Equipped with her Pentax 6×7 (medium format negatives), Berber Theunissen is a Dutch photographer who shoots portraits, still life and landscapes. She captures the situations she has a little grasp of, and through photography, Berber creates her own hold to view her life more objectively.
How did the idea for the series come about?
I didn’t really planned anything, it just happened. In 2014, I’d started focusing my camera on all things affecting me personally. On all the things that I love, but also on things that make me vulnerable. I documented moments, feelings and memories in which these intense emotional situations were present or were revolving around me. Although something strange happened whilst making this series. That summer I realized I was not only photographing the things that affect me, but that I was also still searching for what affects me, what makes me vulnerable, the things that make me happy. I started to ask myself this question: how do I achieve the highest state of happiness? Is it possible to create a personal Utopia? So instead of simply registering, this project became more and more like a quest. A search for my own ultimate satisfaction.
What inspires you?
Mostly nature. That’s also the reason why I moved, after eight years in Amsterdam, to the Dutch countryside 18 months ago. Before I was surrounded by people, now I’m surrounded by trees.
How would you define beauty?
Ai, that’s a difficult one. I think it’s about honesty and purity, or something like that …
Film or digital?
Film! Definitely film, I shoot almost everything with my Pentax 6×7, medium format negatives. Sometimes I use 35mm film too, like a Yashica T4 or a Canon AE-1.
What’s next for you?
I hope to continue developing. I hope to find more depth in my personal work but also hope to find ways to bring that depth across to the viewer.
photography: berber theunissen