“Each place has its own feel, each place has its own ‘message’ and there are stories from each,” Kunze says of his international work. One story in particular stands out for him, from a trip to Mumbai. “In terms of deep experiences, for me it doesn’t get much better.”
“I had made a point that I would visit slums and photograph,” Kunze explains. “On one of my slum trips my friend and I had gone off the beaten track to inspect a suspect-looking hump of discarded metal shreds … there we are, standing in this muck trying to figure it all out when two young slum boys approached us. They can’t have been more than 10 years of age. I noticed them out of the corner of my eyes … They didn’t say or want anything. I kind of tried to say ‘hi’ but they didn’t communicate back. I turned around, walked up to them, took a picture of both, checked that the pictures came out and nodded to both in turn. They nodded back and walked away.
“What had happened was this: these boys had been following us on our little tour around the slum, seeing that I am a westerner with a camera. When we go to the area that they called their home … they approached me and wanted only to achieve one thing; to tell their story in the only way they knew I could. They wanted to communicate the despair, they wanted to communicate the hope, the pride and the optimism of the slums, they wanted to show that it was serious business but there was a grace to it, they wanted to have their life’s hardship documented in a photo. They didn’t want to speak to me, they didn’t want to have an autograph … they didn’t even want to have their picture taken just for the fun of it. They were there to TELL A STORY. And they did.” For the full story, visit Kunze’s website and blog.
Recently, Kunze has been working on a more photojournalistic angle, and has been photographing theater, film and music. He is the staff photographer for the no less than four theater companies in London, and has been working with creative types in a variety of industries in London. However, his passion is portraits. “In terms of photography, my first love is and will always be portraiture. I am fascinated by the idea of being able to capture some of the essence of what a person is all about by taking a picture of them. Nothing communicates as much as a great portrait,” he explains. “I am very interested in people and I want to find out about people’s lives.” This is something he brings into his art. “It’s about the person. It’s less about the light or the camera, more about the meaning of the photograph.”