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Interview, Edie Sunday -

On The Journey of Expression


Normen, Aaron Rose once said, “In the right light, at the right time. Everything is Extraordinary". How do you capture the perfect intersection of the two?

To be honest it’s just a phrase for me. The right light can always help to create great pictures but it’s mostly challenging to find a good light when there is nothing special around you, just think of an ugly house during midday sun. The right time can’t be defined by myself alone, therefore i only try to catch those “perfect” moments.

Your work consists of a selection of portraits and they are always titled by the person’s name. As a photographer, what exactly are you collecting through your work? 

I don’t know exactly what i’m collecting. Not saying that i feel like collecting something, but of course there’s a longing for portraits with a certain depth. 

There’s a deeper stillness within an already still image. Is it your perception, presence, or direction that brings out the portraits that just hold the viewer instantly?!

Haha, you have good eyes. It’s mixture of all of it and it would be better to ask some models. From my point of view the biggest impact comes from the directions i give and at the second place my character (presence).

Your subjects rarely look away from the camera. Their eyes are either closed or they are looking straight into the lens. Mostly, we don’t get an idea of the environment or where the subject comes from. Why?

I don’t like it when the viewer focus swithces to different areas in one picture. Especially when it comes to portraitures which have no documentating background, theres no special need to give the spectator more information then the portrait itself.  

Shooting on film, that itself is an art. The degree of uncertainty, the light, it can always go south. How’s your creative process built around these two, and how exactly do you work with light?

Shooting film is based on the right measurement or judgement of the light conditions. So it’s basicly something technical you have to learn. When you gain more experience then the impact of uncertainty becomes less and less. Normally i search for light and shadows and measure both to have a feeling how dark the shadows will be later. If i think that it could work out i take the photos, always with a little risk that i was wrong. 

And do you manipulate the colors digitally? 

Sometimes, it always depends on how much i like the colours from the negative. 

Ordinarily, creative people are in a frenzy, when they just get possessed by an idea and they have to create, make it. Does your work come from a frenzy as well, or..?

Most of the work was created initialy by the idea to create something, so i wouldn’t say that my work starts from a possesion. In the next step i start to think what i would like to create and with whom.

Since photography is something you do in your spare-time, you do have gaps between your work, what keeps your gallery limited to a number of portraits?

After sometime i always review my portfolio and delete some pictures and add some new pictures i like more.  

Are you concerned with what the viewer is going to feel looking at your work? What do you want the viewer to feel? 

I’m interested in the oppinion from the spectators but not concerned. It’s important for me that i do the work mostly for myself. To want someone to feel what i want him or her to feel doesn’t make so much sense to me - but on the other hand i’m thankful when my pictures can bring a special feeling to the viewer.  

Lastly, What’s one thing you would suggest an aspiring photographer? 

That they should try to focus more on their work without thinking about how the social media network will react.


Interview with Normen Gadiel

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