Olaf Blecker, Berlin based photographer, was born in the small town of Wolfenbüttel, West Germany in 1971. His future path was fixed when he was introduced to a camera and dark room at age 17. He soon moved to Berlin to pursue his craft and ended up enrolling in the Lette-Verein photography school. Blecker quickly picked up the technical skills he needed, but opted not to work as an assistant to a more established artist. “I had to learn a lot of things myself,” he recalls, “but I believe this lack of ‘father figures’ helped me in the long run to find my own voice.” Twenty years later, trends have shifted many times over, yet Blecker remains one of the most respected photographers in the industry, photographing for publications like Time, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
“In 2003, my name was synonymous with a very specific, so-called ‘hyper-real’ aesthetic,” says Blecker, “but to thrive in this industry, and remain inspired as an artist, you can’t let yourself stagnate. My technique is always evolving, but my goal of forging a meaningful, human connection between the audience and the subject of a photograph remains consistent.”
In his quarter century as a professional photographer, Blecker has had the pleasure of having people of great interest stand in front of his camera. The likes of Angela Merkel, Samuel L. Jackson, Donald Trump, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the list goes on.
It was noted by F-Stop magazine, “People like how Blecker shoots skin, but perhaps that’s because of his constant search for what’s beneath it in his subjects.” In this interview with F-Stop, Blecker noted that for him it is „Menschenkenntnis“ (German: “the knowledge of human nature”) that is most critical to capturing a powerful image. For him what is important is how he communicates with his subjects, guiding them gently into genuine displays of emotion for his camera.
“I suppose when it comes to quality I feel very German at heart. When I say quality I don’t mean only technically but also that what makes and image unmissable. In my long-span within this industry I can say this is something that has not left me.
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