Gigi Hadid getting ready for Rihanna’s Puma show, by Sweatengine

Do you have any cinemagraph shoots planned for the near future? Either personal or for a client.

I have a few commercial projects coming up – still in pre-production at this point. Personally I love experimenting with different things. So I always make a point to try something new every time I head out. Most of my stuff is done on the fly with my iPhone, so I make quite a wide variety of content.

Any last comments or tips for creators?

Do something different next time. 🙂

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.