As part of our ongoing series on new beginnings, we’ve asked four young ascending-star photographers for their own interpretation of the theme. Starting today, we’ll be bringing you a photography gallery exclusively shot for The Word, every day for the rest of this week. Today we’ve got Sanne Delcroix, who’s finishing her Bachelor’s degree at Kask in Ghent. She grew up in Meer, where she played in the corn fields and acted out her adventures in the woods. Sanne now lives in Antwerp.
How would you describe your work?
I’m always searching for a narrative. I love to walk around and let the environment inspire new stories. Each time my pictures are different. Sometimes it’s a location that gives me inspiration, or sometimes I see a person and I immediately see a story. An idea can pop up impulsively but once I’m photographing I like to have everything under control. Each element or prop in my picture is there because I wanted it there. While photographing, I’m moving the things around the subject continuously. Every detail is important for building up the image.
What forms the basis of your work?
I always want to photograph people. I love the tension that arises between the photographer and the person in front of the camera. Especially when I take pictures of people I don’t really know. In the beginning you have the tension, but mostly, after photographing for for a couple of minutes the tension becomes concentrated. I think I just love to look at people. A camera is the perfect excuse to stare to somebody without it getting awkward!
Why do you prefer to work with film rather than digital?
My concentration and focus is much better when I work with film. Every time I press the button, I’m spending one euro, so I’m obliged to look very carefully at what I’m doing! I don’t like the little preview screen on the back of a digital camera. I always find myself looking more at that screen than really looking at what I’m photographing. Although, last week I decided to work with digital again. It’s for both financial and practical reasons. I have to save money, and it’s much quicker because you can upload your pictures immediately. I think I’m just gonna cover the preview screen with black tape.
Which photographer would you say most influences your work?
Well, it’s not really one photographer. I love Jeff Walls‘ work, I like Helmut Newton‘s fashion photography and I love everything Wolfgang Tillmans is doing. Plus, there’s Charlie Engman, William Eggleston, David Chancellor, Alec Soth, Annika von Hausswolff, Duane Michals, Jocelyn Lee, Lise Sarfati, Sally Mann,.. too many to mention. I could spend a whole afternoon at the library, browsing books in search for inspiration.
Do you remember the first time you picked up a camera? What was it that you photographed?
I remember myself and my best friend taking pictures of each other when we were 13 years old. We improvised a studio with white blankets and a sofa in my room. We both sprayed our hair and put on too much make-up. It looked very wrong, so I keep these pictures hidden in a secret box.
What equipment do you work with?
I have my own digital camera. It’s a Nikon D700. But when I’m working with analog, I borrow cameras from my school. I love to work with large format, but because it’s always difficult to organise, I mostly work with middle format.
How did the theme new beginnings inspire you?
It was the first day of spring when I got the email from The Word. The sun was shining and people were walking on the street, smiling. I saw everyone around me getting energy to start new little projects. My roommate was decorating our roof terrace with flowers and my brother made himself a kite and went to the park. I’m always surprised by how light influences people. Spring is always a new beginning for me. Last year I lived in Stockholm, and there, you can especially feel how people change when the first spring sun shines on their faces.
What were you aiming about doing with this series?
The series shows people starting a new ‘project’, from painting a room to getting a new pet. Small things that announce spring is in town.www.sannedelcroix.tumblr.com