About Ken Merfeld
Ken owns and operates a commercial studio in Culver City, CA where he photographs fashion, advertising, portrait, and celebrity assignments. His work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Angeleno, Zoom, Black and White, and Los Angeles Magazine.
Ken teaches photography at Art Center, College of Design in Pasadena, CA and also has degrees in Marketing Management and Psychology from San Diego State University.
Merfeld has worked for years on a black and white personal portrait project which includes dancers, bikers, autistic children, “little people”, people with their pets, transvestites, twins, women wearing masks, etc.
Award winning documentary projects: Autistic Children, Vietnamese Refugees (Camp Pendleton), and Identical Twins.
Ken Merfeld needs to create on a daily basis, loves to see what he has never seen before, and appreciates the bent, broken, life on the edge, and imperfection. He believes that the exchange of energy is most important in life and is critical in art. He has an insatiable appetite for beautiful light, interesting people, strong images, emotional response, simple design, and a different point of view. Merfeld is an aficionado of photo history and the black & white darkroom, is opinionated, honest, and passionate. Ken will go to a five-star restaurant but prefers tacos and beer, loves to laugh, and loves to create images more than anything.
While embracing the new world of electronic imaging in commercial photography, Merfeld has also chosen to step back in time into the process of Wet-Plate Collodion from the 1860’s. This new body of work is attracting world-wide attention as Merfeld combines 19th Century technique with 21st Century technology in re-defining his provocative, emotional portrait series. For more information, refer to: merfeldcollodion.com.
As a result of a childhood accident and severe concussion, I lost most of the sight in my left eye. During recovery I experienced such intense migraine headaches that often my other eye had to be shielded from the light, leaving me in total darkness for long periods of time. I knew what it was like to be blind. When able to see again my mother had taken a job at the neighborhood movie theater. I spent what seems like a lifetime in the dark in that movie theater appreciating whatever I could see. Daily movies, newsreels, and cartoons became my life. I appreciated all of the light that I could now tolerate from the screen and the pleasure and security of the dark environment as well. I lived everyday in light and in dark. I lived everyday with visuals.
I realize that my ability to see is a gift. My life in photography is an extension of that gift, appreciated each and every day. I try to see everything. I even see images when I close my eyes, just as if I were still sitting in the dark in that theater.