“Photography means everything to me. Capturing the moment, creating an emotional feeling. That's what I love about it.” Introducing our latest creative photographer, Hejritter as part of our NINETYseven Collection.
With creativity at the forefront of all that Dennis Ritter does, his photography captures people and places with a poignant and indisputable connection to light rich in contrast. Inspired by car journeys from his childhood, his photography emanates freedom, nature and authenticity. Stating that, “ hitting the shutter is not a big thing at all. But triggering the emotion of other people is the part I really love”, Ritter is exposing moments and capturing people in a truly authentic way.
Take a look at our NINETYseven Collection creative photographer and find out about his work, evolution and concept behind the lens.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography means everything to me. Capturing the moment, creating an emotional feeling. That’s what I love about it.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative evolution and career in photography?
In 2014 I became a self-employed filmmaker after I finished my apprenticeship in digital media design. Unfortunately I had to quit in 2016. During the next three years the Leica M9 became my best friend. I captured nearly everything with this beautiful camera. I had a second try to be a creative self-employed because it was my desire.
To you, what makes a photograph stand out from the rest?
Hitting the shutter is not a big thing at all. But triggering the emotion of other people is the part I really love. When photography becomes magical.
You have previously mentioned that “Creativity is in the foreground for me” – can you explain this statement more and how this affects your work/ process/ self?
Creativity is freedom. I can’t deliver my best work with big limitations – I need creative freedom to perform well. It’s really important to have this freedom to develop a well-conceived concept. That’s how it works: freedom is creativity and a powerful concept will be the result.
Your work has a poignant and indisputable connection to light with rich contrasts. Is this a style you curated and pursued or something that came naturally to you that you have continued throughout your photography?
I was born and raised in the northern part of Germany. We’re used to beastly weather which can be quite boring sometimes. Frankly speaking I’m more the sunshine guy and I’m pretty sure you can see it in the way I take my pictures. I always try to capture nice, natural light environments like sunsets and make the most out of it. Pictures your grandparents need to see.
What inspires you?
It may sound strange but when I was a young lad my parents drove me around in their car because I wasn’t tired at all. That’s why long road trips are a huge inspiration for me. Same goes for other creative people and their approaches.
Your photographs expose moments and capture people in a very personal way. How do you formulate your conception when shooting?
There are two approaches: If I know the people I am shooting, it’s like a deep talk about their personal worries or hopes – If I don’t have any personal relationship it’s more the fun part of a shooting. I always try to make the people happy I am working with.
Can you elaborate a little on your statement “freedom and trust are an indispensable part of the conception” ?
Back in 2014 I failed my first business because I was more like a puppet for my clients. I did what they wanted and that’s it. Luckily things have changed because today I’m part of the whole concept cycle nowadays. I truly believe you need to have this kind of freedom to deliver your best results to your clients.
How do you best create a connection between first yourself and a model and second, the landscape you are working in?
Just be yourself. People will notice fake personalities sooner or later.
How has your work and processes changed since you started out?
Frankly speaking I learned to say no. I’m not forced to take every project anymore and I’m very thankful for that. I am spending my time on things I really love instead of working projects I can’t identify with.
What do you see for your work in the coming years?
I don’t have any plans for the next few years to be honest because things never turn out the way you expect. Another huge learning I made in the past.