Hanke’s Photos

Timeless—and always atmospherically lit—photos of people who are happy, enjoying daily life, having fun outdoors and spending time with each other. These are the kind of photos that Hanke Arkenbout (31) takes. And you can see some of them in Flow issue 19. Here’s a short interview with the photographer.

How long have you been taking photos?
I started four years ago. I was actually a graphic designer, but spending every day at the office did nothing for me. It was time for something new, and I was always busy with photography so I decided to follow my dream. I packed in my job and started my own business. In my work, I focus mainly on people and the connection that they have with each other. For example, I photograph groups of friends and families, but I do weddings as well.

How would you describe the atmosphere in your photos?
Ultimately, I’m trying to create a timeless image. Something that will still appeal in twenty years. Of course, things like clothing aren’t timeless, but I always try to choose, for example, a neutral background. I avoid trash cans and road signs. And I’m always on the lookout for love. That sounds very cheesy, but I mean the casual togetherness that you enjoy when living a good life.

What, for you, is a good photo?
If it portrays a good sense of life. If it’s an image that makes you happy. And I can often tell straight away. I work in analog and have really trained myself well in this. I can’t shoot endlessly, like with digital photography. I pay great attention to the light and composition, and I wait for the perfect moment.

Are you doing anything nice this summer?
Yes, I’m getting married! It’ going to be a camping wedding in the Ardennes, with sixty people, delicious food and a cosy party.

Hanke and her fiancée