Interview Colette Lukassen

To me, it’s important to demand social attention with my work. For example, I’ve made a photo series about homeless people, a transgender child and a man’s love. Unfortunately these topics are still condemned in today’s society, which is why I want to highlight them.

One of my inspirations is photographer Stephan Vanfleteren. The portraits he makes are unique and his approach fits the model. His way of lighting, or rather using a lot of shadow, makes his work exciting.

One advice I would give to any photographer is to stay very close to yourself. Photograph close to your feelings and what you are interested in. In my experience, a photo shows what kind of person the photographer is. By practice, you will find yourself and who you are as a photographer. Your image will receive a signature and becomes recognizable for the viewer.

My proudest moment as a photographer was in November 2019 when I won the National Geographic overall jury prize with a photo of Emma. I have been following Emma and her life in the form of portraits for over two years. Emma was born as a boy but identifies as a girl. With my series I want to show her as Emma, who lives the life of an ‘ordinary’ girl. For the next ten years I will be following her process up close.

To see more of Colette's work go to her website, Facebook or Instagram!