Magical Moments - Sander Dekker

Sander Dekker, shooting with a 33mm wideangle lens to mimic human eye vision, brings us the definition of spontaneity in his photographs. Humour, positive wild energy, freedom, are just some of the things you could see in all of them. We talk with him about his work and his amazing ability to find the most curious eccentric characters to fill his pieces with candid crazy style.


Your photographs seem too real to me, how do you do that? It is almost documentary. 

I’m always searching for extravert and outgoing individuals. Lets say they have this ’gene’ that I can relate to, but missing myself. I try not to control to much during the shoot and let them be themselves to capture an image that reflects that side of their personality. I guess in that way my pictures can be labeled as documentary.


They also have a lot of craziness, do you normally find that the people you photograph is that way or are you making them crazy in front of your camera?

The photos are highly spontaneous and impromptu in the sense that I often shoots at locations I have never being before, meeting the models just before the shoot and working from zero concept. Then in a brief time with a very high energy level, I try to capture their personality. The high spontaneity and improvisation are crucial and often result in surprising crops, funny moments and crazy compositions.


In your web we can read that your photographs capture ‘magical moments’, and it’s true, how do you manage to be there in the exact moment you have to be? Or you just make it happen?

For me those ‘magical moments’ are photos with a certain imperfection, humor and a reflection of the character of the model. It’s a capture, a small fraction of time of something that just appeared. Often I don’t even notice I just captured that moment while taking it. I make a lot of pictures during a shoot because those magical moments are in the tiniest fragments of time :)


Where do you find these particular characters of your photographs?

Social media works best for me. The pictures on someones profile already reveals a lot to me of her/his character, or lack of it. I’m usually not the kind of guy that randomly walks up to someone, but nowadays when I meet an interesting in real life I sometimes ask them to give it a go.


Tell us the funniest story you have photographing.

I always enjoy the notion of surprise and randomness that create unexpectedly beautiful things. During the night of the vernissage of my exhibition in London, I was talking to a friend when I saw a yellow Rolls-Royce standing outside. The car was hand-painted with a red flower pattern. The owner, named Ian, was an eccentric guy, who stood out of the crowd. After our introduction I asked him if I could take some pictures of the car. That same evening I met Tess, who joined the vernissage with a mutual friend. I told her about the car and she was very enthusiastic to be part of the shoot. The next day we went to Ian, who was wearing his ‘regulars’ and after a small talk, asking him if he got something cool for Tess to wear, he pulled out this green bodysuit out of nowhere. Until today, still one of my favorite pictures!


What would you teach to someone new in photography?

I think you can only teach somebody 'how to make' a picture, but not what to shoot. You can experiment in a lot of different fields, but it’s important to keep in mind that a picture should also reflects something of yourself. So sometimes it helps to hold a mirror in front of yourself to figure who you are and out what you want to do.


Photography: Sander Dekker  | Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr

Represented by: Bright Side Gallery

Special thanks to: Amber, Dido, Federica, Isabel, Joe, Joffrey, Lucia, Nadia, Lee, Ohla, Sara, Tamara & Whitney