Words and images by Jonas Rask

So. 5 it is. 

For the KAGE unity it’s 5 years. For me as a member it’s 5 months. 

I want to try and put into writing what this collective has meant to my photography for the past 5 years, because there is not a single entity of inspiration anywhere else in the online photographic community that has inspired me to go shoot the way that KAGE has. 

5 years ago my journey into photography was still in its infancy. I had owned an X100 for about a year, and I had just bought an X-Pro1. Those tools had ignited a flame, that I have since not been able to control. My passion for photography has since grown into an obsession. The fine gentlemen (and also woman at some point) of KAGE collective have been the foundation on which that fire got built. 

Every time I went to check out the documentary pieces of the collective, I silently in my virgin photographic mind strived for that greatness in visual storytelling.

I have marveled at Patrick’s exceptional ability to render something truly grandiose out the ordinary. I have salivated over Bert’s ability to work with little to no light and tones, and still make the most amazing low key images I’ve seen. I’ve been floored by Robert’s extremely tight photojournalism that always bring me right into the situation. I look with envy on Derek’s phenomenal environmental musical portraits that so elegantly captures the soul and essence of the subjects at hand. I always get a distinct smile to my face when I dive into Kevin’s delightful way of portraying the most life changing of situations. And I am left quite speechless when viewing Vincent’s mind-blowing tonal control over his studio portraiture and post-processing.

The individuals within KAGE have grown photographically with strong identities just as I have grown in parallel with my own photographic identity. At no point in time had I ever thought that our paths would cross, and that I would eventually end up as a member within the collective.

I still regard the images that these photographers capture as some of the very finest images that I can behold, but to be able to throw my own images into the mix and get to learn from my fellow KAGE members, on a day to day basis, through our vivid conversations is something that I am so grateful for. 

So. 5 it is. 

Let’s see what the next 5 have in store.