|“A workaholic, coffee and nicotine addicted, chatty, party going, passionate, rebellious, crazy photographer.” Those are words that Candy Kennedy once used to describe herself. Although, on another day, she may have used different ones. And if you asked other people to describe her, they’d probably add more adjectives to the list: reckless, audacious, spontaneous, loopy, fun, fearless, opportunistic, direct, ambitious, talented, hard working, driven. None of them would be inaccurate. But because Candy seems to operate at a million miles an hour, you never know what you’re going to get. Or, of course, you may get the whole lot.|
Which is not to say that Candy is all over the place. On the contrary, she’s incredibly focussed. When she sets her mind to something, she gets it done. By way of example: from a precocious age, Candy knew she was going to be a photographer. So she dropped out of school, started working in the industry, got sent to New York to buy equipment and took the opportunity to shoot a portfolio on Brooklyn Bridge. People liked what they saw, and Candy’s career had begun. Another example: Candy got it into her insensible mind that she wanted to shoot Cape Town’s gangsters in their own back yards, which were the city’s most feared neighbourhoods. It was an ambitious project, certainly not for the faint-hearted, took a ton of effort and an eternity of preparation and culminated in a hair-raising, month-long shoot. Candy happened to be eight months pregnant at the time.
In truth, the first word that should be used to describe Candy is the last one she used: “photographer”. Every other word is secondary. Every other description serves her love of taking pictures. She works hard because she so loves photography, and so badly wants to capture and create beautiful images. Her self-professed coffee and nicotine addiction are by-products of her manic passion. Her extroverted, audacious spontaneity have helped take her places, meet people and get gigs that a more passive photographer wouldn’t have.
To be a little more specific: she’s lived and worked in Cape Town, New York, Paris, London and Dubai, among others. She’s shot for the likes of Harpers Bazaar, L'Officiel, Marie Claire, Elle , The Daily Mail, Rolling Stone . Advertising clients have included Dove, American Express, Oil of Olay Max Factor. She’s photographed gangsters, rock bands and, among her more illustrious models, Boucheron CEO Jean Christopher, Dita Von Teese, Paris Hilton, Lily Allen and her latest celeb portrait was of her all time hero, french football player zinedine zidane . And she’s not yet thirty.
The most notable events in that short lifetime: first camera at thirteen, left school at sixteen, New York by eighteen, Dubai for two years, then Paris for one, then back to Dubai and has now moved to New York to start her new life with her husband and son
Her specific passions and preferences: portraits, Lifestyle, reportage and kids.
And if that is the photographer, what about the photography? Perhaps, here, fewer words are more articulate. But the words are still Candy’s. Of her many tattoos, there is one that says as much about what she wants her work to do as it does about why she does it. It is simply three French words: “creez, etonnez, amour”. In English, “create, astonish, love”. From my viewing of her work ... she does exactly that !