Alain 'Skanka' Hottat::Preserving Moments

Alain 'Skanka' Hottat.  Photos contributed.

Alain Hottat has come a long way to fulfil his dream of living and working in his Portland paradise. But he will tell you it's been worth it.  Born in the Congo in the 60's then moving to Belgium for Art school as a teenager, Alain never imagined that a trip to Jamaica in 1981 would impact his world the way it did. See highlights of my conversation with the Portland based music video director and photographer about his work and the treasure trove of inspiration that is Port Antonio.
Prêt-à-Portie: What brought you to Portland and how long have you been living here?

Alain: What brought me to Portland is the 'untouched-ness' of the place...like I always say, "the real Jamaica.'' Everything moving in pace with nature; the weather and the wind. I've lived in Portland since 1989 until today.

Prêt-à-Portie How long have you been creating videos and photographs?

Alain: I have been practising my photography since childhood in Africa when my father bought me my first camera. I have been exposed to and involved with videography since I went to the Art school but have been active the most this last 2 years doing videos here in Jamaica around the music. My father had always love to video and photograph in Africa, so I got that from him I guess. I have learnt in the Art school to develop my eye, views and concept in an artistic way.

Prêt-à-Portie: Would you say you have a favourite of the two?

Alain: I don't have a favorite, I love both. Photo is the expression of a fraction of a second while video is the expression through time and movements with sounds and words.

Portraits by Alain 'Skanka' Hottat
What do you love most about your work and what has been your proudest moment artistically or creatively?

What I love the most is the moment of creation shooting a photo or video, the contact and communion with my subject. That is why I love portraits so much. Then I love the moment when the art reveals itself after editing and final touching. I usually never look back on what I have done once it is done. It is then time to create again..like food for the soul. 

My proudest moment is any time I can share my art with someone and when I see the enjoyment of the person that looks at it. I love to watch my subject or actors looking at the final product more than even me looking at my work itself.

How would you describe your style?

My style? I don't know you have to name it. I'll say if it is a portrait my style is to penetrate the soul of my subject by making him/her be himself. The subject has a lot to do with it . Every subject carries his/her own vibes and I try to show that expression. 

What inspires you to create/produce?

I'm inspired by people, characters, kids, nature, music, joy and sadness.

Portraits by Alain 'Skanka' Hottat
What do you love most about Portland?

Portland is my home. I love the people, I feel respected, the beauty of the land blows my mind everyday...In a sense It is more beautiful everyday and I pray for it to stay like that.

Contact email: lens-flair@hotmail.com


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