Seeing his works for the fist time, I was mesmerized by their complexity, artistry, refinement, visual richness and abundance of meaning. Pini Hamaou is a brilliant photographer from Israel. He has kindly agreed to do an interview with me. To see more of his works visit his website.
1. As a photographer what do you find most challenging?
As a photographer, it's important for me to move forward and to find new ways and techniques. I don't want to repeat myself. Usually we humans like to stay at our comfort zone, at places we know. The will to change is very important for our personal development.
2. Many of your photographs seem to have a message of some kind. What do you think good photography should convey?
In my view a good photograph must create interest with the viewer. It must tell him a story, or pass an idea. The aesthetics of the picture is important, but more important is the idea behind it.
3. In your experience, how much of what happens in front of camera is spontaneous and how much is the result of what has been previously envisioned?
I shoot pictures of various subjects. In documentary photography every photo is spontaneous, and my role as a photographer is to catch a moment of interesting happening. But with conceptual-artistic photography I try to share an idea. And that's why all my pictures are pre-planned. I come to the shootings with sketches I drew, I choose the right location, I organize the props and cloths before the shootings, and I choose the model I think will be most appropriate for the idea and expression I want to share. Of course during the shootings I change certain things, for example, I usually shoot in natural light and sometimes I have to change the positioning in order to get better lighting or background.
4. Do you think that photography is different from other art form and if so in what ways? What are the main advantages of photography?
Photography, painting and cinematography have a lot in common. In my photos I try to blur the differences between these arts.
In a story the reader's role is to imagine how things look like. In my photography I bring my imagination and present it to the viewers.
Photography's advantage on painting is in the quickness – in one click there's a photo. A work on a picture can take months.
5. What would be your advice to young aspiring photographers?
I advise young photographers to enjoy the experience of taking a picture, and then try to improve from one session to another, to see what needs to be improved and implement it in the next session. Self-criticism is vital to our personal development.