Menno Aden is a photographer and artist who was born in a small town of Weener in the northwest of Germany in 1972. He studied art at the University of Bremen from 1993 to 2000. In 2001 he moved to Berlin. Menno’s photography impresses us with its singularity and novelty. Today we are talking with Menno about his professional approach to work and he’s giving our readers some piece of advice on taking interior photos. Enjoy reading the interview with Menno Aden and we wish you a pleasant viewing of Menno Aden photography.
AP: Hi Menno! It’s a great honor for us to see you here. We eagerly would like to hear your story. What got you started? Tell us about the first steps you made in photography. Was there someone or something that influenced your work or inspired you?
Menno: I was inspired by a mix of different influences. Firstly, I was impressed by David Hockney’s photography from the 1980s. That person took great photos! I would also like to mention Otto Umbehr’s photography from the late 1920s. I found it inspiring.
Secondly, in the 1990s I did a kind of photo diary of my everyday food. I stood up in a chair and took them over the table straight from above to take very analytic shots. I saw that the food I had photographed became less ‘tasty’; however, the pictures were almost two-dimensional and abstract. Those pictures had something in common with the ideas of ‘Fallenbilder’ (tableau-piège) by Daniel Spoerris.
Then I combined the techniques of satellite pictures, Google Earth, Google Street view, etc. and turned it into my idea of having satellite-shots from rooms.
AP: What a brilliant idea! And how did you gain skills to take your pictures?
Menno: I studied Art in Bremen (Germany). There I had master classes in photography. There were good teachers for Art Theory. Maybe, it influenced on my conceptual thinking. In those days we did analogue photographs in the darkrooms. And later I bought my first digital camera and had first experience in image editing.
AP: So, you have a formal education in photography. Being a professional photographer, do you like working in some specific genre? Or do you prefer genre experiments?
Menno: My creativity is a kind of abstract realism. I try to find grids, structures, order-disorder-things in everyday situations. On the one hand, my photos belong to architecture photography. On the other hand, it is documentary photography. Actually, I don’t like any of these categories. I’d like to say my photography is just art for me.
AP: We are very impressed with your Room Portraits series of photos. What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to take such pictures?
Menno: I use one SLR, remote control (with monitor), monopod or a boom combined with a tripod, different lenses (depending on the height of the camera), photo-editing software.
AP: Thank you for your answer! Let’s talk about your plans for the future. Do you have any dream project? What is it?
Menno: Not really. Currently I am working on different art projects. They are mostly free and there are some interesting contracts. I am not seeking for anything because new ideas come to me by chance.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity? What do you do to reach your goals?
Menno: My daily activity includes organizing, researching, writing e-mails. It is very important to have enough time to try new directions.
AP: And is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Menno: I get support from my friends and gallerists.
AP: Tell us the lessons you believe are really important for every photographer?
Menno: As I see myself more as an artist than a photographer, I don’t want to tell lessons to photographers. I wish artists be experimental, able to analyze and observe.
Menno, thank you for nice conversation. We wish you to create more art-works in the nearest future. We wish you good luck, inspiration and new achievements! To learn more about Menno Aden photography please visit his personal website.