Would you mind introducing yourself? Sure, I’m Kamill Cosemans, a 23-year-old born & raised in Ghent, Belgium. In 2 months I graduate as a Graphic Designer but I’m wild at heart and want to do something more. Last year I picked up photography on one of my casual road-trips. This has grown into a true passion of mine and also a good excuse to do even more road-trips. After my studies, I’m planning to buy and convert a van to explore Europe and learn more about photography.
Kamill’s Instagram - @kamillcosemans
How would you describe your style of photography? I actually wouldn’t know. I just started photography a year and a half ago. Since then I’m just photographing my casual escapes from the city without knowing if my pictures are any good. I’m trying to document the adventures we go on and I like to have people in my pictures. As far as composition goes I’m always searching for good symmetry and light.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? My ex-girlfriend and I loved to go for a short hike when we had some free time. So, in the spring of 2017 I decided to bring my camera which I had bought for a photography course at school. It was very foggy that day and we decided to play around with the camera. When putting the pictures on my computer I was quite happy with how they looked and decided to upload them on Instagram. They actually did quite well and the response was really great. I really loved being in nature while taking pictures and decided to bring my camera on every trip. I thought it’s nice to have memories and it’s a cool skill to have. After several trips, it really felt like I’ve had found my passion. Today, 1 and a half years later there is nothing I enjoy more than being in nature and shooting my adventures.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? In the spring of 2018, I went on a 4000km road-trip through France with 5 guys I didn’t know. It was a sunny Friday afternoon when Céderic, a guy I met on Instagram asked me if I wanted to go on a low-budget road trip with him and some other guys. He liked my work and was searching for another photographer because one of his friends cancelled last minute. I had 20 hours to plan everything because we left on Saturday. I had to cancel work and wasn’t so keen on it because I needed the money. Eventually, I decided that the experience will always be better than the money and I just winged it. We had an amazing week together and I went home with 5 new friends and some great memories/photographs.
Who/What inspires your photography? Nature is what inspires me most. I feel like I’m at my best when I’m in nature. My creativity really flows when I’m in the mountains or in any other beautiful natural place. Too bad I’m living in the city. I’m always searching for new spots just outside Ghent. It’s all about being creative with what you have, isn’t it? There are also some people that inspire me. One of them is Gilles, one of my best friends and travel buddy. We went on countless road-trips together and share the same passion for nature. The other one is Zach Leon. This guy is living in a different place every month or so and always pushing himself to do things differently. His work is absolutely amazing and inspires me to shoot more and step outside of my comfort zone.
What kind of camera do you use? When starting out I had a 1300D, just recently I upgraded to an 80D because I couldn’t afford a full-frame. I don’t have the best gear because I always choose experience over gear. The 80D does a perfect job for now so I’m happy with it. Really amazing camera for the price.
What's your editing process like? I use Lightroom for editing and learned not to over edit. I always try to bring the feeling/experience back in while editing and love to keep a natural look. I mostly don’t spend more than 10 minutes on a picture but I come back to the same picture a couple of times before posting it. I can’t help but tweaking tiny things and even after posting I’m often not fully satisfied with the result. I’m a bit of a perfectionist haha.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Go out of your comfort zone. This must be the biggest one. I never did so many scary things like last year but I never felt so alive as well. I think the more alive I feel the better my pictures get. Try to challenge yourself over and over again and try to be better every day. As far as photography goes I think everyone shoots for his own reasons. I shoot because I love the outdoors. The only way to get a similar style is if you have similar interests, a similar mindset.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? Like I said before Zach Leon is my biggest inspiration as of now. The people that got me into photography are Michael Flugstad, Samuel Elkins and Andrew Kearns. I was watching their YouTube channels every now and then. It felt like they shared my passion. They were all living in the PNW and went out camping, road-tripping and just having a great time in nature. I kind of feel connected to their lifestyle and mindset. You don’t often find like-minded people in Belgium as it’s not such a big culture over here.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Definitely, New Zealand because you have it all over there. I would love to go for a month or 3 to really discover the country. You have so many different climates and places to explore.
Which time of the year is your favourite for taking photographs? It must be spring because everything is in bloom. You have a general feeling of regeneration and you really feel nature coming alive. The weather is also just perfect for hiking and the nights are not too warm.
The coolest place you've ever been? The French Pyrenees when I was 14 years old. I went to this small mountain village to wild camp in a 1700m high valley with my dad. I didn’t realize it at the time but that journey left a big impression on me. The people living in these villages are living a tough life living from the land. But living from the land means living on the rhythm of nature. They are really in touch with their surroundings. Something I’m really missing in my life in the city. But now I’m older I’m finding my way back to nature.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions that you would like to share? In 2019 I’m going van life, exploring Europe. I’m spending everything I have on this and I’m eager to make it work. Expect a lot of new pictures and stories from me.
Anything extra you would like to share? Do scary things, try to say ‘yes’ more often and don’t worry too much about the future. When getting out of your comfort zone you’ll feel more alive than ever before. This past year has been quite overwhelming but has also been the best year of my life. I feel like this is it for me and everything I’ve been doing has been leading up to this moment. I’m really hoping to make a career out of Photography! That’s why I recently started doing weddings. I’m just starting out but I already have one very happy client. You can find some of the shots in my portfolio. Next to weddings, I’m always excited to try new projects so hit me up if you need anything creative (Graphic Design or Photography). Thank you so much for this interview Hippo Magazine, honoured to be on this platform!