Bart Kuykens, known as a professional photographer, already sold over 5000 of his books ‘A Flat6 love affair’, worldwide. His edgy analog black and white photography caught the eye of many artists around the globe from the music and film industry. Staying true to his analog workflow makes him an outsider in today’s ever-changing digital world.
To us Bart is such an interesting person! Thanks for your time and doing this small Interview with us ♥ .
How and when did you become a photographer? Do you always wanted to become one?
I think I just rolled in it. I always was fascinated by photography and especially analog black and white. The whole process still gives me goosebumps. Waiting for you negatives. . . awesome!
It was never my childhood dream to become a photographer, I wanted like many kids my age becoming a professional football player. I am happy with this outcome as well. . . 🙂
Did you do an apprenticeship or a study before? If yes: What was it?
No, I am afraid I would think too much inside the box instead of outside it. Photography is something you can learn on your own, just go out and shoot. Shoot a lot.
Are you always shooting analog and why?
Yes that’s whatI like the most. Sometimes I shoot digital because a client asks for it, but 95% of the time I shoot analog. I’m just addicted to the grain.
Why do you only shoot black and white?
Because I like the imperfection in a pictures. Sharp pictures or out of focus? I always choose the out of focus pictures. Much more mood in that image. But that’s a personal choice.
How did Kodak 400TriX become your favorite film. Did you try other films before?
I always shoot the same film. In that way I get to know that film and can use it the way I want. Of course you need ND filters to compensate the amount of light, but that’s basic knowledge when shooting analog.
Which equipment are you using?
I photographed a lot with Leica M6 and M7 but these days I only shoot Hasselblad 120 film. I just love the handling of that camera. It’s not the most compact one, but it feels just right for me.
Do you manage everything on your own? Is there a team behind you in general or on the shoots who helps you?
Most of the time I work alone and I like it like that. When shooting portraits it’s all about building a relationship between the artist and yourself. They have to feel safe and secure with you for spontaneous pictures. I like to photograph the same people over and over again to build a strong bond.
How do you choose the people you shoot? Or do they choose you?
Both. As for celebrities you sometimes have to pick those who are available and they are available for a short time so it’s the key to leave a good first impression and try to get their confidence.
Where is your focus in your photography?
Mood. Mystery. Emotion. Lust.
How did you run a shoot? Do you plan in advance?
I never plan in advance. I only check my gear so I don’t arrive with empty batteries or without enough film, but except for that I go with the flow and we always find some nice places. I try to think a little bit about the concept of what I want, but even that I try to minimise.
You are travelling a lot. Isn’t it exhausting sometimes and how do you manage all this with your family?
Yes, it’s exhausting, but addictive. There are so many beautiful places and so many cool people to meet. I get my energy and inspiration there as well. I am lucky my ex is a good friend so we manage the kids pretty well.
Which demands do you make towards your film lab?
Develop and scan as fast as possible. I think I am a good client so good clients like to be pampered a little bit. . . 🙂