- Image creation
Antwerp-based photographer Frederik Vercruysse has already worked for high-end brands such as Hermès and Zara Home. He owes his success to the talent to capture the atmosphere and true soul of a space as well as the essence of a particular subject in its purest form on film. Imagicasa spoke to him about his approach to photography, inspiration and his most favourite part in the process.
His love for architecture and warm, poetic images have enabled him to build a successful career at home and abroad. He is currently represented by the agency Initials LA in the Benelux, and by Quadriga worldwide. Depending, he wanted to become an architect and study architecture but soon Vercruysse realised that he was more interested in the end result and in architecture as an image rather than in the design process. So the choice was made and he decided to study photography after which the ball quickly started rolling. "My subsequent experiences have grown very organically. After my studies, I travelled for six months and then immediately started photographing a lot. For instance, I knew many people who were studying architecture and started doing internships with architects where they asked if I wanted to photograph the projects. These then ended up in magazines later on," he tells us. What began as earlier architectural and documentary work was later expanded to include interior and commercial work.
'I search for peaceful images and as a resulting effect I enter a kind of meditative state for myself'
He had never thought of setting up a studio. From the beginning, his plan was to study photography and become a photographer. His idea of pure photography is very simple. To photograph a subject in its purest form is more like emotion to him. The image should express a very honest and pure story where he wants to go to the essence in his compositions. Telling as much as possible by showing as little as possible. Although he takes a very structured approach to capturing an image and so it is often anything but spontaneous, he is above all a restless person. 'I often get the compliment that I come across as very calm on a shoot and remain calm when there are problems. This is mainly because I keep believing that things will work out and we will work towards a beautiful result. I myself am quite chaotic in my head, so having a focus on order, composition and finding a balance of beautiful, calm still images helps me calm down when I photograph.'
How would you describe your photography style?
‘I started photographing in the 1990s, which was also the rise of minimalism, both in fashion and architecture. I do still like to make quite calm quiet balanced images. I prefer not to describe my work as minimalist because I rather associate that with terms, even if used incorrectly, like distant, clean, white and very austere. My work started out as documentary, quite quiet and balanced but has now evolved into some warmer and poetic work. I still like to keep it pure but now combined with a bit more soul.’ What do you find most important in your images?
‘My photographic work is anything but spontaneous, rather composed. Still, I would like to get more spontaneity in my work although it feels a bit like neuroticism, that urge to make very perfect, balanced images. But that is also something that evolves and changes and also the nice thing about being a photographer is that the restlessness in the beast that remains. When you are a novice photographer, you are also restless and looking up. I've been a photographer for 20 years now and I feel that restlessness is still there and that keeps me on my toes.’
What advice would you like to give to beginning photographers?
‘Try not to skip any steps. Try to become confident in your photography, even if you are never really going to be because there should always be a certain restlessness so that you stay sharp. If you want to become good at your work, you have to consider every assignment as important and do your utmost for it. Also, it is important to get to know your own style because that also takes a while to figure out what your visual language is.’ Warm and pure is how we describe Frederik Vercruysse's masterpiece. His stunning photography captures spaces with supreme honesty and clarity of their fundamental form. Read the full article in Imagicasa Spring 2023.
All photography by Frederik Vercruysse
Header image: Zara Home AW21 Campaign
Images 2 - 4: Zara Home AW21 Campaign
Image 5: Still life for Molteni & Dada
Image 6: Zara Home AW21 Campaign
Image 7: Restaurant Hertog Jan at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp