Leander Varekamp bought his first digital camera at the tender age of 17 and built his own darkroom. He took a short course and taught himself everything about photography, developing and printing. In 2016 Leander graduated from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. His motivation for photography is fueled by his fascination with people and objects. The camera opens doors that would otherwise remain closed. He makes contact with someone or something that he might otherwise have no contact with. Mysterious and poetic or direct and confrontational are the ingredients of his work.
For Leander photography is surprise and wonder. He uses the camera as an interview tool, searching for the inner personality of the people he portrays. His approach is often simple and he uses few resources. Leander looks for the facial expressions and body posture that best reflect our encounter. “As a photographer, I look at the context in which I want to make the portrait, a context that will strengthen the shot. I’m looking at what emotions I can reflect. A portrait is so much more than a photo of a human being. A compelling portrait tells a story; a story about the subject and also a story about the photographer. For me, making a portrait is the result of my research, the conversation between myself and the subject, the environment around us, and our connection.”