Five minutes with Ruedi Beckmann

This is why I have always taken a particular liking to Diane Arbus and her statement »A photograph is a secret about a secret.« I don't see a picture, I see a story. Often some different opinions. And sometimes a development.

Ruedi beckmann is living and working as a graphic designer in Hamburg since 1991. He has been working for agencies like sinnerschrader, ministry of media, gvk, gvk 3rd unit, Pferdestall Kultur GmbH as a freelance designer (mostly CI, print, screen and flash interface design).

He has been seriously working as an artistic photographer since 1998. Official Website

self Ruedi Beckmann

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, I’m Ruedi, I came to Hamburg in 1991 to study design for quite a while (until about 2005), dealing mainly with typography and illustration.

How did you get interested in photography?

Alongside my studies I started to take portraits of fellow students. It started as a break from my work assignments, but since about 1998 it took over a more powerful life of its own.

Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?

I soon found out that I am not interested to achieve pictures that rely on a a preconceived idea, a composition, an appearance or a certain artistic vision, I mainly wanted to find out a little about the process of portraiture itself.

To this day, to me it is far more important how a portrayed person feels than what the resulting photo actually looks like. So dealing with the impact of being photographed is the important quest. But can we even achieve sincerity or honesty, or is the process too paved with misunderstandings about the other and misconceptions about ourselves? This is why I have always taken a particular liking to Diane Arbus and her statement »A photograph is a secret about a secret.« I don’t see a picture, I see a story. Often some different opinions. And sometimes a development.

red_portrait Ruedi Beckmann

What first drew you to photography and how did you discover it?

During my design studies (from 1998 to about 2005) I experimented with a variety of different analogue and digital techniques that spanned from lomography to high-end and also included a brief video and stop-motion phase.

In 2005 I discovered the analogue medium format and particularly the big viewfinder which allowed me to really feel the photos as they happened. Since then, the 6×6 and 6×7 have been my prevailing formats you will see at my exhibitions.
Of course, I always keep my action sampler and golden Diana handy for some inbetween shots, but that’s all just fun and games.

How do you educate to take better photos?

Over the years I have tried out quite a few different methods as well as different surroundings and locations, but I found out that this is mostly for show and is only distracting from the core of my work. My way to better photos is to gain a more profound understanding of human nature – this has become immensely capturing for me. I have found out that you are mostly alone with this autobiographical process on your way to gain your own true authorship. Of course you may pick up some pointers in literature or conversation, but I’ve come to recognize that your own experience compiles the body of work for you.

q1 Ruedi Beckmann

How do you come up with ideas for your projects?

I don’t really think in terms of projects. My work has evolved around this one main psychological aspect of dealing with your own self-wareness that I found most thrilling, and I keep going deeper into that with people who I portray.

Do you take photos more for yourself or for others?

This is tricky. I want to say that I take the photos for the people portrayed in them. For example, when we decide which pictures we deem worthy of showing I put their opinion over my own – even for the risk of sacrificing a picture I find particularly successful. This dialogue and the work connected with it is the most interesting part to me. It’s all about coming to terms with oneself. There should always be room for development, but without a shared agreement there is no successful photo.

What do you think makes a memorable photograph?

For me a photograph is memorable that we didn’t think was possible, we didn’t know existed. We take it, it comes out, and it completely amazes us, it takes us by surprise. Sometimes we don’t even recognize it, at first, because we can’t get our heads around it, but after a while we have to acknowledge it because we feel it is real and true and has reason to be.

Looking back, the most iconic of my photos have been the ones we really weren’t prepared for, at the time. It’s a revelation.

cardigan_portrait Ruedi Beckmann

How important is an awesome website for your business?

As of yet, I have no agent or gallery to promote my work. So my website is my promotional base and serves as my catalog of works.

I sell limited editions of unique cyanotypes and I want to be as transparent about them as possible. I found that it particularly helps people to compare the different instances they can choose from to find their favourite. They can also observe when an issue is bound to run out of stock.

How has social media played a role in your photography?

