New Dutch Photography Talent, simply known as “New,” is an initiative by GUP Magazine. The annual catalogue showcases the 100 most promising upcoming photographers from, or based in, The Netherlands. “New” is a hardcover publication that features a hundred fresh eyes (and views) which makes for an awe-inspiring collection.
A prime example of an upcoming and hardworking talent is Carla Kogelman (1961, Raalte) whose work evokes that of the American artist Sally Mann. A selection of her black and white children’s portraits was featured in “New 2013” and presented with a World Press Photo award in 2014. She was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards and recently received a grant from the International Festival Photoreporter in the Baie of Saint Brieuc that will give her the opportunity to document the Xhosa generation in South Africa. Considering her previous successes, we were curious to hear how more about how her career has progressed and decided to catch up with the Dutch photographer.
Carla’s career began long before she encountered photography: “I have tasted numerous fields of work, ranging from being a group leader for children, working as a cook, to setting up my own theatre agency. The latter helped me identify my interest in imagery. As a theatre agency we were continuously on the road and I documented the countries, people and shows we encountered. At the time I did not understand the technical side, but I could tell that the compositions I created made sense. It was personal and telling. Photography started to intrigue me.” Her life was changing and she needed a new adventure, something to reinvigorate her life. “I signed up for six photography classes at the Amsterdam Photo Academy, and suddenly I was hooked. I instantly applied for the full-time course and have not looked back since.”
Initially Carla explored the theatrical world which still held a special place in her heart. But soon, she transitioned to the world of children’s portraiture. Although children are often seen as taboo within the photography industry, Carla’s work portrays them in an honest yet winsome light that is instantly recognizable. “The work I produce has to be engaging, I don’t want it to be just a pretty picture or something shot by paparazzi. No, it has to be subtly invasive, personal and telling.” Carla developed her signature style over time, using her spell at the Photo Academy to explore and hone her skills. Following her 2011 graduation, Carla Kogelman has not stood still. Her numerous accomplishments include first prize in the category “Observed Portrait Stories” of the World Press Photo 2014.
“You should not be afraid to submit your work because the likelihood that you will plummet is the same as the chance to rise: 50/50. The only way to move forward and succeed is by investing time, money and energy. ‘New 2013’ helped get my name out in the open, suddenly I was part of a hardcover publication that had been distributed worldwide. That is not something I could have achieved on my own. Unlike the daily newspaper that ends up in the bin, these books are timeless and remain on bookshelves and coffee tables for years. The only way to gain exposure is by ensuring your name and images are repeatedly showcased. Social media also plays an important role because it allows you to create a fan base.”
“In the future I hope to explore the boundaries of imagery, or at least mediate the ability to. The Dutch are known for their visual skills, but it seems that young contemporary talents are further morphing different media to differentiate themselves and I am curious to see what this will bring.”
New Dutch Photography Talent salutes her view on the future of photography and is honoured to present yet another group of photographers who are transcending the boundaries, not just by combining realities, but by making what seemed impossible, possible. “New” presents the next generation of creative individuals who we hope will grow and become as successful as Carla Kogelman.
May Putman Cramer
Managing Editor of New Dutch Photography Talent
New Dutch Photography Talent is an initiative from GUP magazine, an authoritative international publication on photography.