Growing up, Hilde Van Mas was no stranger to the expression of movement. A former ballet performer, Mas found inspiration through a different craft by transforming her passion for motion into capturing moments with photography. What connected both hobbies for her you may ask? It was “the gradual development of movement,” Mas said. Having worked with brands such as Dolce and Gabbana and Hermès, Mas has established quite a presence in the photography industry with even more collaborations on the way.

Learn more about the 2018 Photographer of The Year’s very artistic world in this exclusive interview with Mess Magazine.

@Hildevanmas

What inspired you to get into photography?

The intense desire to capture a millisecond of a soul or a feeling of a moment.

Whose work has influenced you most?

Federico Fellini, Glenn Gould, Egon Schiele. Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Peter Lindbergh and Helmut Newton from the photographic point of view.

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

I am very strict to myself and my work, I am pushed by the fascination of `doing things better and better.’ Below the line, I would definitely choose some of my artistic nude photography or portraits I took of actors/artists/ muses I have the honor to work with.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

By being very risk-loving, having the fundamental philosophy of pushing the border to a new limit every time I shoot and being curious. Curiosity for the new is a very dominant stimulus for my work. 

How did ballet inspire your love for photography?

The gradual development of a movement and non-verbal transport of a feeling are always a big inspiration for my work.

@Hildevanmas

How is it working with brands such as Hermes and Dolce?

I feel humbled and honored when brands such as named give trust to my photographic handwriting. 

How was it winning Photographer of The Year 2018?

Honestly said it was a surprise for me. The market is very tight and there are plenty of talented `eyes` …being honored with an award is a very big compliment to my passionate work.

Any upcoming projects and collaborations we can look out for?

A very big project is my personal work on a nude-photography project I am planning to finish by the end of next year. Another, probably life-changing, project is my planned move to Berlin / Paris in the upcoming year. 

What is your artistic workflow and how do ideas for photoshoots come to you?

Inspiration is everywhere and constantly surrounding us. I get inspired by old film noir movies, art, cultures, and people I love. My strongest inspirations come from the moment itself and from my dreams. I often wake up in the night with a precise, cinematic mood for a shoot.

What is one brand you’d like to work with? 

Very, very difficult to answer… I see numerous fascinating facets in many brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Dior… the brand list would be neverending.

@Hildevanmas

How do you think photography and art make you who you are?

Having spent my whole youth on stage as a ballet dancer myself I have a very strong bonding, trust, and belief in any artistic discipline.

Will you ever make your way back to ballet?

Yes, as a theatergoer! 😉 

Any advice for aspiring professional photographers? 

Three words: Obsession, curiosity, and honesty. Or maybe also as a quote by the German novelist Franz Kafka: `Follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.`

@Hildevanmas

Click here to learn more about Hilde Van Mas’s work and don’t forget to check out her Instagram account, @hildevanmas for a peek into her stunning projects.