A Q&A with Applied Arts Photography Awards winner Hubert Kang & Amy Jones
The duo that makes up Kindred & Scout
February 10, 2023
Hubert Kang is no stranger to Applied Arts. His photography has graced the pages of Applied Arts magazines for more than a decade. Notably, he has expanded his craft into the motion realm, and yes, winning a few awards under Kindred & Scout, the studio he co-founded with producer Amy Jones. Applied Arts reached out to the dynamic duo to get their opinion on the impact motion and stills are playing on the industry.
19 Crimes X Snoop Dogg X Chairman Ting, Kindred & Scout, 2021 Applied Arts Photography Awards winner in the Cinematography short category.
What element allowed you to extend your vision from just shooting stills and move into the motion world?
Hubert: As a stills photographer, the transition to directing was challenging in the beginning. However, with my background in photojournalism, creating stories came naturally to me. One of the biggest differences with motion, for me, was teamwork. With stills, I was able to do nearly everything myself, but it limited me to only one way of telling stories. With motion, I had to learn to work with a much larger team, but it opened up all kinds of creative possibilities. Now transitioning to motion and partnering with Amy, she brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from this new medium and it was so invaluable to learn from her. It is such a team setting and each department has experts that contribute to the overall success of the project, so knowing how to communicate a vision to the team and delegate tasks were both huge skills to have. But the biggest key element is having good teamwork! Amy really is the glue that holds us together. Her ability to keep everyone focused and on track, especially on bigger productions, is a big reason why my transition from stills to motion was so seamless.
Amy: It makes it easier to scale up. There are so many more elements, complexity, people, emails, and everything else in between. So it makes it easier to have someone that handles all the details, while allowing the photographer/director to focus on the key creative elements.
Are you wearing both hats at the same time on most of your projects? If so, how does that come together on set?
Hubert: Certain elements are transferable between being a photographer and director. For example, directing talent has always been something I’m very comfortable with and it translates to motion pretty seamlessly. Because Amy and I work so closely together, it’s more 360, we tend to anticipate each other’s needs during a shoot, and that ultimately helps with the quality and success of the project.
Fairmont Spa, Kindred & Scout, 2021 Relaunch of Fairmont Spas globally.
Who or what is your source of inspiration?
Hubert: I’m a nerd when it comes to photography. I look at a lot of photo books, illustrations and design, new and old. I also love collecting photo books - being able to physically hold and flip through photographs inspires me a lot. I love the idea of looking at photography as a project.
Amy: Give me a well-balanced excel sheet, and I'm a happy camper!
Tourism Richmond, Kindred & Scout, with C&B Advertising.
What is the most challenging project you have worked on? What were your challenges?
Amy: One of the most challenging projects we worked on was for Travel Alberta. It’s a good laugh looking back at it now, but at the time it was a whirlwind! We needed a rooftop location, for a variety of shots that could work for stills, video b-rolls and drone footage that showcased the city. That was a challenge in itself, but we eventually ended up shooting on the top of impressive Rogers Place!! First came the complexity of getting proper permissions and permits, which we do all the time. But then all of a sudden, a few days before the shoot, the permit office from Edmonton notified us that the Pope’s people requested that the area would be a strict no-fly zone for 4 days during his visit. That definitely threw a bit of a wrench in our plans. But, our legendary location manager luckily managed to set a time with the RCMP Head of Security for the Pope, and convinced them that we weren’t a threat to the Pope’s safety and we were able to get the shot! That was probably the most challenging project of 2022.
What project are you most proud of? What was your creative process?
Hubert: I’m so proud of our recent Travel Alberta project, it was such a great example of collaboration. There were many elements that didn’t come naturally to me as a photographer, such as music, choreography, complex camera movements, and etc. But the best part was being able to work with experts in their departments and create something so great! The agency C&B Advertising was also fantastic. They are very supportive, wildly creative, and always inspiring us to push for the next level. It always amazes me what we can accomplish when we get to work with so many talented people!
Fairmount Spa, Kindred & Scout, 2021 Applied Arts Photography Awards winner in the Lifestyle category.
What are the trends you are seeing in the industry and how do these impact motion/stills?
Amy: What I’ve noticed is that motion and stills are shooting side by side in nearly every job we do now. There’s a lot of need for content and getting as much as possible in a shoot, and the challenge there is still maintaining creative quality.
Hubert: I love that there are way more mediums now for good visuals. There are more opportunities for good images to see the light of the day, and more opportunities to mix many art forms.
We can't wait to see the team's latest projects over the next few months one of which is the new campaign for Travel Alberta.