Kaycee Landsaw is a motorcycle and lifestyle photographer from Utah, US. His work is as outstanding as his surroundings and running with the likes of Aaron Brimhall and Salt City Builds has given him a great platform to get his photography in front of thousands of people across the net.
After seeing a recent photoset from Motos In Moab we got him in for a chat and had a chance to get to know the guy behind the lens.
The Interviews: Kaycee Landsaw
When did you begin to take photographs?
I grew up rollerblading and snowboarding and so taking photos and filming was just a natural progression. I think I was around 19 when I purchased my first DSLR (Canon 300D). Before the 300D I would take shots with a little point and shoot or take screenshots from the stuff we filmed.
Every photographer has a few staples pieces, what’s in your day-to-day gear bag?
Well for me it is always changing. I find myself cycling through lenses depending on what I am stoked on at that current time. For instance, if you would have asked me this question 2 months ago it would have for sure been my 70-200 f2.8, but recently I have been really stoked on trying to get more landscape looks to my photos so I have been shooting a lot with my wide 17-40mm.
What’s the one piece of gear that you couldn’t live without?
As funny as it sounds, probably a bag. I am kind of a tech nerd and am all about features and slim lining products. When I am out shooting if I don’t have a bag that is lightweight and functional I end up getting way frustrated or sometimes I just don’t shoot at all because of the hassle. Right now I have a couple homies who are are in the process of designing a new camera bag and I am pretty pumped for them to start cranking them out!
Talk us through your post production process…
My post process really just depends on what I am shooting for. Generally I like to try and process photos to fit the mood I was feeling when I was out shooting. This is probably the time to mention that I am a creature of habit with endless particulars. Once I get my set up in Lightroom all set up it is super hard for me to process photos on a different computer or environment. Some times I will wait a few days just to edit photos because I am just so particular haha. Anyway, I usually just go down the settings from correcting exposure to color toning. I wouldn’t say I have a precise method to processing my photos though. I just usually go with what I am feeling a that moment and just mess around. I should also mention that if I can’t sit down and process all the photos at once, there is a good chance I might not return to finish processing them. I just have a hard time stopping in the middle and returning. I think it is probably because whatever I was feeling when I was processing them before is usually gone and then I just don’t like them anymore. Hahaha.
How did you get into shooting motorcycle imagery?
I got into shooting motorcycle stuff just like I did with shooting rollerblading and snowboarding. I think I have always just loved documenting the stuff I love. I got my first motorcycle (Honda cb450 nighthawk) right after I graduated high school. My best friend was pretty much the only person I knew with a motorcycle so we would just always cruise together, often from spot to spot as we would skate. Eventually we just started taking photos of us just riding motorcycles and it was all downhill from there. I never really shared any of my motorcycle photos though. I think I just figured no one was stoked on it but my friend and I so I just held on to them. Later on the Instagram thing just kind of happened non-intentionally.
Your local surroundings seem idealistic with regards to riding, how has that influenced your work?
Yeah, Utah is sick, and sick for a couple of reasons. The first reason is kind of obvious. We have just about every type of riding terrain you could imagine within at least an hours distance from Salt Lake City. The endless canyons and beautiful scenery have made it really easy to get into taking motorcycle photos. The other reason is we have such a rad a group of inclusive people that just love to get out and ride. Sometimes it blows my mind how diverse the crowd is. We are literally like the island of misfit toys that just somehow all mesh work together haha. No, everyone is just way different and it is really cool to see how people set aside the cool guy act and just include people. The reason I bring that up is because it has definitely influenced my work and made it super easy to meet new people.
What motorcycle do you ride?
A 2005 Triumph Bonneville T100
Kaycee’s favourite shots
As with all photographer features, we asked Kaycee to pick out 5 of his favourite images and talk us through the story behind them.This day was seriously one of the gnarliest! Aaron and Damian were just rallying around this corner up lambs canyon dragging lefts each time. For anyone who hasn’t been up this canyon it’s a super narrow single lane road with tons of blind corners. This corner they were dragging around was completely blind. Not only was this corner blind but they were completely maxing the lean out on their bikes each time dropping loads of metal off their pegs as the scraped around the corner. Also, not seen in this photo is just left to the road is a drop off to a river. So in the chance they happened to go past the line they were pushing so hard they would have first took me out and then dropped straight down into the river bed. Just looking back at this photo gets pumped.
When people come through Salt Lake City we like to do our best at showing them a good time. The fellas at CROIG were in town and Seth from Salt City Builds was a little anxious to do some product testing on one of their new builds. It had been dumping rain the past week so the dirt everywhere was a muddy mess. We took them out to an old dirt yard and just got loose sliding the bikes around. I think when we first got there everyone was super apprehensive about getting all dirty cause Seth and I were the only ones slinging mud. Fun Fact: My bike still has mud all over it from this day. it wasn’t too long before David and Andrew jumped on their bikes and got some though.
One of my best friends moved to Portland about two years ago. This year another buddy of mine headed to a weekend of endless bikes, surfing and skating. One of the nights we decided to go out and shoot some photos of Billy rallying around town on his hyper. He had been telling me about these epic tunnels through the mountains and so that was where we headed. I have shot out of the back hatch of a car plenty of times but never on the freeway. This was super gnarly trying to get the shot as there was cars flying around us the whole time and me trying to hold on every time we hit a bump at 75 mph so I didn’t fly out the back.
This was the first time out and seeing Aaron Brimhall when he got back from China. We jumped on the bikes and headed out west to find some dirt to slide around it. It was super fun shooting and just watching him ride this day. He was probably the happiest person I have ever seen to be back on his bike. You can always tell how much fun he is having by how low the bike gets when he starts sliding it around.
The iconic bonfire at Motos in Moab with Drew from Bixby Moto givin’ er hell. I didn’t shoot a whole lot while we were in Moab but this was definitely one of my favorite shots from the weekend. The whole event was just a weekend filled with madness. I remember heading home and thinking, “what the hell just happened?” Such awesome event with so many great people. For me it was just so rad to get to meet all these people I had been networking with over the last year or so. I couldn’t believe the turn out we had and how far some people traveled just to come hang out with us. If you weren’t at Motos in Moab this year, get ready and start making your plans for next year because you can bet it is going to be twice as out of control!
Right before the Salt City Builds dudes headed south to Texas for the Handbuilt show they had both the Iron Track and the Officer build in their shop. After I twisted their arms a bit they decided to let me shoot both the bikes together. Damian jumped on the Iron Track and Rev jumped on the Officer and we headed downtown. It was fun just watching these two get in their element and push these bikes. Such cool dudes!
Kaycee’s Instagram is definitely worth a follow, he’s always posting up visual delights of his local riding scene and beautiful surroundings. Check out his website too for more of his work in other sectors.