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Renate Beense


Renate Beense, "Matthew Houck", "Dave von Raven", "Arnon Grunberg", "Hank Williams III", "Gerard Beense" and "Jan Latten".

Q: Is the medium you use important in portraying your identity as an artist?

A: The medium of photography I use is certainly important to my identity as a photographer. I like absurdism in images and the flash gives me the opportunity to approach that.

Q: Where would you start if you portrayed me in an image? Light? Form? Colour?

A: I would start with a cup of coffee or tea and chat. And from there see how you move, look, and feel who you are, as far as that is possible in such a short impression. Then I usually begin by looking at the environment, and how the environment and you relate to each other. And then I put my flash on my camera and look at the light. Yeah, I think it kinda goes like that. But it is mainly intuitive and not very well thought out I notice.

Q: When is a portrait image interesting for you?

A: For me, a portrait is beautiful if it rubs off a bit, if it doesn't try to be 'perfect'. I like capturing the moment, taking snaps or snapshots as it were. But I also like a carefully made portrait where a lot of time has been spent on connecting with the person portrayed . As long as it doesn't go too far in shape or style and veer away from the person and the environment. In that sense, I like documentary images the most, or if something has the feeling of being a documentary image.

Q: Could you describe your least successful portrait?

A: Ooh, there's quite a few haha! To get a good picture, you often have to shoot a lot of shitty pics first. Portraits that I consider not successful are those portraits where I feel I have to fall back too much on style or environment. I like it when a sense of communication can be seen or felt in the image between the photographer and the person portrayed. If that is missing, then as far as I am concerned, the energy in the picture is also missing.

Q: What is the most important quality to possess as a portrait maker?

A: In a word; curiosity. In my view, being curious about the other is always the basis for achieving a fine portrait.


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