To you, it might just be an architectural picture, but to others it’s an artwork. Meet Kirstine Mengel, bronze winner at this year’s Le Prix de la Photographie, new member of DANISH™ and one of the photographers who makes the magic happen in her photos of the finest Danish designs.
“Light is one of the most important elements for a good photo. Sometimes you just catch the perfect ray of light and sometimes you have to wait for hours, but no matter which situation you’re in, it is essential that you’ve at least considered the light you want for your photo shoot.”
Those words belong to Kirstine Mengel, professional photographer, residing in Odense, Denmark. To her, architecture is not just an inanimate product, but a dynamic artform with a purpose. And a topic which stands very close to her heart.
“Architecture is what I’m passionate about as a photographer. Not a specific style or a specific type of building, but all types of architecture,” tells Kirstine, before she continues:
“My mother was an architectural photographer as well, so that might be the source I’ve inherited my interest from.”
Working in the Field of Simplicity
What Kirstine Mengel likes the most about working in the architectural field is the close collaboration she has with the architects. Her job is to find an aesthetic way of visualising the architect’s visions and their message within the building.
“When I initiate a collaboration with an architectural practice, I spend some time listening to their original ideas about the building. The whole process behind their design is interesting and helps me to identify what I should look for when I’m on site,” Kirstine explains.
Kirstine Mengel’s style is classic and minimalistic, with an aim to create simplicity in her photos to allow the message of the building to stand out without getting overshadowed by irrelevant distractions. But this can sometimes be hard work.
“Every now and then, I have projects which are harder to visualise than others. Not every building is picture-perfect, and it can be difficult to find the right angle, but it’s also a great challenge. For example, how do you make a terrace house or residential housing look good? You have to find those small twists and features that make it stand out,” the photographer says.
A Look Across the Border
Earlier this year, Kirstine Mengel won bronze in the international acclaimed photo competition Prix de la Photographie, Paris, with a selection of her stair photos taken in iconic buildings in Denmark. These photos were exhibited at Espace Beaurepaire in Paris in July and this new acknowledgement of her work has made Kirstine, who mainly works within Danish borders, dream of taking her photography to a new level – or at least to a new country.
“I would love to work in another environment. I’m extremely fascinated by Norway and the Norwegian landscape, for example. It is so different from what I’m used to, and it would force me to work in a new way and expand my professional horizon,” says Kirstine.
But it’s not only about expanding the professional horizon, it’s also about expanding the professional network.
“If I get the opportunity to shoot something outside of Denmark, it might also open some new doors where I can work together with international practices. That would be a bit of a dream to me,” Mengel ends.
You can see a selection of Kirstine Mengel’s work at the top.