Well, the explosion of sharing in the past few years has left me with ambiguous feelings. I embrace the ease of spreading your stuff around the globe with a click, and I am humbled by all the great work out there. All of this is inspiring, but can be frustrating, at times, especially because you are sort of forced to wade through all the redundant, derivative stuff to find the gems that really make a personal difference to you. I think this exposure has sharpened my dedication to find the very personal pictures – pictures only I can contribute to this world.

rough Ruedi Beckmann

What are some tips you would give to yourself if you started photography all over again?

I find this question sort of unfair, because it has been asked of me a lot, and I have found out that if you need the hint you won’t trust my answer, and if you’ve already made it you don’t really need this advice, any more. Talking about artistic photography, it has to be this:

»Be true to yourself and trust your personal vision. In the beginning you will struggle with acceptance, and you may have the feeling you have to change your work to achieve it, but the opposite is true. You may endure a phase of resentment and criticism, but after a while the smoke will clear and you see that it was worth holding your personal ground because this is what you have to give the world.«

What is one question nobody has ever asked you that you wish they asked you?

Hehe, I doubt that this question is totally polite, but if you look at the millions of photographers in the world creating a gazillion pictures on a daily basis, I sometimes wonder how they all develop the confidence that their pictures, their work has a deeper meaning, a more profound raison d’être, that stands the test of time. I don’t really know if I have a straight answer to that, myself.

q2 Ruedi Beckmann

latex_portrait Ruedi Beckmann

 

More Stories

Savoring Photography by Michael Bomberger

Savoring Photography by Michael Bomberger

A discussion over dinner a few weeks ago with a noted local artist about the nature of beauty and how humans perceive it took me back to my university lectures with Paul Weiss, a noted professor of metaphysics.
Spatial Relations by Shannon Randol

Spatial Relations by Shannon Randol

How the singular subject, viewer in the case of photography, is located in relation to other objects is referred to as spatial relation. Often happening subconsciously, ways in which objects respond to each other impacts the use(s) of a particular space.
A Himalayan Journey By Abhijit Bose

A Himalayan Journey By Abhijit Bose

The beauty of The Himalayan Region is its color and mood. I explored almost every season and made trips towards Terrain Region. It was a treat to my senses when I used to watch changes in color of a region just fifteen minutes away from another place getting washed in torrential rain. I realized nature as the biggest chameleon.

Nude Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Nude Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best nude picture for this year, 2022.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

DEADLINE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © OLIVIER VALSECCHI
Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater project was selected and published in our print edition 22. I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace to a burst of creation and back again.
A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution, is Alchemy (2021), a collection of 14 vibrant chromogenic prints. Each one reiterates the same basic composition and design, with Ilana’s avatar recurring indomitably across two orderly rows. 
Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

The project titled What You Do Not See, Unordinary tells the story of the City of Turin, my city, seen through the eyes of passersby. All photographs have been captured with a long exposure technique; in other words, I mixed then history of the city with my own history, my life experience. In fact, after five years spent fighting a disease, my artistic purpose is primarily that of representing the all too familiar feeling when, as a young man wandering through the city, one feels invisible, and yet still he is thoroughly involved in its daily frenzy.

Featured Stories

Dreamland; Tale of the blue pear by Nikolina Petolas

Dreamland; Tale of the blue pear by Nikolina Petolas

Tale of the blue pear; Nikolina Petolas’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. The series present a search for our own essence, which is embodied in the shape of a pear, in different color and sizes, which can be found in the majority of her artworks.
Women hold up half the sky by Gerard Exupery

Women hold up half the sky by Gerard Exupery

It’s another beautiful day in paradise. Dark, and rainy. It’s one of those days that suggest the beauty of film. F-stop wide open, the darkness and grain, the feeling of an impressionist painting.
Nice Nosing You by Elke Vogelsang

Nice Nosing You by Elke Vogelsang

Born in 1972 Elke Vogelsang turned her professional life upside down later in life to leave a smoothly running and profitable but dull job as a translator to pursue what she loves - photography.
Kamila Karpinska ; Lifestyle photography

Kamila Karpinska ; Lifestyle photography

A photographer born and living in Poland. She specializes in lifestyle photography. and takes pictures of people in situations where they feel fine.
Yolanda Garcia ; The chaos within simplicity

