Each week we select and profile a photographer from our #SFGuide community on Instagram. We believe these photographers capture the everlasting beauty of San Francisco and the Bay Area. For a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed, or here, on 49Miles.com, tag your photos with #SFGuide.
This week’s featured #SFGuide photographer is Kevin Combs (@itsbadfam), a professional wedding DJ & MC from Berkeley currently residing in San Jose. Scroll down to view Kevin’s amazing work, and learn more about what inspires him as a creative.
#SFGuide Featured Artist Profile
Name: Kevin Combs AKA Combsy
Profession: Professional wedding DJ & MC
Place of Birth: Berkeley, CA
Where do you currently reside: San Jose, CA
Something you’d like viewers to know about you: I’m just a regular guy that loves to capture dope moments.
What is your favorite spot to shoot in San Francisco, and why?
My favorite spot would be Fort Point. The Golden Gate Bridge is such an icon for SF. Add on the water, the architecture of the fort itself, plus the history of the location, and it becomes the perfect spot.
When and why did you take up photography?
I honestly took on photography from a past girlfriend. She always had her camera by her side and I felt a little jealous of her for having such a dope hobby. Eventually, I bought a camera of my own and began to develop my own style.
What do you love about photography?
I love that it brings me to amazing locations and I feel that it has made my more aware of my surroundings. Before photography, I would look at a sunset or an interesting building and think ‘wow that’s nice’. But now I feel the need to capture that moment or feeling. And I feel much more grateful for these moments because I realize how rare these moments and places are.
How do you decide what to shoot?
Many times, I do not plan a shoot. I will have an idea of the area that I want to go and just kind of wing it. However, sometimes I do utilize other Bay Area photographers on IG and get inspiration of locations from them.
What’s your favorite part about going out to shoot?
My favorite part would be my interactions with other people. Whether it be a friend that is modeling for me or a photographer that I met on the way, I really enjoy talking to like-minded individuals and seeing how other photographers might shoot the same subject.
Which location did you have the most difficulty getting to, and how did you do it?
One of the more difficult locations would be the abandoned military bases on Treasure Island. They were completely boarded up and had security in the area. We ended up finding a small hole to crawl through. In the end the photos came out amazing and it was one of my favorite shoots.
What is your dream shot? (Where, what time of day, what’s in it / the subject?)
I’ve always wanted to shoot the Golden Gate Bridge from a helicopter at sunset w/ low fog. Yea, that would be great.
What is your favorite app to use for photo editing on the go, and what are your top 3 favorite filters?
I don’t use too many apps to edit and always avoid filters. I do occasionally use VSCO for convince sake.
How does Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspire you?
It allows me to see how other photographers look at the same subjects. We all know about these amazing sites in the Bay Area, but seeing how other people capture these sights, opens my eyes to possibilities.
What type of camera do you use? And what is your dream camera?
I use a 5D mark IV. My dream camera would be a medium format film camera.
What are your favorite settings in your idea shot?
Shutter Speed: 1/160
White Balance: Manual
Focus (Manual / Auto): Auto
Image Format (RAW / JPEG): RAW
What advice would you give to new or rising photographers that you wish you had received when you first started?
Gear does not matter! The best camera is the one you have.
What do you love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
We have the access to so many different place! We can drive to the snow one day and to the beach another. I really feel like the Bay Area is a photographer’s playground. The weather, the architecture, the people. All of this comes together to create some amazing times and dope photos!