There are street style photographers that are more interested in clothes, brand, logos and labels. And there are other ones who are more committed to capturing the real inner soul of the fashion icons we see outside catwalks venues. Walking Canucks, aka Daniel Kim, is a rising street style photographer from Toronto that showed in the latest years a different approach to street style fashion photography. With almost 60k followers on Instagram, he’s a daily inspiration for fashion maniacs. We have a chat with: take a seat, if you want to discover more about him and his work!
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When did you start your activity as a street style photographer?
It all started with collecting menswear photographs to figure out what to wear on me. After about 3k photos, I started to learn about street style photographers and saw a documentary on Youtube following them during fashion weeks. It looked so interesting and got me to buy my first DSLR camera and started shooting. Then I had my practice at Toronto Fashion Week back in 2014 and after a year, I decided to go to my first Paris Fashion Week in 2015. I have been hooked since then and expanded my coverage to New York, London and Milan. Rest is history.
Are you influenced by fashion and street style photographers?
For street style, I looked up to Tommy Ton, Hyunbum Nam, and Adam Katz Sinding when I started. Once I started to develop my own style and had a sense of what I was looking for, I have been enjoying coverages from Phil Oh who shoots for Vogue USA in recent years. For fashion photography side, I love looking at Helmut Newton’s works.
Did Instagram already spread out when you started your career as a photographer? How do you think Instagram changed the street style scene?
Yes, I started around 2014 when Instagram started to explode. It was also a period of rising current top tier influencers like Chiara Ferragni and all other influential people who knew how to take this wind to the top. The genre of street style was there for a long time, but Instagram contributed to the exponential growth in my opinion. It created a market for photographers like me to provide something different compared to what traditional photographers offer.
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Would it be the same without Instagram, in your opinion?
The world would never be the same without Instagram and social media until the next big thing comes. As an amateur photographer, it showed me very different ways of approaching the society compared to a traditional path. I am happy that it provided enough exposures for me to get opportunities to work with big fashion publications and top-tier fashion houses like Valentino.
Tell us 3 street style stars to follow.
I like photographing people who have their genuine style consistency, like Giovanna Battaglia, Caroline Issa, and Olivia Palermo. I do not really try to follow people to check what they are doing or what are they wearing anymore. Although it could be a big advantage to keep tabs on sources and be up to date, at the same time, I did not want to have a bias on what I photograph. This helps me start with a clean slate and able to capture better on fresh street style contents.
In your opinion, trends are made more on the catwalks, on the streets or on social networks?
Catwalks provide what could be in trend in next 6 months. Street styles on social media drive the current trend.
Which is the best street style scene right now?
It seems like all other major fashion week died down in terms of shooting street style except Paris past year. I see fewer people attending and those who are new to the scene cannot make up for gaps of people who are missing. But it’s fashion. It circles around.
Which are the most influential brands right now, according to your experience as a street style photographer?
This really depends on a person and his/her taste. Brands like Burberry, Balenciaga, Off-White come up in my mind which have been generating hypes. However, I cannot really comment on this as I look more on styles rather than brands they wear.