A Leader of the Street: Adam Katz Sinding
A son of a hobby photographer, Adam Katz Sinding never thought he would become a photographer yet alone one of the world’s top street style photographers. Adam is the guy behind Le 21ème (pronounced as Luh Van-Tay-Uh-Nee-Em) a leading force in the street style game. The dedication to his craft and the amounts of hours he puts in is to be commended for. For over a decade now, Adam has shown true leadership in the art form of street style and he serves as an inspiration for many photographer who aspire to be street style photographers.
"Streetwear has taken over. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know. But you see so many guys who last year were wearing suits and now they’re wearing AF-1. I just hate seeing people "faking it" all the time."
MFP: At what age did you inherit your father’s cameras? and at what age did you start realizing that you might be onto something in the photography world?
Adam: My dad passed when I was 11, if I recall correctly. He was a hobby photographer, taking his film Nikon with him as he would hike and camp in the National Parks of Utah, California, Arizona, and Wyoming. I didn't use his cameras much, to be honest, as the only draw I had to photography was that I thought it was cool as it was something my dad did. I took a black and white photography class after 8th grade, but that's about it. His camera had some issues which no local shop could fix, so I kinda deemed his camera as haunted. It wasn't until the Nikon D70 was released in the early 2000's that I started to actively shoot. I never thought I would become a photographer, however.
MFP: How did your photos from traveling led to the world of street style?
Adam: The travel only came after I started in fashion, as that's what the calendar does to all of us. I would shoot around Seattle and then NYC (where I was living) as I would walk around. But it was never a clear path, I guess.
MFP: What was your biggest ‘break’ in the street style world?
Adam: Having W Magazine contact me to be a contributor to their website. I think it was in 2011.
MFP: What is one of the biggest hurdles that you might have gone in the menswear street style industry or street style in general?
Adam: Dealing with the constant travel. I assume I do about 340 days a year on the road. There is no hurdle greater than that.
MFP: What is something that is currently happening either good or/and bad in the menswear street style industry that you wish to see more or less? in other words do you see something wrong that you wish it would be fixed or do without?
Adam: Streetwear has taken over. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know. But you see so many guys who last year were wearing suits and now they’re wearing AF-1. I just hate seeing people "faking it" all the time.
MFP: What have you not accomplished today that you see yourself engaging in the near future?
MFP: I know you listed a lot of the equipment you use, but is there a particular camera and lens that is your go-to for street style?
Adam: I use my Nikon D5, but may be switching over to the D850 as it was just announced.
MFP: Finally, what is the biggest misconception that some people might have of you or of street style photographers?
Adam: I suppose that we live these very luxurious lives of travel. The guys/girls I know work so hard, you cannot imagine. We shoot all day in the snow and blazing heat. Then we edit ALL night. It's not uncommon to get less than 2 hours of sleep a day. Our expenses are insane, as most of us cover all of our own travel. Our equipment is also more than most people’s cars. We have no time for ourselves, our health, etc. It's so competitive and we all shoot ourselves in the foot. It's a hard job, but I (and I hope most of the others) love it...so it's worth it.
*Adam just launched his first book called "This is Not a F*cking Street Style Book." "A must-have book for all those passionate about contemporary fashion, street style, and luminescent, candid photography." You can get your own copy here.