Interview Feature with Heiner Luepke

Where did you grow up? Where are you located now?
As a child I lived with my mother in a village between Hamburg and Kiel in Northern Germany. I think being with nature and often alone had quite an influence on my view of the world.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Actually, I don't remember that much of my childhood and I am not sure if I ever really tried to imagine or define myself through a specific job- but I had early artistic tendencies to draw and sketch.

When did you start taking photographs? How was your interest in photography developed?
Oh, there were occasional moments in my youth where I took photographs and enjoyed the idea of photography- but back then, I did not realize the full potential of the medium. I underestimated the freedom of artistic expression, which I found much later in life and started to seriously go into it maybe 3 or 4 years ago.

How often do you shoot?
Totally different all of the time. For my book I tried to shoot as often as I could and work with friends of mine. And it seems to go on this way, next project is a spread for a beautiful Berlin-based Magazine "JPeople."
I am glad when I am busy and can do what I love to do.

Do you make any other kinds of art?
I used to draw for many years and did music too but now into photography with all my heart.

Do you have any work that you have yet to show to anyone because of it's personal value to you? If so, is this something that happens often?
Yes. Not photographic though. And no, doesn't happen too often.

Who are some inspirational figures to you? Your favorite artists or photographers?
Music is very important for my inspiration and my mood. Sometimes movies can be too- I usually love very old ones but recently I highly value Lars von Trier's "Antichrist". As for photographers, there are many that in one way or another, inspire me. The work of Edward Steichen- (especially his nature photography), is one example. More recent;y, I also find Eliot Lee Hazel's work inspirational.

Have you shown your work before? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
I have two exhibitions coming up here in Hamburg in October/November. The same exhibition in 2 places (Haus73 & Lokal). These will be my first ones.

What are your most used cameras? and do you have a favorite film that you like to shoot with?
It depends on the mood and desired pictures I want to create. I use an old 60s Polaroid Land Camera with 669 film a lot. Otherwise theres the Zenit and Lomo Lc-A 35mm cameras wich are essential for me.

Tell us a little about your new book: "The Scent of Soil"...
Shortly put, it is a combination of my thoughts and subconscious dreams with the already very psychological and also sexual world behind fairy tales. The project taught me a lot about how I work and to keep that raw unfinished variable inside my workflow. Sort of going for the wild and also ugly unpredictable forest instead of a rather boring "castle garden"...

Where is your 'favorite place' to spend time?
I dont think i have one place like that but I love to be in the forest and in nature, I love the scent of soil there...

Is there anywhere you've always wanted to travel?
Still need to go to Scandinavia, but also New Zealand is an old dream.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully a happy guy, that's the most important.

You can view more of his work on his flickr