We love the feeling of being able to share with you the stories of photographers from all over the world. It's always a delight to know that you enjoy reading about different people and their creative processes. This time, we feature Rick van Kruchten and his many tales.
Rick is a passionate traveler and image maker. He's inspired by the very earth we walk on and the people who live in it. We love how natural his images look especially the portraits. They are done tastefully, with permission, with care. His work is a documentation of stories and experiences and we're just glad that he agreed to share it with all of us.
Hello, Rick! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Rick, I’m 32 years old and I live in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
How would you define photography? What's your favorite thing about it?
I actually like the whole process of it. Starting with thinking about which camera and film to use for a certain occasion. Of course, taking photos is always fun. But I also really enjoy developing and scanning the negatives myself. It’s always exciting to find out what the results are.
Let's talk a bit about your work — how would you describe your photographic style/approach?
I don’t really have a photographic style. But wherever I am, I’m always looking around to see if there’s anything worth photographing.
We love your travel photos. Seeing them makes us feel we also got to see the places you've been to. What pushed you to pursue that area of photography?
When I went on a 3 month trip through Central America with my brother in 2012 I decided beforehand I wanted to make a photo book after I returned home. I realized that making a good selection of photos would take forever when I would just take a couple of hundred digital photos. I had recently discovered Lomography, so I went to the gallery store in Amsterdam and got a Diana Mini with only three rolls of film.
Having this one camera with just these 3 rolls of film made it important for me to really think about the shots I took, and it made it easier to make a good selection for the book. I enjoyed this so much I stuck with shooting film for the next trips I made. Since then I always bring a camera (these days often multiple cameras and a bit more film) whenever I go on a trip.
Your portraits are also an easy favorite of ours. They paint an authentic picture of your subject. How do you make them feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I took a while getting comfortable myself while taking a photo of someone! But as I experienced, I get the best photos when I just ask if I can take someone’s photo. Of course, with often a language barrier in place, this is not always possible. Showing my camera with a smile seems to do the job though. It’s a pity though I can’t show any of the photo’s directly to them, like with a digital camera.
What would you say was your favorite destination? What made it special for you?
That’s difficult one! I’ve been lucky with some good trips over the last years. But traveling from Moscow to Beijing with the Trans Siberian Express was special for sure. First of all, I prefer overland travel over flying anytime.
I won’t get bored on a train, ever. I can be on a train for days in a row, and be perfectly fine looking out the window, reading a book, and just live in the train while the landscape goes by. But also the fact that you pass through so many different cultures and landscapes makes this trip one I can recommend to anyone. Mongolia itself is also worth exploring, I’m glad we got off the train for a few weeks to see a bit more of this country.
Where do you usually draw inspiration from?
The earth we live on! We are so lucky to call this amazing place our home.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
It doesn’t really matter what it is, but something must draw your attention immediately.
Any dream collaborations with artists/photographers/art collectives? Please share them with our readers.
I follow my own path when it comes to my photography. But getting featured in the Lomography Magazine means a lot to me, since it’s how I got into analog photography.
Who are the artists that you follow on a regular basis?
Richard Mosse and Chris Burkard are two photographers I follow. Although their work is quite different, I admire both. Also, I love the work of Ansel Adams, especially his photos of the National Parks in the USA.
What was the most memorable advice you've been given in your career as an artist?
It’s fairly easy to make a nice photo these days, especially with all the amazing digital cameras that are out there. But, you can spend a lifetime learning how to become a better photographer.
Does gear matter when it comes to putting out creative content?
In a certain way yes, of course. Also with analog photography, you’ll get different results using different cameras, lenses, film, etc. But, I don’t believe you need the most expensive or state of the art gear to create a beautiful image. Some of my favourite photo’s I shot with a 30 year old Soviet camera (Smena Symbol), like the one at Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.
What's your favorite song/movie/book?
Not really a favorite, but I recently read Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
And I have the autobiography of Ansel Adams waiting here on the shelf, can’t wait to read it!
How does a perfect day look like for Rick van Kruchten?
Good coffee in the morning, hanging out with friends or family (taking some photos of course), and a cold IPA or two to end the day well.
What's next for you? Do you have upcoming projects?
I just went on an adventure with my brother. From Utrecht to Moscow by train. I just developed two rolls of film which I still have to scan.
Any last words for our readers?
Thanks for reading, hope you all have an amazing day!
We would like to express our gratitude to Rick for letting us feature his work on the Magazine. If you're interested in his work, you may visit his Instagram for more.