Interview with: Bernd Frikke

Bernd Frikke is a photographer based in Germany whose photography is infused with a palpable sense of intimacy whether it be images of friends, places or found objects…


Tell us a bit about yourself; how did you first get started in photography?
My name is Bernd Frikke, I’m 33 years old and I live in Emden, which is a small city in the north-west of Germany near to the North Sea coast and the Dutch border.
I first got started with film photography nearly four years ago now; digital photography never had an impact on me but, a few years ago, while I was still playing in a band, we had a portrait shoot done with a fantastic photographer from Munich called Gerald von Foris. He brought his Hasselblad and a bunch of films; I instantly knew that this was something different compared to the fast workflow of many digital photographers and I got curious. I bought my first film camera a little later and started to see my surroundings in a whole new way. Back then, it was a Seagull 4a, a TLR similar to the Rolleiflex. About one year later, I knew that this ‘hobby’ would last and so I bought myself a Hasselblad 500 c/m and it all became more intense.

Your folio has a real mix of portraits, landscapes and other captured moments; how would you define your photographic style?
Yes, you’re right. I guess everyone who takes a closer look at my portfolio can see that I take pictures of nearly everything! Sometimes it’s things that look sad (like lost places or broken toys) and sometimes I want to capture moments for myself (like when I’m on vacation or in a country or city I’ve never been before). When it comes to portraits, one could say that I don’t have a clear concept because they all look so different; that’s because I always have various ideas for the different kinds of people I work with. I do portraits for bands and musicians, I do single portraits and I have also tried some home-story / sensual nude kind of stuff lately. I like the idea of these intimate and undisguised settings when it’s only about honest emotions and poses. I always try to capture the person in the surroundings they’re in and catch authentic moments.

You are a big fan of film and Polaroid photography; what is it about these formats that you prefer over digital?
To be honest, it’s very easy to tell you about Polaroid because I do it for fun. They don’t have to be perfect and are just a quick capture of what happens in that moment – and it’s also a nice souvenir for the photographed person(s). Film I prefer over digital because I think its more sincere but, to be honest I scan the negatives and do just little edits like light correction or contrast levels. I think the real reason for me to stick to film photography is that I started with it in the first place. If I were to buy myself a digital camera, I’d take hundreds and thousands of photos with only 5 or 6 really good ones maybe; I think I can get the same number out of a single roll of film.

What is next for you? Are you working on any projects that you can tell us about?
That’s a good question! I don’t know 😀 There is a bit in the waiting line, like artist portraits for a musician friend of mine and some loose appointments with gorgeous girls but you never really know if it will work out. There a few ideas for photo projects too but I don’t like to talk about rough ideas. Another idea is to release a small photobook within the next couple of years but, for now, I don’t have a clue what I could show in there or who’d be interested in seeing it. We’ll see…

See more of Bernd’s work at:

Website / Instagram / Facebook

All images copyright Bernd Frikke.