As our first User Spotlight, we are both excited and proud to bring back a collaborator who already helped us in the past, eventually becoming a brand ambassador. Daniel Harvey is a professional photographer who’s been using the Kinova Jaco arm since 2014 to help him carry on daily tasks but also to pursue some of his passions, including photography work.
Opposite: Daniel Harvey self-portrait. Source: https://www.danielharvey.photography/about
An interview conducted by Marc-André Brault from Kinova, with Daniel Harvey.
Wednesday afternoon in mid-September, it’s sunny here in Montreal. Daniel tells me it’s rather gray and dull over in London, Ontario. He speaks to me on Google Meet, from a spacious and bright room, in the background we can see a lot of photography equipment: tripods, camera bags, Broncolor lights, softboxes and a small backdrop setup with stands. He tells me he rents a studio, from where he usually operates, based inside a medical center but he had to move out most of the equipment because of the pandemic. He wanted to avoid going there as much as possible, for obvious reasons.
'In 2017 I started to focus specifically on creating a career in photography. The YouTube content was a short-lived experience -- one of many creative oriented experiences I have found myself testing out since I graduated with my M.A. (Master of Arts) in 2012. However, I don’t plan on moving away from photography any time soon. I feel at home behind my camera,' says Daniel.
'I typically go into every photoshoot with an image in my head.'
Opposite: Daniel Harvey photography studio and logo. Source: https://www.danielharvey.photography/the-studio
'Occasionally, I might experiment or improvise with a new idea mid-shoot, but I find I always prefer the outcome of the photographs I had been thinking about a few weeks before a shoot.'
Daniel uses a high-end camera, studio-quality Hasselblad X1D II, in combination with Broncolor lights to ensure that the finished product is extremely high quality — something many other photographers can’t offer.
Opposite: Natalie fire portrait. Source: https://www.danielharvey.photography/0o6ujvaa2229j38y6dw3wjjr1329sd
What is your favorite type/theme of photography?
High contrast black and white portraits are my go-to. It seems like such a simple medium, however,
'I have an eye that is always looking at shadows.'
I often see the shadow before I see anything else. Primarily I do portraits, especially black and white portraits, however now that there’s a pandemic it’s more difficult to photograph people. I’ve been trying to do products and commercial stuff -- and locations -- and buildings -- and basically anything else I can do but my passion is for portraits.
Opposite: Plague doctor 2020. Source: Daniel Harvey's Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CD4ALrdHcwu/
Being a long time user of an assistive robotic device, what is your experience through the years?
The learning curve with Jaco was pretty much straightforward. It’s no more difficult than maneuvering my wheelchair. And, yes, I often think of new ways to use Jaco to accomplish a new task.
Apart from photography, do you have other hobbies or centers of interest?
I have been experimenting with Jaco and a lap guitar and some harmonicas. I was also a musician before my injury. I also like to read, watch movies -- and I’m a big Toronto Raptors fan so I’ve been to a number of their games with Jaco as well. I was at the first NBA finals game last year. The crowd was wild!
What are your goals for the next few years?
I will try to keep this photography dream alive during a global pandemic. I am also currently working on a diploma in Graphic Design. I hope it might provide me with a few more tools to offer prospective clients. It’s just a backup, you know, just in case, because obviously, it’s difficult to do portrait photography right now…
I just want to add more tools to my (knowledge) toolbox to offer more things to people but obviously, photography is still my main goal. It’s an additional skill set (graphic design). I just started it this week! I already know how to use some design software, but I want to learn more to help me with photography and other things I would like to make. I just like making things.
Opposite: graphic design software. Source: Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels, https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-computer-desk-devices-326501/
What are your long term goals?
Creating or joining a photography and design agency. Well if I can continue to make this work on my own then I certainly will.
Finally, is there anything that helps you get in a creative mode while you work, or before a shoot?
Yes. Good music and a good espresso.
This is something I can agree with! That’s all folks for this Kinova User Spotlight.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to interact with us and share your stories through our social media channels or using the contact form. Do you know any Kinova assistive user you think deserves a spotlight? Tell us by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Top banner picture by Pixabay from Pexels, https://www.pexels.com/photo/aperture-art-blur-camera-414781/.