Wedding CATEGORY WINNER

Victor Hamke

Born in 1987, Victor Hamke lives in Leipzig, Germany working as a full-time wedding photographer together with his partner in life and crime, Ronja Joy Waßmuth.

Self-portrait, 2018
© Victor Hamke

What got you interested in photography in the first place?
I have always found pleasure in beautiful aesthetics. During my studies, I saved up money for eye surgery to get rid of my bad eyesight. After much contemplation, I decided against it. Instead I wanted to use the money for something that would enable me to create. This was when I bought my first camera. And there the journey began. I now work as a full-time wedding photographer with Ronja Joy Waßmuth, my partner in life and crime, as Muse & Mirror. We exclusively work as a team.

What do you try to achieve through your photographic work?
We strive to create photographic work that emotionally touches people. Being wedding photographers, it is likely that the most impactful pictures are the ones that treasure human connection in a special way. It can be a photograph of a grandmother who has tears in her eyes witnessing her granddaughter’s wedding or a poetic, painting-esque piece that captures how two people feel for each other. Meaning and purpose is our drive and creating an unforgettable emotional experience is our priority.

Being wedding photographers, we create impactful pictures that treasure human connection in a special way.

What inspires you/your work?
Our work is inspired by our understanding of love and connection – that moment of feeling deeply touched, being one. We gather inspiration through music, for example classical artists including Olafur Arnalds, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Nils Frahm. Often times, this is the music playing in the background while we edit our photographs. Visual inspiration doesn’t come from a particular place. The things we enjoy looking at – from cinema to paintings – bring out certain aesthetics that we believe were already ingrained in us from the start. 

What is your Masters series about?
A wedding photographer normally tells the story of a wedding couple, of their togetherness, of friendships, tragedies and a connection of souls. We wanted to take this story and give it an additional artistic layer with surrealism and a unique process which integrates the uncontrollable nature of a tangible picture. My goal was to achieve wedding photos with a twist. Photography is not just about technical perfection, but also about an element of mystery and intrigue. For a while, I had a vision to do a multi-layered process for a series and I realized that this would fit perfectly for the Hasselblad Masters book. After taking the photographs with the Hasselblad, we did all the digital editing, manipulation, retouching and detailing. Normally this is the final step already, but we wanted to take it further. We printed the photographs on Japanese Awagami Unryu paper and then digitalized the pictures again with the Hasselblad.

How was your experience using a Hasselblad medium format camera for carrying out your project?
First and foremost, the Hasselblad X1D-50c delivers image quality that I had never seen before. The transitions between light and shadow have a smoothness and a kind of delicate character. Although it demands a slower and much more considerate way of working, it is so worth it. In our particular case, there were two stages of photographing. First, photographing the motif itself and then digitalizing the Unryu paper with the X1D. The reproduction capabilities and the razor-sharp lenses really enabled us to have an excellent experience with such a complex project.

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HASSELBLAD MASTERS 2018