German-based photography duo, Keeevsch + Debiflue, have been taking photos and traveling the world for over 10 years now. Since then they’ve built an incredible catalogue of work ranging from all over the world. Today we sat down with Kev to learn about their story and how they turned a fun hobby into a lifestyle & business. This is the Kev + Debiflue interview.
When did you first become interested in photography?
Kev: It all started out early around 2010 I’d say. It’s always been some kind of hobby to walk around and take photos of random stuff. First just with mobile phone cameras, later on cameras grew bigger & bigger. I got my first DSLR camera around 2013 and I think this was when my hobby turned into a passion.
As me and my girl loved travelling we started to take a lot of photos during our trips too. With Instagram coming up we started sharing some of them just for fun. Always traveling & always trying out new stuff (cameras, lighting, angles, editing) we learned a lot about photography during the first 1 or 2 years which got me even more interested.
Actually this process of learning has never stopped until today – there is always more!
Today I am doing what I do as a full time job – but I am still doing it for fun (maybe that’s part of the reason why we are still able to do it)
When did you start taking photos/videos and what/who made you start/gave you that push/inspiration?
I started taking photos very early on. I am not really sure what got me motivated in the first place. I think it was the fun of capturing a beautiful or funny moment or an impressive landscape. Going through these photos weeks or even years later always brings up the best memories and it somehow keeps them a little more alive to me.
Especially after getting into editing this whole photography/videography thing turned into some kind of art for me which I absolutely enjoyed!
Did you study photography in school? Or did you have some business background that helped you out with starting this business?
I didn’t have any real photography background, but I went to University and graduated with a Degree in Management & Economics with a focus on Marketing. Luckily I was able to turn my passion for photography into my job while I studied already so right after graduation I fully focused on what I love to do!
Do you see yourself changing as a photographer / blogger / creator?
Absolutely yes. I am definitely changing throughout every single year. My color/lighting/angle/editing/framing preferences are changing constantly. Especially with the daily inspiration we are confronted with every day while scrolling through our social media feeds some kind of change is inevitable as a photographer.
How did you go from creating for fun to doing it seriously? Was it working with a brand? Figuring out how to do it on your own? Etc?
I don’t think that I can pinpoint a certain moment or event which caused the change from “just for fun” to a “business”. It has been more like smooth transition. Back in the days when we started using Instagram we didn’t know that this could lead ourselves into a new field of business. So doing what I am able to do today never happened intentionally. It just “happened” slowly – and I am beyond thankful that it did!
After reaching a certain amount of people with our art we got contacted by brands who liked our style more & more. In the beginning it felt a little unreal and to be honest we didn’t expect it to become a thing. But in the end it did!
Just one more thing: Today I am doing what I do as a full time job – but I am still doing it for fun (maybe that’s part of the reason why we are still able to do it).
When did you learn to edit your photos? When did you start selling presets?
I have always been editing photos I shot using different one-click editing apps on my phone or computer. At a certain point these tools have become a little too limiting to me. At the end of 2016 I decided to get into editing with Adobe Lightroom. Of course at the beginning the amount of editing options were a little overwhelming. However the benefit was huge and definitely opened the door to new knowledge, skills and another level.
At some point in the middle of 2017 we decided to offer our editing presets to our community as the demand grew insanely. In November 2017 we finished our first 8 preset packs and started selling them online.
Can you talk a little about your photography process / editing process? What are some of your go-to tips and tricks?
My #1 go-to tip is just to do it & learn. Don’t hold back because you feel insecure about what you do! As long as it’s fun to you do it – no matter how many likes/comments you get or what others think/say.
I can tell you from experience you’ll never be 100% happy with your work – never. So do, grow your skills and develop your style over time. Your style will probably change constantly as well so what you see as “perfect” today might be just “okay” next year.
It’s been the same for me. In 2015 editing apps like “VSCO” & “Afterlight” have been the absolute banger apps in terms of editing to me. Looking at my photos & edits from back then to today I have a different opinion ;)
But this is part of the process, part of improving with every new photo shoot.
This is also the reason why I am constantly releasing new presets as well. My editing style is constantly evolving/improving according to my preferences & liking so my presets change as well.
What is it about blogging / photography / creating that you enjoy so much?
I’d say it’s the freedom to turn any moment and memory into a piece of art and keep it alive for ever. Capturing the beauty of the world we live in through my eyes and share my perception of it.
What are you most interested in currently? Working on anything fun/exciting?
With the current situation going and lots of travel restrictions I am mostly going through my hard drives editing content I never shared and maybe didn’t like a few years ago. With a changed sense for things I like it’s really exciting to screen old content which suddenly holds a lot more beauty than back in the days when this content was shot. Also creating a lot of home stories & fine tuning/creating new presets as a base for future edits.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to borders opening up again and explore the world again. It’s crazy how much you start to value something taken for absolutely granted before.
I am excited to finally go see places & meet people I’ve never seen before again – and of course capturing these moments with my camera!