B: So Ken, you are known to many through your IG feed as @magic_ken, what is your best trick?
K: Its kind of a funny story. Basically I grew up in a magic shop that my father owned. A bunch of people found out, and my nick-name was born. It’s funny, but a lot of the photo credits I got early on, in magazines and elsewhere, said Magic Ken. I figured I might as well go with it!
B: What is an average day in the life of Ken Driscoll? How do you pay to keep your gas tank full?
K: Oh man, my gas tank is never full. Haha.
B: You have been shooting photos since before the days of instagram. Do you feel as though that has hurt or helped your profession?
K: Overall I think Instagram is a great tool to put my work into the hands of others. In many ways it has peeked an interest in photography in people who otherwise wouldn’t have had one, and made people in general more “photo-aware”. I think a lot can be said through a photo and IG is, in a small way, helping people learn to read photos. Maybe thats too deep but either way as you scroll through your feed you have to make decisions as to whether that photo connects with you or not. I don’t know, I probably sound like a total kook, but Im all for it.
B: Your photography never seems to feel staged or set up. It seems more like you are documenting a time and place. Is that something you aspire for when shooting or does it just kinda pan out that way?
K: I try not to force anything. Ive always been drawn to the photo documentarian/photo-journalistic approach to things. I carry a camera almost everyday. Somedays i take 30 photos (which is a lot for me, haha) and most days i take zero. I think good pictures make themselves and you just have to actively and intentionally be there to record them.
B: You have been fortunate enough to be published in some pretty heavy chopper mags. You probably aren't one to brag, but I'm asking...so fill us in on some of the places we may have seen your photos?
K: I’ve been really fortunate. Photography has brought me to a lot of cool places and introduced me to some really great people. I was a staff photographer at Lowside Magazine for roughly 4 years. I’ve also shot for DicE Magazine, Greasy Kulture, Show Class and CycleHEADZ (Japan), as well as other non-motorcycle related magazines.
B: What has been your favourite bike that you have shot so far?
K: That’s a really tough question, but, I’d have to say Jason Sheets’ Panhead that he built for BornFree 6. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting with Jason several times and he’s a real craftsman. Everything about that bike was custom made and yet it didn’t look too “custom”, if you know what I mean.
B: I lurked your IG pretty hard doing "research" for this interview, but I noticed that pretty much all the pics are of other peoples bikes. Do you currently have something on the go and what would that be?
K: Haha. I had a bike project for a little bit, but I got burnt out on it. Currently, I’m building a ’53 Ford Customline gasser. I’ve never really claimed to be a “biker”. I’m just a photographer that also enjoys motorcycles. I’ll get a bike again someday when my Ford is finished.
B: Any closing words?
K: Thanks for having me be a part of the show!
You can find more of Ken's photography through his Instagram feed: @magic_ken . Trust me, it's worth the lurk time.