Sunday, January 16, 2011

"I observe people"... interview with KRIS VAN DE VIJVER.

Kris is photographer from Belgium. He shares beautiful cinematic portraits with us:

1Q)Can you please tell us the story behind this portrait? How you took it and why you choose to shoot this person?
I was driving with Barbara, my girlfriend, through the desert in Morocco. It was so extremely hot (50° Celcius!) and dry and we decided to stop, to stretch our legs. I looked around and in a strange way, the heat was kind of inspiring, so I took the camera out of the car and without too much thinking, I started taking pictures of Barbara.

2Q)What photography gear you used here and why? What is usually in your photo bag?
For the first time in my life, I traveled to another country without taking my camera with me.  The plan was that Barbara would take all the pictures during our road trip but, as it turned out, I just couldn't resist the urge to shoot. So, I made this photo using Barbara's Nikon D40.
3Q)What do you love most about shooting portraits?
A face, with all the emotions and secrets hidden behind it, all those thoughts, good and bad, it's just so interesting to look at people. Even when I don't have a camera, I observe people. Wherever I am.. walking around, sitting on the train, in a restaurant or a bar, standing in a queue at the supermarket...  everywhere.
4Q) Do you consider yourself mostly as a “portrait” photographer?
I think so. I'm not sure.  Maybe I'm more into capturing atmosphere, but in most cases, people are involved. 
5Q) Do you work with available light or do you use additional lightning often?
Both, whatever works., whatever I need to get the photo right.
6Q) What/Who are your photography muses and influences?
I'm influenced by the many extremely great photos I see in magazines and online, in the photoblog community and on Flickr. There are just so many wonderful images around, it would take several lifetimes to see them all. :)
7Q) Any tip for taking better portraits?
When I compare photos from a number of years ago with recent work... I think I became better in making portraits. My theory behind this is very simple: if you want to get better, you have to shoot often. You have to shoot many pictures, as much as possible. Then look at the pictures afterwards, why do the good pictures work, and what's wrong with the bad pictures? Shoot more. After some time, you will recognize scenes or situations that are nice to look at, but which won't work in a photo. If you can see that, you won't lose so much time shooting the wrong things and you can concentrate on the good stuff. And you will also start to recognize scenes or people that don't appear all that special in the real world, but which could give a magical result if you shoot them right.  And this is a never ending process: translating the real world into a small and limited photo.

Thank you, Kris!

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