Antwerp based photographer Frederik Vercruysse communicates meaning by capturing the atmosphere and true soul of a space in his photographic work. His success, he says, lies in making a long story short, aiming to capture the essence of a scene or subject in its purest form. You might recall his work featured recently in the Portrait of a House story a few weeks back.
For more of Frederick’s work you can see his latest exhibition ‘Tempo Polveroso’ at Graanmarkt 13, showcasing sixteen unique still-life photographs taken while the photographer was on an ‘artist in residency’ program in Villa Lena, Tuscany. Vercruysse’s work depicts monolithic marble quarries in a shroud of powdery marble dust together with misty, hauntingly beautiful landscapes of the surrounding scenery.
Here we chat to him about his inspiration and approach to photography and what’s next.
Photographer Frederik Vercruysse with his children.
How did you get started in photography?
I’ve always been fascinated by images and by capturing moments. I also wanted to be an architect but I quickly felt that I had more interest in photographing architecture and interiors instead of creating them. My interest lays in documenting the result, more than the design process.
What is your favourite subject matter to shoot?
I can truly enjoy photographing beautiful architecture or a stunning interior design project. I love to create a photographic walk through a house or building in a way that the viewer gets a feeling of the flow and atmosphere. Capturing or even creating an atmosphere is what I love. It’s quite the same with creating a still life image. The way I photograph it can almost be considered as photographing microarchitecture. I approach both in the same way. It’s similar with people; I try to tell something about a person by photographing him or her in a specific context. Photographing still life and architecture is making compositions with spaces. Using spaces, materials or objects as building blocks in such a way that they are subordinate to the result, the final image.
The Apartment at Graanmarkt 13 by Frederik Vercruysse
Portrait of Vincent Van Duysen by Frederik Vercruysse
Do you use Instagram?
Yes, I have an instagram account. It’s @frederik_vercruysse. I post a mix of personal moments as professional projects.
Where do you find your inspiration for photography projects?
Everyday we’re confronted with imagery and other impulses. And of course this has an influence on myself personally and my work. I would love to be a painter because my biggest source of inspiration is paintings. I often try to create scenic images in a contemporary and photographic way, without falling into the clichés of painting. No still lives with ham legs or landscapes with a dramatic airing. This just seems too easy to me.
Carrara Mountains 1 by Frederik Vercruysse
What has been your favourite photography collaboration so far?
Every project is a challenge and has its purpose. Even if not every subject is my favorite one, I will always try to photograph it the best and most pure way I can. That on it’s own is already a great challenge. And to be honest, I rarely photograph a project against my will. I love to be a professional in what I do. Delivering a good result is one of the most rewarding feelings for a photographer. To make a long story short. Through all those years I had the opportunity to photograph a lot of amazing projects and hope to pursue this in the future.
Villa Lena by Frederik Vercruysse
Belgian Coast by Frederik Vercruysse
Tell us a bit more about your philosophy to photograph the subject in its purest form?
Photography is viewing reality through a pair of glasses. So, photographing something in it’s purest way, in the literal sense of the word, is relative. I just see it as an ambition to photograph as honest as possible. I see it like using a building or an object in order to achieve a good image. I do not like the word building block in a Photoshop meaning. It’s just a different kind of photography and certainly not my kind of photography. My idea of pure photography is very simple. It’s about losing a lot of environmental details and focusing on the essence. Shooting a subject in its purest form is more a kind of emotion to me. I consider it as a 2-way kind of photography, the kind that you will not hang against a wall and the kind that you actually hang against the wall. I notice to myself when an image that I’ve shot hangs on a wall, it mostly is an image that expresses a very and honest and pure story.
Tell us a bit about the experience of working with Airbnb?
Airbnb contacted me directly. They liked my work and before I knew I was shooting their ‘Night At’ campaign at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. 6 couples were able to win an exclusive sleepover at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. This means they could shop, dine and sleep over at Lafayette’s after closing time.
It was a great colab and soon after they asked me to shoot the ‘Night At’ campaign at Courchevel.
Similar to Paris, instead at Courchevel people could win an exclusive sleepover in a fully furnished ski cable car at 2400 meters.
What have you not shot yet that you would love to shoot?
I would love to engage myself to a project on the long term. Create a large range of imagery; tell a story that results in a large exhibition with as a cherry on the cake a beautiful book of my work.
And of course, keep on shooting fun projects, but that could be anything.
TP Bluewater by Frederik Vercruysse
Bic Blue by Frederik Vercruysse
Carrara Exterior by Frederik Vercruysse
Fattoria by Frederik Vercruysse
Hailstorm by Frederik Vercruysse