Van Hugo lives in United States. Searching for new artists to interview, I was deeply attracted by the picture of Jen on the leaves. Beautiful composition, perfect expression, pleasing tonality, everything to give me this heartquake I love so much. So I'm proud and honoured to introduce Van Hugo.
Van Hugo, tell me how did your passion begin ?
My passion for photography began when I was a teenager and I worked at a small town newspaper after school and weekends. I shot some sports and developed film and printed paper.
Since your childhoood, like so many artists... And did you learn photography in a special school ?
When I went to college it was more of a minor for me. I learned almost everything from books and trial and error.
L Joy 3
Who are your greatest inspirators ?
A lot of people are amazed that I don't know this photographer or that photographer. I look at photos all the time, and I distinguish photographers that I like or might be of my taste but I hate to single any photographer as great or a hack, because it is truly art, and not all art is appreciated the same by all. I guess if I tried to at least narrow things down for you on this, I would say my inspirations and deep desires always lean toward photojournalism. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I couldn't wait for the next Life magazine to come.
How long could you be far from your camera ?
I almost always have my backpack nearby with two cameras and 5-6 lenses with me. At least 50% of the time, if you look in my trunk, you'll see a bag with enough gear for a 1 or 2 light setup too.
Do you feel particularly inspired by a type of location ?
When it comes to locations, I've always loved old brick, darkness and mood. Even a daylight shot using windowlight, I still love to get that brick and distressed wood surrounding my subject.
What are your preferences ?
I shoot so many ways, for so many reasons, and learn to love or hate it all. I shoot sports, photojournalism for anewspaper, I shoot models for portfolios, I shoot kids and babies and High School Seniors.. I love it all but when you shoot such a variety of small community work, I feel there is no room to mix that with my nude and erotic shooting. This is where DA has been my outlet. There are days that I'm burned out on studio and other days I've had it with daylight outdoor shooting and dealing with the elements.
Some words about your models ?
My models are a mix of life. Some are Moms, strippers, agency models, girls from internet model sites, friends, neighbors etc. I basically love all women and their varied bodies and forms. But my main desire is in knowing the client and drawing the natural connection through the eyes first, before worrying about sending the body language. If my model cannot connect with me through her eyes, then she is dead for all intentional purposes.
What is your process of creation ?
Some of my better work has had structure and planning, at least a higher percentage of successes I feel came from planning. Never underestimate the power of planning. But I have had some amazing results from guerrilla shooting too. For me though, this requires working with someone that has spark and enthusiasm...a self starter.
And how do you feel at the end of a shooting ?
I always feel like I did shit. I always want more... better... another look. But I go home and look at the files and always write down my first impression favs. I always end up with a long list of numbers and feel better about what I did.
Do you make many corrections after a shooting ?
Not sure what you're looking for, but I'm always making corrections... second guessing myself. If you get too cocky thinking you know it all or stay with the same stuff over and over, I don't think you can evolve. You get set in your ways... old and dusty... crabby and unlikeable. Wait till I'm 80... then I'll play the crabby old dusty role. Ha Ha !
Have you a special project you're dreaming about ?
I dream about special projects all the time. My whole life, since I was a kid reading Life and National Geographic, I have dreamed of that perfect international type shoot. Where I'm given supplies and equipment for an overseas assignment... preferably about life and not war. I love people and love showing them in their element. My other dream is ongoing. I love women and love photographing them. An ongoing special project in my life is fullfilled everytime a woman trusts me with her body and mind.
Have you scheduled your next exhibition ?
I have only done an exhibition back in my college age. The internet is my continuing exhibition. Open 24hrs a day, 365 days a week and you can look in your robe and slippers.
Have you published a book ? Is there a new one to come ?
No... in my mind... ha ha !
What's for your next future ?
I will continue to love women and love working with them. That will always be my passion. I will also continue to shoot sports and high school kids and wedding and all that jazz.
A message to send ?
Hmmm. To all those beautiful ladies I have worked with, I love you all and thank you for inviting me into your life.
To a few very special people I have met along the way that even became a part of my life in one way or another... some from the past... some new to me now, I love all of you... I invited you into my life and every moment since has been a treasure of beautiful memories.
A so kind message ! Thanks for your time and your work !