kevinkuster kevinkuster

1,640 posts   30,449 followers   391 followings

Kevin Kuster  Founding Member + Creative Director @WattsOfLove and CEO, Partner @jjcommunity. Former Senior Photo Editor Playboy Magazine.

@kaedin_kuster . From the day you came into the world I am been proud to be your dad. Happy Birthday!

Teaching a travel photography
class at @procamphoto Aurora
from 2:30-4:30 today. (link my bio) As I was making adjustment to my presentation late last night, I realized the greatest take away from all my travels has been the good fortune to interact with some of the most amazing people! No color necessary for this cast of characters.

I will be teaching a travel photography call @procamphoto in Aurora IL the his Friday at 2:30. Click the link in my bio for more details. Hope to see your there.

"Don’t Call Me A Leper." The word leper is offensive, disrespectful and very hurtful! The word is associated with someone who has been rejected, ostracized, or categorized as an outcast. Many are trying to get this word removed from society. The word is weaponized to hurt and marginalize people.

People affected by leprosy have asked that the word leper no longer be used. They advocate for the term ‘people affected by leprosy’ to be used instead.

Prior to my portrait project a the Khokana Leprosy Colony, I did know that the word was so racist. Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the disease or that people were still being diagnosed and affected by it today. I thought it was something only mentioned in the bible years and years ago. Since visiting the colony, meeting so of the people affected by leprosy and reading up on the disease, I have learned great deal.

If after viewing these portraits from the colony you are feeling moved to help or learn more, I would encourage you to visit @AmericanLeprosytouchMissions @TheLeprosyMissionInternational @TouchNepal. There are many great organizations working to help those affected by leprosy and working even harder to eliminate this curable disease. I know they would love your help.

It’s an honor to be in the in the presence of the most powerful human emotion — dignity.
.
Last fall I returned to the Khokana leper colony in Katmandu, Nepal. I first visited the colony in 2015. While there, I met some of the most amazing people I have ever encountered in my life. It was hard to process what life would be like being forced to live in a leper colony and never being allowed to leave.
.
Unexpectedly, I experienced humanity on the deepest levels possible. While there, I was so inspired by the people, I decided to take formal portraits of every person living in the colony. Most had never had a formal portrait or family photo captured of them in their entire lives. It was one of the most powerful and transcendent photographic events of my life. The joy, respect and dignity they approached the photo session with was truly humbling. Many wore their best clothes. Some of the men put on traditional Nepali hats that had never been out of the box, still wrapped in the tissue paper. These were clothes saved for only special events!
.
For a variety of reason not everyone was available to get their portrait done. I vowed I would return, finish photographing everyone and I promised I would bring framed prints for each person I photographed.
.
I struggled greatly to finish this project and return to Nepal for over two years. Every time I scheduled plans to return to the colony, a force came against me, prevented my trip from happening and made me feel terrible that I was letting the people in the colony down. I take my promises seriously.
.
Thankfully, last fall I finally returned to the colony, delivered over 45 framed portraits and photographed the remaining 55 residence of the colony. Those additional families also received framed prints after I left Nepal.
.
There is so much I could write and share about my personal experiences on this project but Can I PLEASE ask that you to leave a comment ask that you to leave a comment for the people of the Khokana Leprosy colony?
.
Tell them that you see them! You see their joy!! You see their strength!!! Most importantly, you see their dignity. A dignity that is worthy of all of our honor and respect.

Irish wit and wisdom at its finest.

Beyond the wall.

Testing the light before I snap “the real photo” of me wife. Luvly Irish early morin overcast window light. Wish I could trow it in a bottle and take home with me. Grand thing it is.

One great Irish moment can last you a life time. I feel so grateful to have experience so many on my most resent journey.

There is no one who I rather travel Ireland and spend my life with then Sherry Rachal Kuster. Whether it’s being the perfect navigator, caring for my parents, indulging me and taking the next silly picture, researching the best fish and chips in all the emerald island, helping to carry bags into a B&B, finding great places to stay, escorting my aunt to the airport or most importantly, embracing all of my “fooking mad Irish” friends, I am most grateful that she is and will always remain my bride.
.
Anyone who has ever been in her presence, knows NOT ONE photo can capture her radiant heart and joyful personality... so here are just a few. Thank you honey.

Nothing says family road trip like a custom tee shirt! They wore them with pride all through Ireland.

There are legions of waiters in the world. Some you tip for services, others give you tips for life.
.
This is Jerry, Mary and John. We dinned at their family establishment last night. Father, mother and son.
.
The interior of their resturant looked like it was from a location out of a classic Hollywood B&W movie. It had Chandeliers that beamed slightly brighter then necessary. Vintage trinkets adorned every nook and cranny by the 1970 cash register. Photos of family, friends, kids, grand kids and patrons that were no long with us were taped to not one, but two different memory walls. Thin carpet hide different floor heights to some of the various rooms created from obvious expansions over the decades.
.
John greeted us with a warm and quick paced... “Ha-ware-ya doin?
Right, now. Have ya gun on holiday? And now you com to visit us. Dat be right?”
.
Perhaps it was our slow talking Chicago ‘Da Bears’ accents that gave us away.
.
It was obvious that John had been hospitably greeting guests that entered into this family run resturant for years.
.
“Where are ya frum in da states?”
.
Like everyone that lives in Illinois when asked that question we said... “Chicago.”
.
“Ah Chicago. Luvly place is it. Is da weader be like here?”
.
“No it’s way colder! Plus, we had some snow on the ground when we left. My dad replied.
.
“Snowd here wonce. Shut down da whole cuntry. Taught it wood kill us all. Com in. Com in! We have a luvly seat fer ya right here.”
.
Every time John came back to get drink orders, fill water glasses or serve entrées, he would delight us with a quick and witty story that felt like it was pulled from a James Joyce novel.
.
“Ever been to the states?” Asked my father.
.
“Clear-wader Florida for me honey moon. Tank fully she still luvs me. She hasn’t left me yet. We have Fer beautiful childrun.”
.
Everything was fresh and cooked as if it was being served to royalty. It was obvious these receipts had been forged by the most discerning of taste buds.
.
When he finally brought us out bill he announced... “Forgot to add on da deserts. Trow on what ya think is fair.”
.
Truly there is no place like home. #irishbarmoments #barcornerconversations onversations

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags