Kanya Iwana’s Photography is Nostalgic, in the Best Way

Kanya Iwana’s photography is captivating in its straightforwardness. Focusing mainly on female subjects, her warm portraits have a hazy feel to them, eliciting nostalgia.

The Indonesian-born, LA-based photographer, director, and creative director received her bachelor of fine arts in theatre by the age of 19, and two years later received her certificate in film studies.

Now she runs a photography and video production house—ki studio, where she produces artwork for notable clients like marsai martin x refinery29, sabrina claudio, noah cyrus, and amber mark. Her photographs were also featured on publications like i-d, vogue us, milk, w magazine, the fader, and paper magazine.

“From the beginning, I knew I wanted my photographs to look cinematic,” she said in an interview with Create & Cultivate. “I’m such a cinephile and want my work to pay homage to movies. The movies I love have brilliant colors and lighting and strong narratives, so subconsciously my photos ended up that way too.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of work because of my use of colors—I think it’s nostalgic and people are drawn to that,” she admitted. “These days I’ve been working a lot more on music videos, so it’s getting closer to that full circle. I just follow the momentum and try to do my best.”

Talking about her inspiration Iwana said: “real life people and their emotions and how they navigate themselves in their environment really inspire me. Whenever I write a treatment for a video I always think of a certain memory or person that triggers an emotion, and I write to that ‘ahh’ feeling. I also draw inspiration from music composition. Being a musician as well, sound paints certain stories, and I really ride on that.”

Take a look!

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