CLEVELAND — When Kevin Cekanor moved to Cleveland after college, he was unsure about following his dream of a career in photography. But after his Uncle Denny passed away suddenly from a brain tumor, he left Kevin a bittersweet gift that made all the difference.
"He left me a little red envelope, and I still remember that envelope. And in that it had a...monetary gift with a card, and it said like, do something you've always wanted to do, but too afraid to try."
Kevin says, that note and gift pushed him to overcome his fears.
"And I was like, You know what? I'm gonna buy this camera and I'm gonna do it."
Kevin, who was born with dwarfism, says, his differences have ultimately given him a unique advantage.
"My lifestyle was always from a perspective that is, you know, four feet, five off the ground, right? So it's like this idea of like always looking up and looking for like the small moments. For me, lifestyle photography is just that. It's looking for the small moments that are overlooked."
Finding himself in a new city, Kevin embraced that perspective and started his own photography business this year - he called it "The 4ft5 Photographer." He says, his unique introduction to photography now feeds into an equally unique approach to the craft itself.
"I've grown up in a world that's not necessarily, you know, made for me. It's, it's not made for people who are shorter. So I've always had to adapt and learn. So I take that into my photography every day...I think a lot of photographers nowadays, we all shoot from the same angle, so to speak, right? And so, for me, honestly, being shorter, I always look for a perspective like looking up in photography. There's something really cool about that perspective."
Kevin tells 3News, it's that perspective that continues to bring him inspiration and allows his dreams to continue to grow. Dreams that include his nex big project - building out his own event space and photography studio..
"[I] have all these big dreams and visions. And there's this movement and this passion for our city and the stories that we want to tell in this city, and the people that want to stay here."
If you're interested in working with Kevin or purchasing his work, you can find more information here.
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