We think really good photography should invoke a strong emotional response. Which is why when we saw Jan von Hollenben’s work, we had to feature it. If his recent work on the series Action Heroes, doesn’t invoke a smile then we don’t know what will.
Capturing Children in new and creative ways isn’t easy but Jan does just that in his work. Using layers and playing with perspective he creates real action hero escapism in this piece of work. Do make sure you click through and visit his site to see the rest of this series but also his other work too.
So, as ever, rather than just post the images, we wanted to get a few words from our featured photogrpaher, Jan.
So how did you get into photography?
"My dad is a director of photography in television and my mom is a child therapist!
For my 13th birthday I got a bright red snapshot camera and started to imitate my dads earlier stills photography when he still was very experimental with his imagery.
This continued through college taking part in photo workshops over 4 years until I started teaching it myself. A university degree in history and theory of photography and 5 years of having fun in various places within the London photographic industry as art director, photographic director, picture editor and founder of two photographic communities gave me all the necessary understanding of the ‘how to do photography’.
I never wanted to become a photographer initially, as I hated the idea of an exhausting and difficult career. However, when my personal portfolio suddenly took off in 2006 when showing it to a few people and the internet helping spreading the images through a thousand blogs, I opted for a trial of being a professional photographer! That trial is still going on today and is the greatest job that I can imagine. I wonder when its gonna be over? Until then I will get the best and most and greatest out of it!”
What’s you dream photography location or shoot?
"It can be anywhere friendly and peaceful (urban or rural) with 2-3 sweet and lovely people, all the time in the world and no plan at all but the goal of taking some images.
I love improvising from nothing. There is so much freedom and you can create the best photographs out of only a few very simple things.”
What inspired the Action heroes concept?
"A few years after ‘Dreams of Flying’, the kids that originally starred in them grew up. They were becoming teenagers and started thinking very differently about their heroes and stars.
Narrative structures changed into examination of the ego. Besides being interested in creating stories, they were eager to play roles, challenge themselves and discover their identity!
The Action heroes stem out of that interest and need to depict role play differently when being a teenager! We established some archetypal and modern characters and also added an extra level of photography to it (the complexity got thicker). The kids do not only lie on the floor, we also placed objects onto the finished photographs and rephotographed them in order to achieve a three dimensional setting.”
And finally, what advice would you give to young photographers?
"Please please please: Make always sure when taking pictures to have fun and work hard at the same time! :-) “