Internal Struggles Portrayed Through Portraits : Kavan ‘The Kid’ Cardoza

An American Surrealist Photographer, Director and Producer Kevin ‘The Kid’ Cardoza. His abstract eye quickly captured the attention of several major labels.


Kavan Cardoza aka “Kavan The Kid” is a music video director and photographer based in Los Angeles. With an aesthetic imbued with emotion and self-examination, The Kid contrasts low-key lighting with bold, lurid colors that elicit visceral, personal reactions consciously and subconsciously. Born in Boise, Idaho on November 17th, 1988, Kavan relishes in his ability to birth an image that is both relatable and alienating all at once, using surreality as message and canvas. As he describes it, photography is a means of communicating his “darkness.”

Kavan studied martial arts for over 12 years, the majority of his studies at the American Kenpo Karate Studio located in Meridian, Idaho. Kavan studied under the 8th degree black belt and Kenpo Hall of Fame instructor Mr. Mike Hagood. Kavan studied for 6 years and received his black belt before leaving the practice.

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Once psychology student, he dropped out because “he knew he could express better through film and photography.” Kavan dropped out of Boise State University after attending for 3 weeks in their psychology program to pursue a career in the creative arts. Kavan graduated from Full Sail University (Winter Park, Florida) in 2010 with a bachelors in Film Science.

Anger, desperation, fear, these are only some of the feelings that his work is able to translate; it is imbued with emotions, images that become visual narratives, each one with a different mood, each one from a different experience crystallized for us. He said about his practice: “I use photography to convey my dreams and nightmares that I frequently have, all documented in a small leather bound journal.”

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Kavan’s first start in the creative industry was making independent rap videos with his friends in Boise, Idaho. He would go on to shoot music videos for well known artists such as Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Tom Macdonald, Nova Rockafeller, Murphy Lee, Blimes Brixton, Maisy Kay, Nocando, Hailey Knox, Stalgia, Chuxx Morris, Sahtyre, Michael Kittrell (Michael Copper) and others. In the time from 2010 – 2020 Kavan shot over 300 music videos for both Major Label and Independent artists. 

At the start of 2019 Kavan began releasing an image weekly that was part of a series titled “Stay Inside & Don’t Let the Dreams Out” which dealt with depression, anxiety and modern communication with a surreal twist. This series would also become Kavan’s first ever Photography Book, which was released under the same name at the end of February in 2020. The “Stay Inside” series garnered critical acclaim as it won a multitude of awards including the International Photography Award for Best Digitally Enhanced Photography and being a top 25 finalist in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Photography Competition. Kavan’s photography has been featured in a number of publications including, Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Cultura Colectiva, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Art of Visuals, Voyage LA, Dark Beauty Magazine, Mass Media Magazine and others.

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Won the International Photography Award (IPA) in 2019 for Best Digitally Enhanced Photography for his Series “Stay Inside & Don’t Let the Dreams Out.” Top 25 Finalist in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize in 2019 for the Photography Category. Won 2018 Los Angeles CineFest Photography for his piece – “Goodbye Blue Skies” Other Works, (or could be anything.) – Kavan has directed and produced multiple commercials for brands and companies such as Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Rokit, Cambria Natural Quartz Countertops, Buck Wild and others. His photographic work, both expressive and yellow, is a way to communicate his dark side.

When asked about his work he replied 

“Almost every photo that I do is a reflection of myself or the way I feel or think. That usually follows a darker, grittier feel. The sad realities of man in an abstract view.”

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Visit his profile at : Instagram Facebook 

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