K2 – The Blog

Before they were rockstars: Seth Kushner

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars by K2Creative on November 7, 2011

We’ve got a special place in our hearts for Seth.  He was one of our first photographers here at K2.  Seth, a portraits guy with a gritty New York style, has his hand on many projects at once.  He’s just finished shooting a fantastic portraits series of real people (and for the first time, we don’t need quotes around the work ‘real’ – these were truly gorgeous non-models) for NY ad campaign.  While photography is a passion, he can’t help but be fascinated by super heroes and the people who create them.    His new new book, titled “Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics,”  should be on shelves soon (Spring 2012!).

As if that didn’t give him enough street cred, Seth is already involved with a new endeavor  – Trip City, which recently launched after much anticipation.  From the Trip City press release:

TRIP CITY is a Brooklyn-filtered literary arts salon launching November 1st, 2011 at WelcomeToTripCity.com. The multimedia website features free content curated by a host of creative heavyweights. “TRIP CITY reinvents the online arts collective with a virtual playground for a diverse set of accomplished and highly individualistic creators,” says Emmy Award winning cartoonist and TRIP CITY founder, Dean Haspiel, “spanning every borough of artistic endeavor from the visual arts to literature, music, video and beyond.”

TRIP CITY is the exclusive home of united individuals exploring new media to achieve a modern salon. Brooklyners Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, Bored to Death), Seth Kushner (The Brooklynites, CulturePOP Photocomix), Chris Miskiewicz (Everywhere), and Jeffrey Burandt aka Jef UK (Americans UK), will release exclusive content at TRIP CITY, combining avenues of expression such as podcasts and profiles, including upcoming portraits and exclusive interviews with Jonathan Ames, Marc Maron, Ben Katchor, Michael Moore, Henry Rollins, Dan Goldman, and Moby. Additionally, a fellowship of regular contributors will provide their original voices to TRIP CITY, including, Joe Infurnari (MUSH! Sled Dogs with Issues, Marathon), Nick Bertozzi (The Salon, Lewis & Clark), Jennifer Hayden (Underwire), Nick Abadzis (Laika), Jen Ferguson (Art in Chaos), Ron Scalzo (Bald Freak Music), Amy Finkel (Furever), Kevin Colden [Fishtown], and The Perv Whisperer (The Perv Whisperer).

TRIP CITY is a digital experience with future plans to take some of the content and perform it live on the road. “Working with so many Brooklyn locals, we have this great sense of community right out of the gate,” says Jef UK. “Then, when we take the next step and turn TRIP CITY into a live event—which is in the works—our tribe is already gathered, so to speak.”

Check it out today.  But before you do, check out below and find out what Seth Kushner was like, before he was a rockstar.   (And make sure to scroll all the way down – his kid and teen pics are my absolute favorites.)


Where are you from originally?
My mother’s womb, but from there, Brooklyn.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Nope, but we had a poodle who my father used to refer to as my sister.  She works in real estate now and it clearly the “successful one.”

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
Like many boys, I had my astronaut phase, but for most of my childhood I wanted be a comic book artist.

What were you like as a teen?  Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
Yes, every time I’m at a social event and I feel awkward.  I was very geeky, but I discovered photography in the 10th grade, and that helped me out of my shell a bit and gave me an excuse to talk to girls and attend events.  Hiding behind a camera was better than hiding in my room at home.

What was your first job ever?
I worked at the one hour photo lab at the local mall when I was 15.  Let me tell you, you see some odd things in people’s personal photos!  I saw people posing with corpses at funerals, crime scenes, people engaging in sex acts which still make me shudder, etc

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
I wasn’t a trouble-making kinda’ kid.  My mom once passed me on the street while I was supposed to be at school.  But it wasn’t like I was out smoking pot, I was taking pictures!

What was your first job in the photo business?
During the summer right after high school and before starting at School of Visual Arts, I was shooting freelance for Scholastic Scope, the publisher’s teen magazine.  The experience taught me how to work with photo editors, write invoices, plan shoots, etc.  All very invaluable for a 17-year old.  Becauce of this, I was always working on building my book all though college.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
I took a photo class in high school because I heard it was an easy A.  I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with it.  That was all due to Howard Wallach, who ran the photo department at my school, which was the most honored program in the country.  Mr. Wallach was the most inspiring teacher I’d ever encountered and there are lots of people working in the industry now who owe it all to him, myself included.

What is your dream project in this business?
Hmmmm….I don’t know.  It would have to be something which was creatively fulfilling AND paid a shit ton of money!
How about top 5 people I’d like to photograph living or dead?  You didn’t ask for it, but here it is-
Redd Foxx
Andy Kaufman
Sean Connery
Orson Wells
William Shatner
OK, so they’re mostly dead.  What does that say about me???

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
Realistically, since I do some of the following and gravitate towards them anyway, I would say either writer, filmmaker or graphic designer.

Is there anything else (funny stories, etc…) you’d want to tell us that would work for this?
In 1997, after dropping my book all over town for a year and a half, I secured my first assignment a and it was for the NY Times Magazine.  I was to shoot playwright/actor Eric Bogosian.  I was 23 and still living at home.  I remember I called Bogosian to arrange the shoot and left a message.  Later that day, the phone rang and my mom picked up, and she screamed from across the house, SEEEETH, YOUR FRIEND ERIC’S ON THE PHONE!!!!!  I soon got my own phone line and moved out not long after.

Show us the pictures! (THESE ARE PRICELESS).



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  1. […] Creative Management, the agency that represents me for photo assignment work posted a nice feature on me where I talk about how I got into photography, my first job working at a photo lab while in […]

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