One of our missions at Behind the Frame is to make the work of photographers approachable and personal. We believe photography is a democratic and accessible medium—why obscure its meaning rather than bring the viewer closer?
To this end, we will be publishing interviews with each of the 20 photographers whose work will be available for purchase in our inaugural sale "Always a Beginner." Get to know these impassioned image-makers a little better!
For our second interview, we sit down with decorated German photojournalist Sandra Hoyn. With awards from Magnum, World Press Photo, Sony and many other reputable institutions, Hoyn's work has touched people around the world. Mixing a strong sense of storytelling with a great eye for composition and drama, Hoyn tells us more about what drew her to photography in the first place...
BtF: How did you begin your work in photography? Was there a "decisive moment" when you knew it was a special medium for you, when you felt truly committed to it?
SH: When I first arrived at university, I was studying art. But then I changed to photography because I saw how it was a more engaging way to live in the world. With my camera in hand, I love travelling, getting to know vastly different kinds of people and discovering the wide world.
For me, photography is my tool to inform others what is happening out there. In Bangladeshi brothels, Indonesian rainforests, Burmese punk shows...I believe photographs have the power to change the people who view them. I have achieved my goal if the viewers who see my work are emotionally touched and start discussing the topic I have shown them.
BtF: Who or what serve as your essential inspirations for photographing?
SH: The people I meet on my journeys and particularly the people I photograph inspire me and push me to continue my work.
BtF: Can you share a humbling moment that happened to you recently with regards to your photography? A moment when you realized, like all of us, that there's always much more to learn?
SH: Yes, there have been many such moments for me! To be honest, on the technical side, I am quite chaotic sometimes. Perhaps my worst moment in this area was one time when I made a photo, but forget to change the ISO. I ended up taking a great picture but in a bright sunlight with an ISO of 12,800. I felt ashamed and was very bothered to have missed my shot because of this. But like you said, we're always learning.
—Sandra Hoyn, interviewed by Behind the Frame
Editor's note: Hoyn's work will be for sale in our inaugural themed sale, "Always a Beginner," running until February 14, 2017. Discover over 70 images now!