On Pictures: Kevin Ames, 1952-present

“Creativity is in regards to the craft of images. I consider it this manner — It’s not the lens, it’s the lensmanship.”

Kevin Ames

Kevin Ames is a lifelong business photographer in love with the craft of images and lighting masterfully.

Grasp of sunshine

Kevin is fascinated with gentle and the way it works. “When God mentioned, ‘Let there be gentle,’ She obtained it proper from the start,” he says. “Mild is all the time the identical. It really works the identical manner in each scenario … all the time.”

He was a technical consultant for Mamiya in 1980. The corporate sponsored a sequence of lectures by famend lighting knowledgeable Dean Collins. After establishing every look, Kevin stayed for each presentation. This shaped the muse for his mastery of lighting.


A recession hit the nation in 1982. Mamiya’s mother or father firm within the U.S. went bankrupt. Kevin was a district supervisor by then. When he discovered himself unemployed, he opened Ames Photographic Illustration which later turned Kevin Ames Pictures. The enterprise prospered in the identical location for 35 years.


Certainly one of Kevin’s first purchasers was Portman Properties headed by architect and shaper of Atlanta, John Portman. His signature constructing in Atlanta was the spherical Westin Peachtree Plaza lodge. When it opened in 1976, the “Westin” was the tallest lodge on the earth.

Kevin Ames was commissioned to create a singular picture of the constructing. The theme was, “There’s just one (opening picture, high row, first picture.)”

On Photography: Kevin Ames, 1952-present
Kevin Ames pictures the Westin Peachtree Plaza in 1986.


The Belgian nationwide airline was the primary to supply worldwide flights to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Kevin Ames turned the airline’s official photographer.

He went to Belgium a number of occasions making vacation spot images to advertise tourism. He produced multi-projector slide reveals to deliver U.S. residents a style of Belgium.

Grand Place

In the future Kevin’s cellphone rang. It was his airline consumer asking for an 8′ x 10′ coloration print of the Grand Place in Brussels for a commerce present.

“Ship me the transparency and I’ll get it made,” Kevin mentioned. His consumer replied, “No. You misunderstand, come to the workplace and choose up your aircraft tickets so you possibly can take the image for us.”

Whereas photographing the Grand Place, he acquired a fee to {photograph} the Royal Windsor Resort the place he was staying.

Digital begins

Early within the Nineteen Nineties, Kevin Ames obtained concerned with the digital facet of images. He attended an introductory seminar in Atlanta introduced by his good friend and mentor, Dean Collins. The door prize was a replica of Adobe Photoshop 2.0. Kevin gained the raffle.

On the finish of 1993, Kevin Ames, Eddie Tapp and graphic designer Linda Adams Wellin, have been commissioned to create a big, poster calendar for Scientific Atlanta that confirmed the entire services the corporate provided.

On Photography: Kevin Ames, 1952-present
Scientific Atlanta calendar

“It was an enormous mission for that point,” Kevin mentioned. “Our laptop was an Apple Quadra 700 with 72 megabytes of RAM which was so much again then. The file was so massive, we needed to borrow a $1,500 one gigabyte exterior arduous drive to take the file to the printer.”

The proceeds from the Scientific Atlanta mission paid for the pc and a 4 by 5-inch digital scanner. Kevin Ames was a digital photographer. He shot movie, scanned it and completed tasks in Photoshop. Information have been delivered to purchasers on Syquest disc drives.


In 2001, Kodak dropped the value of its 6.1-megapixel digital digicam from $28,000 to $8,000. Kevin Ames obtained one to evaluate on a safari in Kenya and Tanzania.

“I took my Nikon F5 movie digicam and the Kodak 760, a digital F5 together with photo voltaic panels to cost the batteries,” he mentioned. “I deliberate to shoot each movie and digital to be protected. The primary day, I noticed I used to be lacking photos whereas switching from one digicam to the opposite. That’s after I dedicated to capturing the complete journey digitally.”

On the finish of the journey, he had revamped 4000 photographs and stuffed up the 20 GB arduous drive on his G-3 Apple laptop computer. “The saddest half,” Kevin remembers, “was trashing my music library to make room for photographs.”

Creator, educator

Kevin Ames started writing a month-to-month column for Photoshop Consumer journal. He penned his first e book, Adobe Photoshop CS: The Artwork of Photographing Girls (2003.) He adopted up by writing three extra books on Photoshop and images together with one of many first full-color Dummies books.

Kevin Ames helped develop the digital images curriculum for the Inventive Circus an Atlanta promoting faculty with a worldwide fame.

“The particular person straight chargeable for bringing the brand new digital realities to the [Creative Circus] Picture program was Kevin Ames,” wrote Greg Strelecki the department chair.

Kevin taught digital images, Photoshop and lighting on the Circus part-time for 17 years.


Kevin Ames continues to {photograph} for purchasers and for himself. He carries his digicam, at the moment a Canon R5, with him in every single place he goes. When requested why he all the time has a digicam, he quotes Jay Maisel, “At all times carry a digicam, it’s robust to shoot an image with out one.”

Sources: Kevin Ames

Learn extra tales about inspiration photographers in On Pictures.