I first came across Richard “Koci” Hernandez when he reached out to my partner Sion Fullana about a possible project he was considering doing. Sion immediately said “Check this guy out!” and we watched a series of Lynda.com videos about Koci that blew us away. When the app Instagram exploded, we were happy to see Koci — known for his arresting, multi-layered work (as well as his penchant for capturing people with hats) — quickly becoming a superstar user with tons of followers who were just as enthralled by his images as we were.
I’ve since had the pleasure of meeting Koci in person when I visited San Francisco in October for my Hipstmatic gallery show and the 1197.is conference — the latter of which Koci was a guest speaker and presented an intensive workshop (along with Dan “Konstruktivist” Cristea), as well as an early-morning photowalk, to excited attendees. I was pleased to discover that he was just as awesome as I hoped he’d be and much more — incredibly smart, talented, funny, charismatic and unbelievably generous. He has an incredible passion for photography that’s deeply infectious — and all the MoPhos at 1197 were captivated by him.
With an impressive background that includes being a national Emmy award-winning video and multimedia producer, as well as a photographer for the San Jose Mercury News and currently a professor at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Koci is one of the busiest people that I know — but he was still excited to squeeze in some time for a Skype interview with me earlier this week.
And so…PART ONE: