Interview with photographer Ymke Jansen-The element of surprise.
Published in our 40th issue themed Modern Luxury, Photographer Ymke Jansen explains to us her creative process and tells us how she is able to bring her creativity to reality.
-Do you agree that you are challenged everyday to create something that has never been created before?
Yes I agree, it’s very important to be different because of the enormous amount of photographers in this world. It’s hard because almosteverything has been done before so it’s important to find your own style.
When I go shooting I think of something that thrives me, inspires me and stands close to me. I think of things that are on my mind in my own life and look how I can translate them into image. Most of the times it turnsout how I imagined it but some of the times, things end up different then I thought. I like that element of surprise.
-You have to have a favorite artist in mind that drives your creativity or inspires you, who is it? -How would you describe yourself as a person & artist?
I don’t have just one favorite. For Fashion photography I’m in love with the photographs of Tim Walker. It’s the combination of atmosphere, animals, beautiful clothing and amazing models. When you say documentary photography I say Alec Soth. It’s not comparable to Walker so I can’t just choose one. I also love the work of Emily Soto. She’s the queen of analog techniques and old polaroid camera’s. That is something I would like to achieve in the future. If I had to describe myself as an artist, I would say I’m just starting up. I’m at 2% of where I want to be so there’s a long way ahead of me.
I always liked to design and make clothing. But at some day I realized that I was not making the clothes for wearing, I made them for the pictures I wanted to take of them. The atmosphere I imagined with them and the image I saw for those designs. I love the romantic designs of Elie Saab and Jan Taminiau and the more dramatic dresses of John Galliano. These dresses are just so amazing and it’s a dream to use those kinds of dresses in my photographs.
I’m still at the beginning of where I want to be so I’m not quite ready for the part of being known. Of course getting credit for your work is always great but first I want to finish school and that I have the time to make what I really want to make.
A human life is a long time, and I always learned from my parents that you should do what you love. Photography is not the kind of job where you’re sure to get your monthly salary, but you are sure that you’re happy.
My latest shoot was about something that I find very important; world pollution. I used pieces of garbage in some of the pictures and for the clothing I only worked with sustainable brands from small sustainable shops in Amsterdam. I want to make people think about the pollution in this world and change the way we care for our world. I also wanted to give some attention to the sustainable brands that really have the most beautiful pieces.
Because you work with a team, it’s very important to get everyone’s visions and expectations the same. In some shoots the stylist, the make up artist and the photographer all have a different vision of what theshoot is going to turn out. This doesn’t help and the end results become vague and do not have a strong concept.
I am currently doing a photography study. In this study you have assignments that sometimes do not fit into what you want to do. School comes first now so there is not much time for free work.
My style is different because in my portrait’s I like to experiment with different old photographic techniques of refer to those techniques. In the future I would like to work only on film or polaroid. It’s something that I’m in love with. In my fashion photography I want to send a hidden message, like the Avant Garbage series, and make the world last longer.