1. To start this interview, could you introduce yourself to our readers in a few lines?
My name is Peter Kemp and I am living in Delft in an always rainy country called Holland. I am a freelance photograher
I learned my photography from a self-taught angle and thanks to some of my friends, being photographers themselves!
My aim is trying to create story telling pictures with a smile.
2. You say that you started your artistic career by drawing, what made you “decide” to become a photographer?
In former days I loved to draw black and white pictures… little comic figures playing a role into funny scenes.
Digital photography I got more tools to fit in all details into my photo stories, which are running through my head all day.
So that was the main reason to start with digital photography… as soon as I push the button my « drawing in full color » is there.
3. Is art something going on in your family, or is it more about a personal introspection?
My father (85 years old now) loved painting and making small films too.
He teached me to make drawings and « judged » my former works.
He even does now when I create a new series…
4. You are one of the best photographers of Vintage atmospheres around; could you tell us more about this artistic choice to mainly work and focus on 30s to 70s?
Blush… blush… thank you for the compliment. Well, being born in 1960 I realize now this time (and the years before the sixties) got my interest.
It got a hold on me regarding people, furniture, clothing, colors, props and music. So maybe it is a bit of getting back to my roots and earlier…
5. Vintage allows you to propose erotic and glamorous touches. Is for you “the old time”, the sexiest period of all?
To me, there is a lot of mystery and fantasies about it. I guess this is coming from the pin-up models, however even the air seemed to be different…
Well I try to create some mystery and glamour into my pics. First by trying to create the light, which is so well known of the Dutch Master painters like Johannes Vermeer.
I am living in the same place Vermeer has lived and worked… in a town called Delft… does that ring a bell?
Secondly by asking my beautiful model friends to join me into my photo projects. They are the key factor creating the right atmosphere to set up my story telling pics. Most of my models became my friends .
They are good looking people, but – more important – they are beautiful inside.
All credits to them…
6. Would you have liked living physically in, let’s say, mid 30’s?
If you gave me a digital camera I would love to fly back into former days . Since I see so much stories in these times.
Twenty four hours a days would not be enough… in my opinion old trends can be timeless.
7. Your scenes prove that you focus a lot on details, with just a quick look, it is pleasing already to observe your art thanks to the color and scenery
But a deep and long one opens the door to a special journey ,is it important for you to take your time while composing your art ?
Well if you got that out of my pics I guess I succeeded into my intention to create little stories within the story. All details are thought of long before the camera clicks.
It takes lots of preparation before everybody and everything is in place…
8. Our life is now made of fast habits and attitudes.
Your work, on the opposite is like a stopping by, a freeze in time –
Catching and captivating us in your world / in their world, one of your goal?
Well right again… the world of nowadays is a quick and hasty one … loosing lots of beautiful details… I am trying to concentrate on details within the bigger story.
So into the my big story there is a smaller one and maybe and even smaller one…. one never knows!
And hopefully people are able to create their own little story out of my pics… if they do my pic is ok!
9. Who and what are your influences? Are other kind of arts (literature / cinema … ) feeding your art ? If so what’s inspiring you the most lately?
The main influences are like – I told before – are the old Dutch master painters like Vermeer … and things I use to see on a normal day living.
I try to look at things differently in that way I can let new stories emerge. There seems to be beautyand inspiration in everyday…
10. During a session what make a photo … the right one?
The right one is there if I can bring my message over to the model(s) and all prop are into the right place.
So it is the rigth one if it all comes together like the idea I got in my mind long before I pushed the camera button…
11. Talking about your latest work, I specially appreciate the “The russian spy” one, what’s the story behind it? Could you tell us a few words about it?
Hahahaha… the story of the Russian Spy is the story you have experienced in YOUR head!
What do I mean? Speaking out your appreciation for this series I was able to get you into this series by looking at it.
Just kidding: But it is all about the theme: looks are deceiving …. it all looks pretty, but is it…?
12. Now talking about your models, I was wondering if the people you are working with are themselves, “Vintage” minded?
Because they are really perfectly casted, if they are not, how are you dealing with the selection process?
Like I told you before my models are the key factors for a good pic. Most of them are doing model work just for fun.
They are my friends e.g. a man I work with during my regular work , two models are photographers themselves … and some friends who like to help me with my photos and want to give their precious time to be my model. Another key factor is creating an atmosphere at the shoot where everybody can bring out the best of him/herself. The atmosphere into a picture is made far before the shoot. How? by talking together about the conceptual plan and working out details TOGETHER. And during the shoot by giving each other feed back. It is not the location, but the journey to it which can create the magic…
13. Are you planning to shoot atmospheres of the new century? Or is it definitely not “who you are”?
Well haven’ t thought about that. Might be an interesting idea.
Still my favorite items seems to take place in the old times … so I am still making my drawings like in the days when I was young…
14. Would you consider that Internet is now a real opportunity for you to promote your art? Are you planning to sell your photographs directly online for example?
The internet is a great medium to show, see, explore and collect ideas …but also to get to know people who are living so far away.
Distances seems to fade using a computer. It surely is a real opportunity for promotion.
Still I think seeing a big photo on paper hanging on a wall might be the best way to present … Old fashioned? Yes, maybe … but that is my feeling.
15. Web-design now exists for 15 years, photography for centuries… From a web-designer to a photographer, I’d like to say that, in our work, we should be much more aesthetics and much more emotional, would you have some tips / advices to make this happen?
Hmmm… as I stated before… seeing photowork on paper hanging on a wall might be the best way to present.
Better than on a 72 dpi small format on a web site …
If the 3 dimensional aspect can be more emphasized web design would benefit from this.
Being able to get closer to the photowork on the internet… to almost touch it… like in a gallery…
Links to other site with Peter’s work: