How would you introduce yourself to our readers?
I go by Kubo_Lis, I reside in Miami and specialize in several closely related industries from photography, fashion, and styling to show business and online business, mainly e-commerce. Despite all of this, I prefer to classify myself as a marketer, counselor, and visual producer to be more accurate. However, most of the time I’m known as “that photography guy from Instagram”, it’s pretty funny sometimes but very humbling when someone happens to recognize me by chance.
Was photography something you always wanted to do?
My dad did some journalism and music/travel photography after he wrapped up his professional career in the accounting industry. When I was little, I’d always subconsciously absorb the things he did, the shots he made of musicians and artists at live shows, and his obsession with creativity in music and photography at his studio.
My mom was always interested in fashion and design, and although I’ve never actively practiced or displayed any interest in any of these areas until a few years ago (even went as far as to study fashion), I always watched how she followed all the current trends at the time. These things caught up with me at one point when I started paying attention to photography and fashion myself. Now we conversate about these topics all the time, realizing it’s always been in my genes.
Additionally, my whole family has been around the music business and labels for decades, it’s something that has always been in the air growing up. What really made me pick up a camera was an opportunity to shoot for an international magazine that sought somebody like me at the time and I got picked to help collaborate on their projects and interviews that I ended up actively engaging in. I started doing some little photography for both minor purposes and majorly for fun, eventually one thing led to another and the rest is history.
How did you develop your sense of style in photography and fashion?
In the beginning, I had barely anything you could call a style. But somehow coincidentally, I’ve been collaborating with luxury brands about 90% of the time and that has been a heavy influence on the style I have today. I love shooting around very interesting, unusual, and artistic spaces, but what I love even more is shooting cars, fashion, people, and fancy products.
Make no mistake, it’s not to show off whatsoever, but it holds a special value to me because when you find yourself creating content for luxury brands and you’re still a beginner (like I used to be at one point), you learn to master your craft and style very quickly because you simply must deliver. In life, there are certain chances you don’t let go of no matter what. If you can’t make your pictures look nice, you keep working on them until they look nice.
If you don’t have them done by 3 AM, then you don’t go to sleep. If they’re not done by 6 AM, you still shouldn’t go to sleep. If you should work without any sleep, then so be it. The work I’ve done in the past and that I stand for now represents heavy discipline and correctness, no excuses or limits.
What was the last interesting project you’ve recently worked on?
The last project, that holds a special place in my heart is a photoshoot I’ve done recently. I managed to get together with one of the childhood idols I have grown up listening to. The lead singer of Asking Alexandria, Danny Worsnop. We’ve roamed around Miami’s Downtown and the city’s art district called Wynwood and have shot some sweet portraits together at a few interesting landscapes and locations talked photography, I watched him work a little and observed his style. Moments like these hold special value and appreciation in my life. There are still countless things I wish to learn, and who else to learn from other than those who you’ve been looking up to the most?
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
No matter what project, be it on water, be it inside a bright studio, outside in the Miami sun with cars, festivals and night venues, showrooms, be it a rising Instagram model or famous platinum winning artist, etc., I always take everything as a challenge, because I simply want to do my best. My best attribute is most likely discipline, throughout the planning and touching base with those I move around and shoot with.
Do you think you’re exceptional in your own way?
I believe everybody has to prove they are worthy of their own craft at some point. However, the longer you work your career, the more I believe it shifts towards your relationship with people and your own reputation, history, and experience. The right people will always find out what you’re really worth.
What are your plans for the near future?
Let’s be honest, nobody anticipated the year 2020 to have turned out this way. The last four months have been all about contemplating and concept work. I’m ready to do so many fun things, but at least these interesting times give many people a new perspective, myself included. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about what more is there I could do. Perhaps reach into another industry, pick up a brand new hobby, undergo a new change? Who knows?
How did you come up with your professional name?
Kubo_Lis looks and sounds much simpler than a foreign name. Kubo is essentially a foreign nickname for Jacob, Lis is just a short, translated version of the word “Fox”, which is what my real last name means. I figured, if I was going to move around the photography/fashion and show business industry, I needed a simple name that would also be a good tag on social media and would be easily memorable, but yet nobody had.
Well, I’ve found one. Another reason for coming up with a professional name is because many people in Miami do so for some reason, people love being photogenic, have great sounding names and portray some sort of characters, especially celebrities and artists around the Miami scene.
How can fans find you?
Anybody can reach out to me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
or simply find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kubo_lis/
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Let me reveal my secret. It is the most core, a basic, fundamental principle I follow and abide in this current phase of my life. Everything I do is for the story I get to tell and nothing else.
If I was to sit together with my friends and family and got asked about my adventures from my last few years, I’d want to make sure I have the craziest stories to tell. I’ve fallen in love with saying yes to the most ridiculous ideas and concepts ever, it’s been totally worth it so far.
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