Paula Hummer | Alluring and captivating photography

Interview D. Foertig
puplished on
October 8, 2021
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Paula Hummer | Photo courtesy Paula Hummer

Who is Paula Hummer?

Paula Hummer is a contemporary photographer from Vienna, Austria. Paula has been part of our close circle since she was a wee toddler. 

We have watched her bloom into an amazing artist and are very proud to present her seductive photography on the munchies art club platform.

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Julia out of the shower | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Her alluring and captivating photography chronicle her life and her friends. 

She takes what is already there, repositioning, directing and involving her subjects, creating genuinely intimate pictures, like short intense insights into their world. 

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Alba in the buzz of one o’clockJulia out of the shower | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Her pictures make us feel like voyeurs, wanting to turn ones gaze away so as not to disturb this moment of intimacy,  yet at the same time not being able to pull ones eyes away. 

Paula Hummer is a student of the arts.

Her love and passion are concentrated on photography. 

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On the hunt in Venice | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Having grown up in a family and so many of her close friends moving in different spheres of the arts world, her life was filled with a surplus of inspiration and a very supportive surrounding. 

She always knew that the arts would be the main force in her life, and it did not take her very long to find her true passion in photography.

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Julia out of the shower | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass


When and how did you realize that you are an artist?

I don't think i can remember a specific time when i realized it, but i vividly remember when i stopped painting and started to take pictures.

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Alba in the shower | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass
I was about 14 years old sitting in the kitchen and desperately trying to finish a painting of a really ugly nature- realistic cat when my father walked in and I think out of a joke said: „why don't you just take a picture?" At first i thought it was an easy way out but then i realized that working with what is already surrounding me, is way more intriguing. 

Since that moment i would say i am a photographer and i haven't painted since.

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At 7 in Cafe Concerto | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Who are your favorite artists? 

I adore Philip-Lorca di Corcia and Gregory Crewdson they both have this fascinating way of making you want to know the story behind the images, but every picture is staged, which when i first came across them blew my mind, Bernard Faucon and of course Nan Goldin and her brutally beautiful brutal images which also to this day i cant get enough of.

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Alba Venus of chaos | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Where do you create?

Everywhere i have my camera and then hours in the dark room.

Giving credit to the subjects being photographed is very important to me. I want them to be in power, and not feel used or exploited in any way.
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New Years Eve | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

What is your creative process? 

My pictures have a big documenting component but its not really documentation. 

The frame of the situation is always present but i am influencing the image by optimizing what is already there. 

I reposition, I give direction and try to guide the subjects by telling them what to do. 

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Bathroom mirror | 2019 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Not only to achieve a „good" picture but also the factor of letting the subjects play an active role in how they are portrayed gives them power and more importantly confidence.

This confidence is key to capturing an authentic image of intimacy.

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Ferdinand Raimunds muse and Philip | 2018 | Photography 29 x 40 cm | Framed behind glass

Did the environment you grew up in have an influence on your work? 

I would say very much influence, i grew up in Vienna and often went to the museums with my father. 

He used to explain to me all the things i didn't understand and especially why people thought it is art or why people thought it wasn't.

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Paula Hummer at work

I also went to a high school which had a strong focus on art and an amazing teacher who always encouraged me to continue. 

From there on in 2015 i went to the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and even though i knew i liked photography i decided to study graphic design, why i still don't really understand. 

But after 2 years i had enough and went on an exchange semester to Hamburg and studied at HFBK where i could sneak my way into the photography class.

After prolonging another semester in 2017 i decided not to go back to Vienna but to say in Hamburg and do what i actually always wanted to do which is taking Pictures.

A big thank you to Paula for sharing with us her beautiful photography and her story!