Who are you? 

I am a freelance photographer based in Guangdong, China.

What was the trigger or inspiration that led to your taking up photography? 

I started to take photos of things such as landscapes, macros and portraits back in 2009. But then I came to realize that the most important subject for me was people's livelihoods and reminiscence, so I began to concentrate on documentary photography starting from 2014 up to today.

What do you hope to communicate or describe with your work? 

I love the people of my country, and I would like to record the rapid development of China from my own point of view. 

Has your relationship with photography changed over time, and if so, how? 

I regard documentary photography as my second life; it always surprises me, and I feel that this love will last for the rest of my life.

Select a few of your photos and talk about how they came to be and how they reflect your working methods. 

This one was taken one afternoon in a church. The cute little girl was happy to show me every corner of the church; she was familiar with the church because she lived nearby. Suddenly she jumped up and danced on the ping-pong table, and I captured a moment in which she paused and stroked her hair; it looks like she is waving to the statue; it was a beautiful, pure moment that I could never forget.

This scene occurred during a celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Hearing the terrifying sound of firecrackers, the grandfathers tried to protect their grandchildren, holding them tightly. I found love at that moment, so I took the shot.




Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a 38-year-old German who has been living with his wife and two boys in Hong Kong for the past six years. 

What was the trigger or inspiration that led to your taking up photography?
Actually, I always enjoyed taking pictures and was also surrounded by photographers, but somehow it never brushed off on me. When I moved to Hong Kong with my wife, I didn’t know a lot of people yet, so I went out with the camera to explore the city, and I just never stopped. 

How does your photography reflect your personality/state of mind?
That is a very difficult question to answer, since I always in a different frame of mind each time I go out to shoot. There are times when I go out and don’t see anything; my mind is spinning around everything else, and I can’t see a single image. The photos I have chosen are mostly from times when I actually don’t remember the walk or how I ended up in that situation…Those are always the walks when I am shooting the most, when I actually see images. So I don’t think that photography really reflects my personality or my state of mind, but that, at these moments, when you see an image, your photography perhaps becomes a natural instinct in which you just get absorbed by your surroundings.

Has your relationship with photography changed over time, and if so, how?
In the last few years, I’ve become more selective about when to press the shutter. I stopped being as trigger-happy and have started to look more and more for what I consider interesting. At the beginning, I was shooting so much, I shot everything. I’ve become more selective with the photos I take as well as the work I look at. 

Please select five of your photos and talk about they came to be and how they reflect your working method

 I enjoy going out and shoot what I find interesting. All of the images below feel like they were taken on the go. I enjoy it when I can freeze a subject in a fleeting, quick moment. I enjoy it when people are moving around and are not static, when the final photo can develop in a moment and be gone the next.


Julie Hrudová talks to Burn My Eye

Who are you?

Julie. I grew up in Prague, Czech Republic, and moved to The Netherlands with my parents when I was 10. Now I live in Amsterdam, I work as a photographer and a photo editor for a TV station.

What was the trigger, or inspiration, that led to your taking up photography?

A digital camera on the mobile phone when I was a teenager. I was taking a lot of photos, snapshots of friends / family, and on the streets. Also I was given a book about black and white street photography in Paris and looking back it inspired me to photograph more in public space. 

What do you hope to communicate or describe with your work?

For me an image doesn’t have to clarify anything. I like to obscure things a little. When people ask me how my images came into being I’m hesitant to explain it because it could ruin the fun. Other times I see something and I capture it like it is or like I see it.

Has your relationship with photography changed over time, and if so how?

I don’t think it has changed. It has always been a method to memorise and capture moments. Seeing work from other photographers, it’s easier to recognise patterns and styles and to view my work in perspective. Photography is a mindset as well. Most photographers probably never stop to observe. I make my favourite images on vacations when I’m not ‘obliged’ to photograph. Moreover, I choose not to be a full-time photographer because I was afraid I would dislike something I love when it would become an obligation.

You curate StreetRepeat on Instagram. Tell us a little about it and how this came about. 

StreetRepeat is an Instagram account I started in January. I feature three photos each time, by different photographers, with one mutual theme. This can be a visual similarity like ‘a red balloon instead of the head’, but also a thematic one like ‘a zombie in a lunch room’.

Street photography has been developing for a long time and it has become more popular in the last couple of years. It’s logical that photographers inspire and imitate each other, especially with the constant stream of images on platforms like Instagram. There are several visual tricks I often come across, but it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. And being photographers, we tend to like similar things that stand out in the public space. The key is to capture it in your own way and sometimes even that can be compared to something already made.

Has identifying similarity in street changed your views on street photography in general or how you approach and edit your own work?

Interesting question. Maybe a bit. I can spot some visual tricks in my photography as well and I’m sure I was inspired by images I’ve seen earlier. Other times I thought I’ve made something ‘original' and now, having found 5 similar photos, I know I haven’t. That’s the thing with the unconscious mind: seeing so much, we forget what we've seen earlier. So yes, I became slightly more hesitant and I often let go of a situation that would make another image of that kind. On the other hand it’s inevitable to make something that has already been made so it’s pointless to restrict ourselves too much.

Select a few of your photos and talk about how they came to be and how they reflect your working methods.

This is a selection of images that, I think, represents what I’m trying to do with photography. A bit of humour, a bit of obscurity and an animal here and there. People often ask questions: Where does the hand come from? What happened with her face? Did the dog and the couple manage to stay upright? Unclarity excites me and I hope to turn it into a more coherent theme in my work in the future. 

If you like what you saw and want to view more photos of Julie go and follow her Instagram.