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Smile Back

Jan Krück was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he was working as an electrician. He got bored of it and went to an art school in Dortmund where he earned his art degree. Since then and also while still studying he’s been working as a freelance photographer and assisted a lot too. Working for other photographers and small agencies made him an artist who he is now.

How did the idea for the series come about?

Portraying female beauty and its diversity has always been part of my works. The set with Nele was part of a spontaneous idea as the first warm days were forecasted a way more earlier than usual and I was hungry for new images. I asked my followers on Instagram if they wanted to fill my week with shootings. I wanted to get inspired by those girls who are not professional models. There were no restrictions or requirements. First come first serve.

How do you approach these intimate shoots?

There is no universal approach for me as every situation and person is different. I’m kind of a shy person when it comes to new situations. I think what helps most of the time is to give some free space until everybody feels comfortable. Including myself. Taking time to get to know each other is important to me as personality is a big part of beauty to me. Also I don’t want to push anybody into a role in which they don’t feel comfortable.

Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?

Sure we can. I feel this is already happening as photography is becoming a more popular medium than ever before. Self esteem has grown compared to the early days of my first shootings. Back then the ‘next door girl’ would book shoots to give the pictures to her boyfriend on Christmas and she would be hiding behind scarfs and clothes. Something has definitely changed in a way the female body is recognized. I’m happy with every small magazine I see which is dedicated to pure female beauty without tons of make up, photoshop and sexy posing.

What inspires you?

Even though this might sound pathetic, I’m inspired by life. Most of my imagery is a combination of things I saw in real life and imagery from many artists I sucked up on the way. I’m not hyped by other photographers, famous people or a lifestyle, because I’m too oblivious to remember their names. I enjoy meet ups with other artists though. No matter what art they are up to.

How would you define beauty?

An Italian painter named Carlotti defined beauty as the summation of the parts working together in such a way that nothing needs to be added, taken away or changed. I’m pretty ok with that from a spectator’s perspective.

Film or digital?

Both. It totally depends on a situation and the expected results. All my first cameras used film so I’m used to that, but sometimes I don’t want to miss the freedom of digital. Especially in a paid job situation. My ‘alway-in-my-pocket-camera’ is a 28 y/o Canon AE-1 my father gave me. Shooting Polaroid is fun too. Also making gifs or filming with my phone is great. I pretty much enjoy every camera when I’m able to use it as a toy.

What makes you happy?

Many things. Mostly I’d say time and spending it with the right people.

What’s next for you?

I did quit my daily job some months ago and took some time off, worked on my portfolio and my website. Now it’s time to get out there and find some happy place where I can work on some interesting stuff. Doesn’t matter what or where.

Als ich  Feedback vom herbeauty bekommen habe war ich sofort dabei. Ich finde es ist ein tolles Magazin, die genau den Zeitgeist der Auseinandersetzung mit dem weiblichen Körper abseits von Schönheitswahn und Perfektionsgedanken, treffen. Ich hoffe ich konnte ein bischen was dazu beitragen.

Dank auch an Nele, dass sie bei dem Projekt so offen gegenüber stand!


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