Famous for his extraordinary photographic style, Amsterdam based Sander Dekker (born in 1980) enjoys capturing the world as it is, raw and unpolished with a sexy edge. He works with rather eccentric characters instead of typical cliche models and is largely inspired by Dido Fontana, Saga Sig and Knotan. Dekker’s slightly provocative images are taken spontaneously, witnissing the moments as they happen.
His works are, like Sander himself, hard to define. It balances between documentary, autonomous and fashion work. At first glance, there seems to be no fixed concept in his works, but there actually is a common thread present; that of the photographer himself. Sanders free spirit, his interaction with the models, improvisation skills and humor defines the work. You are treated with a small glimpse into his life. Check out the interview below for more about Sander Dekker and visit his website www.mynameissanderdekker.com.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A positive and openminded person.
Whom do you look up to?
I’m always intrigued by people who are really outgoing in different ways. Something that I sometimes wish to have more myself. That’s actually what has triggered me to start taking pictures.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
Not really, considering the fact that photography is not necessarily a career path that I have chosen. It just happened and has become an ongoing development which leaded to different things. By meeting a lot of different people and artists in particular, I am being influenced. Sometimes by realizing it much later.
How did your photographic career start?
After working in the fashion industry as a designer and art director for over 10 years, I got introduced to all these amazing people. I am not a very outgoing person myself, more an observer. A voyeur if you want. So I started to explore and photographing these persons. Sometimes because of their personality and sometimes it are the characteristic features that trigger me.
What was your favourite project and why?
My favorite project started when my art representative Marloes van Vugt asked me to be co-owner of Walls Gallery (www.walls.nl). I didn’t have any background in the arts and barely went to galleries or museums. But being exposed by it everyday, it made me realize that art is something very special and should be accessible for everybody. So I made it my goal to make galleries and art as a whole more easily accessible, starting with our own gallery. I’m also founder of ‘We are the Guys’ (www.weare-theguys.com) in which we try to adapt that same thought by organizing art events with other galleries.
How do you define creativity?
The closest definition of creativity for me is freedom. No restrictions. That’s why I’m probably terrible in doing commercial asignments hahaha!
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
You have to be open minded and grab opportunities. A lot of my inspiration comes from that. Also being positive helps a lot!
Do you have a favorite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I started taking pictures from 2011, so it’s probably a bit to early for that. At the moment I’m trying to establish my name abroad and seeking for recognition in the international art scene. This is a long path and will be a challenging one for sure.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
To choose a path which allows you to be free and not try to control your life too much. Look to the world through a wide angle lens instead of macro 😉
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
Photography is not necessarily a passion in the normal sense of word. I thrive on opportunities that come along my path. Like what happened with the gallery I’m now running and the party I organized last week. That wouldn’t have been possible without my photography.
All images © Sander Dekker