Munich born award-winning Fine Art Photographer Nick Frank captures the beauty of some of the world’s most famous architectural spaces. With an exceptional sense for detail he creates eye catching visual representations of buildings that almost appear like hyper-realistic paintings. After a fruitful career in advertising, he now dedicates his time and creative mind to the realization of his own pictorial ideas, which have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including Spiegel, Wired, Page or Süddeutsche Zeitung. While his first picture book “Habitat – the Olympic Village in Munich” has been released at Volk Verlag München in autumn 2015, Frank is now working on his second picture book we are curiously awaiting. For more check out the interview below and visit his instagram account and website www.nickfrank.de.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Passionate, driven and humorous Ex Skateboarder with a Leica hanging around the neck, a piece of chocolate in one hand and a Dart in the other.
Whom do you look up to?
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
I really like the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, in particular their approach to “Basic forms” and „industry landscapes“. I am someone who tries to think in collections, not just single images. It’s much harder to get a series of 10 shots instead of a single one. Also Andreas Gursky is one of my favorites, whose work is obviously inspired by his Professor Bernd Becher.
How did your photographic career start?
What I did not like about being an Art Director and Creative Director later on, working in advertising was that almost all of the projects required a lot of people to get the job done. Because of the steps involved, procedures became slow and inflexible, which led to a loss of quality of the work. Being a Fine Art photographer simplified things for me again, as I choose the subject, release the shutter, edit the image and publish it afterwards. Everything is done by myself and if there’s a mistake in-between, I know how to improve and work on it, which is why I started working as a Fine Art Photographer in the first place. My strong graphical background helped me to achieve my goals.
What was your favourite project and why?
2 months ago I released a book about the Olympic City in Munich:
I worked together with Christian Vogel, who was responsible for the people shots and Anne Berwanger who was working on the copy and interviews. The project is about the city of Munich and its inhabitants. It took us about 2 years to complete and we are really proud about the outcome, as it opens up new perspectives and insights.
People forgot about this great place and what can be seen in the media is usually about the assassinations back in 1972, when really the place has so much more to offer.
How do you define creativity?
Creativity in my opinion is cross thinking. While it is utterly hard to create something completely new (especially in photography), you can still interpret things in different ways, exercising your own vision by altering sizes and colors, twisting it around all together or combining it with something else. Creativity means thinking beyond the norm and looking behind something. Also being creative can be an attitude. For me it means not having a professional and privat life, but living a combination of that.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Living a creative life means you are constantly seeking for something. It can be frustrating at times, if you force yourself too hard and you can’t get a grip of what you are thinking about. However, exactly this is what lets us creative people progress, so it isn’t as bad as it might seem: being a bit restless, feeling the need to craft and come up with something new. The one thing I would like to mention is that you should never give up. Repeating things (especially in photography) is very important, as you enhance your abilities by doing it over and over again. Try it as long and as hard as you can, until you are completely satisfied with the outcome. And ask other people about their opinions. It is essential to have somebody honest around you, telling you the truth about your works and ideas. I am not talking about your mom or dad here, as they will always like it anyways ;-).
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“The reality of which we can speak is never the reality itself, but a reality designed by us.” Werner Heisenberg (German Physician, Nobel price 1932).
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Understanding and accepting that I am not earning money on a regular basis from now on. I never had a problem with having new ideas or coming up with new projects.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
That housing in Munich is thrice as expensive now.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
Aside from flying to the moon, being an Indiana Jones like person or saving the world? No.