Hanna Putz-Richter’s story began in front of the camera; she was scouted as a model while still in school. During her time modeling, she noticed that roughly 90% of photographers in the fashion industry were male and consequentially decided to shift gears and try her hand behind the camera in 2009. The self-taught photographer uses her soft yet powerful “female gaze” to capture her motives. She has since exhibited her work internationally and, in 2018, founded the artist book publishing house Pampam Publishing with her partner Daniel Richter.
In a personal conversation with KASSL Editions, Hanna Putz-Richter discusses why she chose photography as her main creative outlet and the need for more feminist work in the industry.
What should a studio space offer to you ideally?
It should be light. There should be music and enough space to hang prints on the wall to work on edits. Ideally, I should be able to see the sky when looking out the window.
Which items are crucial to your creative flow and routine in your workspace?
Music, light, a good sofa to read and sleep on.
Since photography happens mostly outside at constantly differing locations, can you feel how your work changes according to where you create (different cities/studios)?
More important than the space is the light and the quality of time spent with the person I photograph. If I can make someone feel comfortable while being photographed and I feel we’re off to a day of collaboration, interesting images usually follow wherever we may be.
I read that you mainly photograph women. Is there a particular overarching theme you aim to transmit through your photography regarding that?
I enjoy making images of women or, more generally, about ideas of femininity from what I understand to be a feminist perspective. As long as we live in more or less patriarchal societies, I feel it is necessary to do that. We need more feminist work, sound, understanding and power in the sense of equality for all - by women, men and anyone in-between.
Could you tell me a bit about your motivation for using photography as your medium of choice?
I have always observed people, and the camera is a good way to keep on doing so while preserving these observations to formulate a stance.
‘‘We need more feminist work, sound, understanding and power in the sense of equality for all - by women, men and anyone in-between.’’
How do you focus on your artistic expression in your life? Do you practice certain rituals to keep your creative vision alive?
My brain works best when I walk, so I go for walks whenever possible, often with my dog. I listen to music, I see exhibitions and hanging out with my friends and/or seeing their work is always nice.
How would you describe your creative space in a few words?