10 Questions: Victor Hamke

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Germany based fine art photographer, Victor Hamke, shoots portraits and weddings. Self-taught, photography didn’t come to Victor through a family camera – he bought into it himself. Victor’s philosophy and his ambition is people oriented, and focussed on relationships – not just social media centred. When you look at Victor’s work, you feel his sensitivity – his storytelling vision marries surrealism with documentary – a style so unique, soulful and poetic that it completely mesmerises.

1. What do making images mean to you?

It means many things at once. But first and foremost it is a gift to be able to express myself through images – it is an own language.

I spend an enormous amount of time with photography, reflecting on what I do and extending my skills. Besides the persons I love, photography plays the most important role in my life.

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2. Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?

I grew up in Western Germany. Everything went pretty normal. After school I studied Literature and Media. Photography started to play a role in the midst of my studies. At first it was just a hobby, but I became addicted pretty quickly and things developed their own dynamics. I’m not that person who already took his first photos with the camera of his dad.

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3. When did you find your calling in photography?

A few years ago. Everything started with portraiture, but I soon found out that portraiture was not enough. I started to experiment with digital manipulation and spend a ton of time on learning everything I needed to create what I wished to create.

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4. What is your favourite non-photography pass time?

Spending my time with my dearest, my friends and family. My life is dominated by two things: People and visual art. Of course I also listen to different kinds of music, watch movies and enjoy a thoughtful conversation. But probably most people do. 🙂

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5. What movie did you love recently?

I loved “The Revenant“. That movie was really striking – wow. Pretty intense and raw. Not too much story-telling going on, but I was absolutely impressed by the atmosphere and the acting.

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6. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do – or might do?

There are. For the wedding portfolio I still wish to spend a greater amount of time with doing Styled Shoots. I have done it in the past, but I think it is so much fun and time well spent off-season.

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7. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

I shoot both. Also I recently questioned myself if the decision to use left or right would have an influence on my perception – because there’s that thing about one part of the brain being responsible for the emotional things and one for the logical things. I will try to find out.

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8. Who do you respect – in photography or elsewhere?

I respect sensitive, kind people. The world can be a rough place and I find it so rare and precious to meet people that actually care for others. Not just social-media Likes, but real interest and empathy. Sometimes life feels very hollow with all the superficial connections to others.

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9. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?

I would have started earlier with photography. But everybody has to take a different way and I’m completely satisfied with how things evolved. I need a lot of time just reflecting on what I do. The result is that I sometimes take a break from taking photographs for several weeks (excluding business things that have to be done). When I come back, I’m always a little better and thoughtful than before. The mental aspect is very important for me.

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10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?

This is what I hope to see: Being someone with few regrets, who treated his precious ones well and followed his intuition. Fear plays a huge role in most people’s life. In mine as well and I hope to have gotten rid of my fears in 10 years. (Realistically I am sure though, that I’ve overcome some fears while others popped up)

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Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why? 

The gear is my tool. I’m not religious about that and I think that you could even create beautiful things with an iPhone. But for a photographer it is a beautiful experience to have capable tools that make your job easier. I photograph with Fuji cameras and just with primes (mostly 35mm, 52mm and 85mm equivalents). I really enjoy the rise of mirrorless cameras and I love to use them. Small, effective and brilliant IQ. In the end it really is a matter of taste and I respect photographers no matter what they use. As an artist I may just follow my feeling, but the responsibility as a professional is also to have the right tools at hand to be able to fulfil your clients’ expectations.

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See also Victor’s work as featured in Before/ After.

Comments (1)

  1. Ari Dorfman

    These images are absolutely amazing. Great interview.

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