We would like to kick off our new "welcome" format by introducing interviews with the featured artists upon their first mention on our site.
Our very first interview is with Nils Heck: a well traveled, German photographer who is consistently producing stunning images in between skating and filmmaking.
Nils first connected with us via the film photography community on social media. We checked in with him at his home in Darmstadt to ask him a few questions about himself and his endeavors:
1. What city are you based out of and where have you been producing your most recent bodies of work (at home, abroad, etc)?
- I'm living in Darmstadt (Germany), which is pretty close to Frankfurt am Main. My most recent work I shot in South America last year (2016) when I was traveling there for five months. Other than that I shoot a lot of my work in Frankfurt on the streets and wherever I go actually.
2. How would you describe your photographic style and approach? What do you look for when you're taking photos?
- I think it's always hard to describe your own style. I'm interested in almost everything. I love taking photographs of people in the streets or portraits of friends and strangers, landscapes, animals dead or alive, interiors, trash, and I don't know what else. I'm not really looking for something specific when I'm out shooting. I have to feel something when I see the developed photograph. I could never really say I'm one specific kind of photographer. Taking photos is like taking notes for me. I just snap whenever something interests me. And it also helps a lot in keeping memories.
3. Do you feel that the re-emergence of film photography as a trend has helped you in connecting with a film photo community at home, or at large?
- I don't know if the re-emergence of film photography really helped me with connecting to more film photographers. Maybe. For me, it doesn't matter if someone takes photographs digitally or on film. In the end, it should be about the picture. I think the connecting comes more with the internet in general. But I like the fact that more and more people shoot film again. That means that film will be around longer.
4. What else do you like to do creatively, or recreationally, outside of photography?
- My main creative outlet outside of photography is skateboarding, but I always have a camera with me even when I'm skating. I would also say that skateboarding got me into taking photos and filming. I film skateboarding as well and I make documentaries. So that's another creative outlet, but it's pretty similar, right?
I play the guitar from time to time, but I don't find enough time for it. Reading books is always a good one as well.
Since this year I've been doing a lot of gardening at my grandparent's house. They can't really do it on their own anymore so I decided to try it out myself. For me, that's almost the same as the difference between analog and digital photography. You can go to the grocery store and buy all your vegetables or you grow them on your own. You appreciate the food more when you know how much work it is to grow it yourself. I don't know if that makes sense.
5. We know you like to get into a bit of traveling... Where in the world are you looking to travel to with the intentions of producing a new body of work?
- That's a good question. When you start to travel, you get more and more curious about different cultures. I have to say that I really fell in love with Latin America. I would love to go back there especially to Colombia.
Other than that I would really like to travel more to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe like Serbia, Poland, Rumania and more. I would really like to see Russia once in my life and I think that Japan would be really interesting as well. It's hard to tell just one.
I would always take pictures when I go somewhere because I always have a camera with me.
6. Finally- when can we look forward to having you out in The Bay Area? In turn, what do you know about this part of California and are there things going on out here that have caught your eye in terms of creative movements, artistic expression, and/or other cultural phenomenon?
- I would love to come right now if there wouldn't be the two major problems, which are time and money. I met some cool people from San Francisco in Peru last year. So I'll try to visit them someday. Hopefully, I'll make it out to you within the next two years.
I don't know a lot about the Bay Area. I just heard that it seems to be pretty European. I love the raw skating which comes from the Bay Area. It also seems like a super creative area with a lot of alternative-minded people.