Shay Kedem
Leaf Aptus-II 10

"I haven’t yet seen a digital back that delivers the goods like my Leaf Aptus-II 8, especially when I mount it on my Mamiya 645DF.”

Shay Kedem

Shay Kedem is an international fashion and commercial photographer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Shay is the in-house photographer of the Persy fashion house and publishes work in well-known international publications like Vogue Italy, 2BEmag, W25, the Chanel catalog and more. His clients have high standards, and so Shay needs speed and high resolution to show off the fine details and textures; with a capture rate of 0.8 sec and 40MP resolution his Leaf Aptus-II 8 certainly delivers the goods.

“One of the most critical aspects in my work is ensuring that colors, textures and details remain accurate. They have to look like they do in real-life or I haven’t done my job right. Many of my clients sell high-end, luxury clothes and showing off the stitching and fabric texture is paramount; I haven’t yet seen a digital back that delivers the goods like my Leaf Aptus-II 8, especially when I mount it on my Mamiya 645DF.”

Shay began merging art with fashion and photography from an early age. As a child he developed film by himself and worked his way through pocket cameras and Polaroid cameras to 6x6 and technical cameras. “My parents had a strong influence on me; my father was an air force pilot who would get up super early in the morning to paint, while my mother was a buyer and importer of international fashion brands for boutiques.” After completing his army service, Shay studied Information Systems and worked in the hi-tech field for five years as a technical product manager before coming to the realization that his future lay in photography – the perfect career in which to blend his technical know-how with his artistic tendencies. Shay went on to study photography at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and then began an apprenticeship with a leading Israeli photographer before opening his own studio.

“I started off shooting commercial jobs and then quickly moved to fashion. Nowadays 90% of my work is fashion. My initial work with local publications led to interest from international magazines and I soon found international representation with the Allen Watts agency in Belgium.”

“I've been shooting digital for the last 10 years. While photography was just a hobby I worked my way through Canon’s entire product range, constantly selling and upgrading. The jump to medium format came easy for me because of my technical background. Today I use 35mm for jobs that don't demand high-quality and when I need a lightweight solution. I'll also bring a couple along to a shoot as backups, but for most of my works I go with the Mamiya Leaf system.”

Shay’s trademark use of colors in his work is part of his unique style. “When I work with big PR agencies I don’t have too much flexibility – it has to be exactly like the marketing brief. I find that my artistic expression comes through in the colors I use, my color palette. I also keep the post production in-house to ensure control over the final product. If not, what you see up on the billboard is often very different from the work you submit.”

In his editorial work, Shay enjoys more artistic freedom. “I play around with different angles, depth of fields, cloths and color palettes. I've found lately that many of my clients approach me after seeing my editorial work and then ask for the same sort of look and feel in their advertising campaigns.”

Shay is a big fan of Mamiya Leaf products. “Leaf digital backs do color reproduction that is second to none. What your eye sees is what you get – very important in fashion work. I love the details and the dynamic range. Support is also unbelievable. I've had cases in which I opened a ticket on their website and within a few hours they called me up and solved the problem. If you buy a premium product you should get premium service, and Mamiya Leaf delivers just that!”

“For me the 6x4.5 is the ultimate aspect ratio visually – easy to work with, close to the golden rule and the rule of thirds. 6x6 doesn't give you the length you need to show off the clothes in portrait orientation. 6x4.5 is ideal as it also maintains perfect proportions for fashion.”

About Shay Kedem
Shay Kedem is a published fashion photographer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He primarily shoots editorials and fashion and is the owner of “Kedem Productions” – a studio and company that help its clients to maximize the visual aspects of their business by handling the media through new fresh outlooks.

Kedem also teaches fashion photography on a regular basis at the Galitz Academy of Photography.

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