Yolanda Garcia ; The chaos within simplicity

Yolanda Garcia is a photographer who lives in Madrid. She has in a world of dreams, pain, laughter, and likes to externalize. She started in photography from she was a child, fiddling with cameras from their parents.
Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Inspired by their environment of wild trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation. The Suri tribe use the clay soil of bright yellows, startling whites and rich earth-reds to paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/nude-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Nude Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/banner23.jpg

Call For Entries #23 | After 22 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Stories of Russian women; You are mine by Mary Gelman

Stories of Russian women; You are mine by Mary Gelman

«You are mine» is a series of stories of Russian women who endured domestic partner violence.These stories are about power and control of one person over another.
Schwarz Flaneur by Pogus Caesar

Schwarz Flaneur by Pogus Caesar

The first thing that catches your eye is a young man inhaling deeply from a solvent filled plastic bag, Dinner Ladies sharing intimate conversations and a man’s scarred and tattooed arms folded in majestic defiance.
Postarchitecture by Victor Enrich

Postarchitecture by Victor Enrich

The work of Victor Enrich is intimately connected to architecture. Since our origins, mankind has expressed itself in different ways, using all sorts of techniques and technologies, in order to communicate and evolve.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Street’s people; Hanoi by Riccardo Magherini

Street’s people; Hanoi by Riccardo Magherini

Hanoi series was selected and published in our print edition 19. All the images of the series are quite portraits of street’s people, surrounded by their environment.
Joxe Inazio Kuesta ; Just a simple glance trapped in an image?

Joxe Inazio Kuesta ; Just a simple glance trapped in an image?

This reality can be a landscape for some, a portrait for others, a building for others, etc. ... In my case, the type of photography I do is street photography and documentary, and the main goal of almost all of them is the human being, and more specifically their glances.

Trending Stories

The photography of Luis María Barrio

The photography of Luis María Barrio

This project is based on a miscellany of photos that I have been collecting during my travels to India, Morocco, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma and Romania. A selection of individual images that are not interconnected and in which I show characters
Travel Photography; 1celand by Irene Tondelli

Travel Photography; 1celand by Irene Tondelli

1celand is the first work taken during a solo trip by photographer and curator Irene Tondelli. Travelling in a small car and always sleeping in a tent, the photographer circumnavigated Iceland, trying to capture the contrasts between the small towns and the wide open spaces of Iceland.
Bill Gekas ; Fine art portrait photographer

Bill Gekas ; Fine art portrait photographer

Bill Gekas is a multi awarded and published photographer that was born and resides in Melbourne Australia.
Not Just a Series of Images by Asher Honish

Not Just a Series of Images by Asher Honish

Not Just a Series of Images is a photographic series that is a cross between a sociological field study and a lyrical fine-art project. The images depict subjectivity in visual truth in both the physical remnants of self-extension and intentional representation of altered claims of truth.
Anna Katharina Zeitler ; No shoes to dance with

Anna Katharina Zeitler ; No shoes to dance with

I had the strong desire to become one of them, without knowing that the actual lived stereotype in the self choosen gilded cage in the theater retrieves desillusioning banalities and routines as well as psychic hyperesthesia due to powerfull and deep passions.
Portraits from the wilderness by Graeme Purdy

Portraits from the wilderness by Graeme Purdy

Portraits from the wilderness was selected and published in our print edition 21. My photography has been inspired by nature, wild animals and my love of the outdoors. More recently, I am driven to help protect our wildlife and wild places.
The surreal photography of Giovanna Viola

The surreal photography of Giovanna Viola

My current work arises out of a necessity for connection and communication, a feeling that was born when I moved to a country away from everything that was known to me - a different language, an unfamiliar culture, no friends, no family, but full of a million ideas.
The shaded gardens of Bucharest by Margrieta Jeltema

The shaded gardens of Bucharest by Margrieta Jeltema

Under the shady branches families gather, children play near fountains, mothers feed their babies, a grandmother reads a book for her grandson, a woman sits knitting, an old man sleeps.
Collection of portraits; Created Equal by Mark Laita

Collection of portraits; Created Equal by Mark Laita

In America, the chasm between rich and poor is growing, the clash between conservatives and liberals is strengthening, and even good and evil seem more polarized than ever before.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.