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Hugh Kretschmer ( set his sights on a career in photography at the age of 13, when his father taught him how to print his very first photograph in the family darkroom. Since then, he has never looked back, receiving a BFA from Art Center College of Design, and launching his career as a photo-illustrator in the editorial and advertising arenas. His fanciful yet provocative photographs balance between art and commerce, and have brought him critical acclaim through numerous national and international awards, and have been the subject of many articles and industry blog posts, most recently in Juxtapoz and Huffington Post, Italy. His work is now represented by Fathom Gallery in Los Angeles and Fotografenwerk, Dusseldorf, while on the commercial side has garnered him a long client list that includes Old Spice, Huggies, Honda, Toyota, Kohler, Evian, New York Times Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, and Oprah Magazine. Kretschmer is currently an adjunct professor and part-time instructor at both Santa Monica College and UCLA.


LACP Interviews Hugh Kretschmer

LACP asks Hugh Kretschmer ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography

LACP: What kind of photographer are you?

Hugh Kretschmer: My photographs have been described as fanciful, curious, imaginative, unusual, or a little creepy. Some are influenced by myriad dreams and desires of what life could be like if only, while others are commentaries on the human condition, influenced by a perspective that honors and embraces the assets and deficits we all share as human beings, seasoned with a touch of quirk and irony.

LACP: How long have you been shooting?

HK: 25 years.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

HK: Art Center College of Design.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

HK: I made my first photograph at the age of 13, when my father showed me how to develop and print my first photograph in the home darkroom. I never looked back.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

HK: Never! I enjoy it too much! Photography, to me, is like the game of golf, even though I don’t play it. You are either on your game or off it, and there is rarely anything else in between. I have a love/hate relationship with my work, and like any relationship, sometimes I just need a break from it. I guess my work and I are a lot like an old married couple- can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

HK: No, because I am very happy with where I am with my art today, and that whatever might look like sacrifice to others was, to me, a necessary step to get right here, right now.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

HK: I’ve gained an array of different skills, yet most are completely unrelated to photography. My favorite tool is the X-acto knife.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

HK: Studio Lighting

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

HK: When I get to share a technique or insight with my students and can see their wide-eyed expression of pure amazement on their faces.

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

HK: I’ll share a quote I learned from Ian Summers that, gratefully, I learned very early in my career, and try my best to keep it in mind- “Shoot what you LOVE, and the money will eventually come.” It has never failed!