MAGIC MOMENTS IN THE HARSH AND SOFT FROM THE UNKNOWN ARTIST STUDIO: INTERVIEW WITH OLIVER HAUPT

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1. You had a formal education in Art and Photography. How essential is such a higher education when it comes to a career in photography? Is there any knowledge that has stayed with you ?

Yes, I had the chance to study arts and photography. But prior to this, I had already started doing my own images. I think it is very important to study because you have time to develop your criteria, you are exposed to all sorts of different opinions and you see a lot. It was a very intense time, dedicated purely to making images The best thing is, this wide horizon stays with you forever because once you start to see things differently, you can’t go back.


 

"once you start to see things differently, you can’t go back."

2. How has your taste in photography evolved since you first got started ?

My taste is under constant evolution though there are many things that have stayed throughout the years and don’t change. This is what make your work yours and I think this comes from the heart and cannot be taught to someone or trained.


Image: "My work is based on the deep love and admiration of life and creature, interfered by permanent presence of transience. How can one enjoy the beauty of creature and loveliness of a movement being aware of it fading away the next instant into nothing? Or is finiteness what gives life its meaning? It wouldn’t be the same emotion if we could reproduce these moments infinitely often. It hurts that all is threatened by transience, I would wish to persist all the power of lost and destruction. I would want to make the moment eternal but wouldn't this destroy the magic? "

3. Children are an ongoing subject matter for you. What in particular do you love about photographing children ? 

" Children possess the unspoilt ability to live in the moment therefore they can give me back what we have all lost whilst growing up. Becoming an adult means accepting many rules and as a result, our emotions get restricted and poor. In this sense, children can be very inspiring and open-minded."
 

Working with children helps me to unleash my emotions. I can project my feelings into them and express myself in their play. It is like being them, just a bit closer to the essence of life for an instant. This is done by taking images of their play but it also can involve creating objects together with them as well as other ways to participate in their world.

4. What are some of the difficulties when it comes to photographing children and how do you overcome them ?

The worst that can happen (and it happens a lot), is that the parents and society do not waste time to push the transformation of their children into adults. E.g., they train their children to put on an artificial smile or other awful attitudes when they get aware of the camera. As a result, it can take a long time to get these children to feel real joy or fascination.

This is very sad and you don’t get the images you want. Above all, it is sad for the child as well as the parents because they both loose out on the best in life…the childhood. A child deserves to live it and this is a chance for the adult to understand life and get closer to the essence of being on earth. As the child grows, it gets more and more difficult to connect with this again.

5. One the other hand, you also love to photograph much "harsher" subject matters such as jets and combat sport. Why the contrast in subject matter ?

All of my photography is about capturing moments and recording life. Life in it’s diversity gets much more intense and real. An emotionally rich life is much more interesting than a limited one.
 

" I do not want to limit myself as a person and dedicate myself to only one sort of emotion in life and I neither want this to happen to the images I create. I think this is very important when it comes to how you capture the world."
 

Contrasting subject matters give different dimensions to my images. It gives depth and this is as relevant for my harsher subject matters as it is for my more tender ones.

6. Which photographers have had the greatest influence on you? In what way have they influenced your work ?

Firstly, I admire Ansel Adams for his love and his monk-like dedication to the material. I try to do what he did in the darkroom when I set my illumination and when I adjust the curves in the computer, finding the magic in balancing the image until it feels right.

My second pick and my favourite is certainly William Eggleston for breaking the rules and for just being a visionary, able to do what he needed to do. I think this is very important; finding your own sets of rules and leave behind the things the society wants you to do.

Finally, I pick Helmut Newton for the style of his images and for being able to do always the same without getting bored. I think it is great to go on and on with the sort of work you like.

And there are many more, of course not all can be that famous, but they all possess the right mix of dedication and talent that makes them producers of great images. 

7. What are some key pieces of advice you would give to other photographers when it comes to marketing themselves and getting noticed ? 

I would highly recommend being real. Be yourself and to let your heart take the pictures. The photographer physically is just the middle man but the image needs to happen on its own.

" The photographer’s job is to create the climate, prepare himself to capture the moment and always be aware that he has not missed that moment. "

Photography happens to the photographer: a very difficult fact to accept for a Homo Faber person from Colone. But it feels as if this is the truth!

8. What would you do if you were not a photographer ?

I adore life and I want to contribute somehow to it. I always have the urge to give back for the marvelousness we have here on earth. If I could not be a photographer or a visual artist who spends his life dedicated to still or moving images, I would definitely be a musician. Music is as spontaneous and immediate as images are.

It is the direct link to the soul and helps you to understand life. It provides a way of being part of the world. And I want to be a part of this world. 

OLIVER HAUPT
AOP

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