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Interview with Hilde van Mas

Hilde van Mas began her professional career in ballet, her passion for aesthetics and fashion led her to magazines and photography. Hilde finds her inspiration from her childhood in the theatre and her on-the-move lifestyle. Her love of art and the human soul is the key to her passionate research prior to any shoot. Her work is featured in publications such as Vogue, Numéro and L ́Officiel.

What connects ballet and your photography?
The creation of visionary storytelling, sometimes even a dadaistic or surrealistic approach. They are based, in both disciplines, on the main connection and passionate desire to touch the observer on a deep-set emotional level.

Selfportrait Hilde van Mas, submerged, 2021
Selfportrait Hilde van Mas, submerged, 2021

What else inspires you?
As soon as I open my eyes everything is interesting, this universe and any human being I shoot is a muse to me. I am almost deaf on one ear and I completely rely on what I can see and feel. Falling in love with details, the way a person moves and breathes, how the light evolves – everything is my muse.

Beyond the visual I ́m a passionate film- and music addict. Film directors such as Georgios „Yorgos“ Lanthimos or classical music by Bach open up cineastic universes in my mind.

How would you describe your day?
With or without the pandemic? Haha! I have to be honest and blunt: the difference between my day pre and post corona is a gigantic one. In „normal“ pre-pandemic circumstances the daily rhythm is fast and full of schedule changes, traveling, shooting, creative meetings etc… nowadays any project and creation process is slower and quite chewy. The main task of any day is to keep things running and breathing, to keep a sort of actual and futuristic living / time frame. I was lucky during the whole pandemic period as I used my passion / work as an outlet, guarding against the feeling of being trapped in a claustrophobic and limited world by doing remote shoots and starting artistic projects.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love the whole creation-process, from the tiniest DNA of the idea to the holding of the print itself… the traveling aspect, being surrounded by inspiring human beings and cultures, is also an adored facet… as well as the process of finding new ways of technique and expression – the freedom of nothingness and limitlessness is a gift. I feel humbled and very privileged to do what I love.

How important are photographer agencies for you? Is it better for you to get good jobs?
Very important, they keep a tight focus on how the market sees you and if well implemented, they may control your „purchase value“ for commercial jobs. The probability of being an artist plus a good business woman/man is pretty low, so the risk of underestimating and underselling your own work is almost excluded by the protective shield of a good agent.

Would you also like to do an exhibition?
Over the last years I was approached multiple times to take part in an exhibition and by now I crave to show my work in an artistic environment. So therefore I have a secret photobaby that I am constantly working on. I am still not certain when the right time has come to show my work – and when it will be good enough.

hilde van mas

Is something in the pipeline? What are you working on now?
I will use these next few months working in Paris on various projects and hopefully this late summer for a personal photo-roadtrip. In general I ́m working on a new, fresh and very vivid photo-signature – especially with the DNA of a post-Covid-mood. Combining the classical, analog approach with moving images on a digital error-base is a very strong urge that I feel in my imaginative mind as well. And also – as just mentioned – on the hidden and beloved photobaby – an exhibition.

Hilde van Mas – www.hildevanmas.com