Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Dimitri Bekaert (Belgium)
Tell us something about yourself
Dimitri Bekaert's the name. I have been a photographer in Belgium for the past few years, mostly specialized in nightlife photography.
Currently I am traveling and working through Australia. I have won the Red bull Elektropedia award of best nightlife photographer of Belgium of the last two years so I felt the need to go beyond Belgium.
How and when did you get into photography?
Since I was a child I always used to 'steal' my father's camera because I was fascinated by it. It was a whole new world for me. Always trying different settings to see what difference it made. I could spend hours shooting the same object to analyze every little aspect or difference.
I've never shot other than manual so it could take quite a while to understand every function of the camera when you're 8 years old.
My father taught me a lot about photography when I was young. I should say he was the origin of my double exposure pictures, as he is the one who taught me it, which has been quite my personal attribute over the years.
What does photography mean to you?
It's everything to me. Not only professional shoots or work. I have always loved capturing moments, I am pretty much a nostalgic or melancholic person. It's a bit like capturing time if you look back to your moments. The older they are, the most value they have to you.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Mostly surreal. Surrealism is my favourite kind of art. I also like a bit of darkness in my pictures. And they need to bring out a mystical vibe.
Where do you get inspiration from?
My vision is that in any creative occupation you need to get inspiration from outside of your specific occupation. Of course I look up to tons of, both, famous and infamous photographers but yet I try to be more inspired by other forms of art. Like painters and their work, instruments, architecture, engineering,... Or just the complexitivity or simplicity of life or world, Chaos and Order, Philosophy, I can go on and on.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes, I do. I think in advance but of course a lot changes once you're in to it. I like to keep a basic 'in to the moment' kind of vibe.
Studio, on location or both?
Both. They are totally different worlds, and I love living in both of them.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
A paid professional. I don't have another job than this actually.
And even if that changes in the future, that I have another job I will never call it 'just a hobby'. The camera sticks with me until my grave and after so I could shoot the afterlife.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I really could not tell. It's like choosing a favourite song of your favourite music artist, there are so many of them it is wrong to just pic one.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Old school photography. I have always been fond of the past and history.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I have always been a Nikon (except for analog I am both) because it was the camera that was first put in my hands as I was a child. There has always been this 'pro Nikon' or 'pro Canon' concept since the start of these two brands. Both are really great, the one has a quality the other doesn't have and vice versa. But it doesn't really matter what camera you have, it's what you do with it.
Favorite lens must be the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don't hesitate. Think about a strategy to infiltrate the market that you want to get in to and just do it. If you really really want something in life you will realize that is only difficult if you make it difficult, otherwise it's just easy as it gets, but you need a goal and stick to it.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I think it's amazing to publish the art of all kinds of different photographers, as well as their editorials. It creates lots of inspiration and growth for other photographers.
And it's not only great for photographers but just for any person who is fond of imagery.