Heritage, design, and innovation- key elements that intertwine two legacy brands together. Dominik Hildebrandt of Porsche AG switches gear from sharing the history of his storied brand to explaining the inspiration that drives his visual creativity with photography made with his Leica Q.
1. What camera and equipment do you use?
In the last two years, the Leica Q has become my go-to camera. Due to its small size, it is always with me. What I like most is the simple but still very precise handling of the camera, which I could probably operate blindfolded. The 28 mm wide-aperture lens is essential for the style of my photos, all in all, the Leica Q is the best camera system for me.
2. How would you describe your photography?
I am interested in capturing authentic moments that reflect reality and yet I want to bring my understanding of aesthetics into the photos. Most of the images are simplistic, and I stick to the rules of symmetry whenever possible.
3. When did you first become interested in photography as a mode of expression and an art form?
As a young teenager with my first own DSLR camera, I went on tour to take pictures all the time and at one point, I realized that there is much more than just taking snapshots. I have always been fascinated by the work of Newton and Lindbergh, they changed my view of photography, which was still very ordinary at that time.
4. Did you have any formal education in photography, with a mentor, or were you self-taught?
As a trained printer, I have worked in the graphic arts industry, but I have not had any explicit training in the field of photography. In fact, after a few years, I developed my own style and I’m firmly convinced that everything in life becomes good if you approach things with full passion and, above all, always show the will to learn. The work of Helmut Newton and Peter Lindbergh has fascinated and influenced me a lot, even if my photos have little to do with their style.
5. What genre are your photos?
My work can best be classified as street photography. The Leica Q offers all the tools to work perfectly on the streets. Be it the fast autofocus with face recognition or the series image function. For photography on the streets, often from the hip, I could not imagine a better camera. The quality of the RAW files leaves nothing to be desired.
6. How did you first become interested in Leica?
Leica has always been a familiar brand to me, interestingly long before I really knew what makes a Leica camera different from other cameras. I think the strong branding, the red logo on the camera, and the people who owned the camera made an impression on me. When I became more involved with photography, there was no way around Leica, today I am very proud to be part of this community.
7. What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?
I am not a fan of posed motifs and if possible, I skip working with a flashlight. The special thing about photography is that you are able to capture something that in the next moment is already in the past and cannot be reproduced. If I think about it, I would almost say photography is a real form of time traveling. Emotions can be triggered, shared moments suddenly become completely real again, even after decades, by looking at photos. This is my motivation behind photography – creating something that stays for eternity.
About Dominik Hildebrandt
Dominik Hildebrandt (age 29) born and raised near Stuttgart, Germany. He is a trained sheet-fed offset printer specialized in high-end packaging and graduate of the Stuttgart Media University. In the Graphic Arts Technology degree program, he was able to deepen his knowledge while at the same time gaining insights into the world of Marketing and Branding. After a few years of self-employment during his studies with a small creative agency, Dominik started working at the global HQ of Porsche AG where he still works today (Brand Management). To learn more about Dominik, visit his website, or follow him on Instagram at @d0hil.
View more of Dominik’s work