Photographer Ken Hermann is a creative that specializes in documentary portraiture. He’s been featured many times on the site for his photos of coal miners, flower salesmen, and Hollywood Characters; but his latest project focuses on the town of Brumleby in Copenhagen.
“We will show a part of everyday life in this diverse place – to the outside world and the occupants themselves.” says Ken. “In words and pictures…[w]ith a focus on respect and diversity. We will make a present picture of everyday life in Brumleby consisting of about 20 portraits of different personalities in Brumleby and their different life. The portraits will be photographs accompanied by a portrait text and video in portrait interviews.”
All of this is in preparation for an outdoor exhibition at Brumleby’s annual vårfest in May.
Phoblographer: You’re a documentary portrait photographer that’s usually very choosy about his subjects. So what made you want to photograph the residents of Brumleby?
Ken: Actually my project Brumleby is very different in many ways, also in the way it all started. I didn’t know that much about the area before a friend of mine pitched the “idea” for me, she lives in Brumleby and thought it could be intersting to do a project on the area. I looked in to it and thought it could be fine to shoot some portraits of the people who lives there as this surely is and unique place in Copenhagen. Actually we have a lot of footage with video with interviews which we never had the time to finish!
Phoblographer: When you approached this project, how did you think about the logistics? What about convincing folks to be a part of it and explaining your creative vision to them?
Ken: This was the easy part because I had a really good “insider”, my friend who lives there has been taking care of all that! Its has been really nice for ones just to focus on the creative side and not at all on the logistics.
Phoblographer: It seems like each portrait is telling a story of some sort. Are they? Are these stories specific to the people in the images?
Ken: Yes all the image are telling a story, it was important for us. The is also one of the reason all the portrait is shot with a lot of surrounds to show a part of there life and what its to live in Brumleby. Like Kim (guy standing in garden with dog) he is standing with is dog and the dog is wearing a mask because is ones eat in Brumleby – everybody knows this story in Brumleby so we had to shot him with his dog, the dog is a big part of Kim’s life and is never seen without it!
Phoblographer: Coordinating the shoot time for this project must have been difficult. Would you say that that was one of the biggest challenges?
Ken: I think the biggest challenges was setting up all the light, I want all the images to have this special and almost surreal feel to them which requires a lot of light and testing.