Adobe Lightroom Ambassador Kane Andrade on finding beauty in pain through photography

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Looking at Kane Andrade’s photography, the first thing that strikes most viewers is his stunning use of light and color. Whether Andrade is focusing his lens on an intimate solo portrait or capturing the rolling fog over the Golden Gate Bridge, light is used to bring out a rich depth of color that gives images an almost otherworldly feel. .

Andrade’s passion for art shines through the screen, but it’s his vision and commitment to the community that inspired Adobe to make him an Adobe Lightroom Ambassador. Through Andrade’s company, Trans Stache, he works with brands such as Toyota, Reebok and Square to create remarkable content that appeals to audiences. Beyond commercial work, Andrade uses his photography as a way to express himself as an artist, to deal with life experiences, and to become an advocate for the queer community.

“I’ve been through a lot of pain in my life: as a veteran, a trans person, and just as a queer person of color,” Andrade says. “I think that’s why I’m drawn to images that make things beautiful, magical and colorful. I try to find the light in the world and capture that feeling forever.

Image by Kane Andrade.

Kane C. Andrade — image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Find yourself through photography

Andrade has always been a creative person. Photography established itself as a medium that encouraged Andrade to explore the world around him. “I had a little Kodak camera when I was a kid, and I remember constantly asking my dad to develop the images at CVS,” Andrade recalls.

After spending five years in the US Marine Corps, Andrade struggled with his transition to civilian life. His time in the military taught him the importance of teamwork, leadership, and communication, and losing structure wasn’t easy.

“Photography saved my life. I needed something to help me process my experiences and this was there for me. I feed these emotions in my work to give more meaning to everything I create.

Kane Andrade

View overlooking a canyon, image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

While completing a degree in 3D animation and visual effects at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Andrade slowly became aware of another identity he needed to embrace: that of a trans man.

“Even when I was young, I always felt like a boy,” Andrade says. “I hated being seen as a girl. But it wasn’t until I started seeing more portrayals of trans people in the media that I started to realize how I felt. I resonated with the stories of people who had come out as trans before me, and that gave me the courage to come out as a trans man.

With the support of a close-knit group of friends, Andrade came out to his family in 2021. “My friends were supportive right away,” Andrade says. “It took a little longer for my father. His partner was helpful in getting him on board as she saw me for who I am.

For friends and family of a trans person, Andrade offers this advice: “If there is someone trans in your life, do some research on your own first. It’s exhausting and it’s not a trans person’s job to have to educate everyone around them.

Andrade adds, “The most important thing is to support the trans person with love and compassion. Even if you don’t understand their struggle, as long as you have open arms and are willing to learn, you can’t go wrong.

Andrade credits the community for helping him cope with his transition to civilian life and his life as a trans man. “For me, photography was really how I found my community,” says Andrade. “I started posting more queer content and trans content on places like Instagram using hashtags. I started getting comments and inspirational content on my feed. I met so many people with whom I could talk about creativity, but also about our common experiences and pains.

Image of model Rose Montoya, image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade — Image model: Rose Montoya.

Through photography, Andrade uses his talent to give back. As co-founder of Rosen Creative House, a trans creative agency, which aims to provide opportunities for queer and trans creatives, Andrade took part in a Drag photo shoot at the Zetta Hotel in San Francisco. The event, which took place in late May, provided local drag kings and queens with high-quality photos to use in flyers and events throughout Pride Month.

Image by Luke Modelo and Helixir Jynder Byntwell, image taken by Kane Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade — image models: Luke Modelo and Helixir Jynder Byntwell.

Andrade also uses his art to defend fellow trans veterans. As part of the Adobe Lightroom Ambassador program, Andrade plans to work on a passion project where he tells the stories of five trans veterans through photography.

“I’ve experienced the struggles of being a trans veteran first-hand, from struggling with identity to trying to navigate VA healthcare,” Andrade says. “I want to highlight the stories of other trans veterans and advocate for the need for trans human rights.”

Adobe chose Andrade to become a Lightroom Ambassador for his ability to bring subjects to life through photography with Adobe Lightroom. Andrade also uses other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing or Adobe Photoshop to replace the sky to create perfect scenes. But Lightroom is the app he uses every day to achieve his signature style of photography.

View of skyscrapers, image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Masking tools such as Radial Filters and Graduated Filters allow Andrade to control where he adjusts exposure, contrast, saturation, and other effects to best highlight his subjects or scene. He also relies heavily on the tonal curve to bring out the light in his images.

Image of hiker in forest, Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

“I always think about the emotion that I try to inspire in people through my photographs,” Andrade explains. “It starts with the camera. I love filming in the morning before everyone wakes up. There is something about the light, the stillness and the stillness that is so beautiful. Lightroom helps me boost the light to make things look big and bright.

Image of a bridge in the distance, image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Andrade is also excited about new features in Lightroom such as Remix on mobile and web, as well as the ability to edit videos. With video becoming an increasingly standard way to share art, especially via social media, Andrade believes it’s important to maintain a distinct visual style across still and moving images. The new video editing feature will allow him to use familiar Lightroom presets when editing his Instagram reels.

Image of a bridge in the distance, image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

Image courtesy of Kane C. Andrade.

“Being part of the Adobe Lightroom Ambassador program has been so rewarding,” says Andrade. “It gives me such confidence and makes me feel like people see the value in my art. Also, meeting other artists is so amazing. It’s only been a few months, but it feels like we’re family.

Celebrating the Struggle and Beauty of Pride

For Andrade, Pride is a moment of happiness, but also of melancholy. “I have mixed feelings about Pride because it’s a moment that comes from pain,” Andrade says. “If the world was a perfect place, we wouldn’t need Pride. Instead, we live in a world where I have to tell other trans people that if they’re not in a safe place, they shouldn’t go out. Pride is a painful but beautiful celebration where those of us who have struggled and are struggling can come together and find camaraderie, support, and greater self-acceptance.

Andrade plans to continue his creative work from his new hometown of Los Angeles, opening the doors to more creative opportunities in a dynamic and diverse environment. Follow Andrade’s journey on social media, including Twitter and Instagram.

Learn more about Adobe Lightroom here.

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