Interview with Patrick Dreuning


Winner of UPR Rotterdam 2017

As we count the days to both our very anticipated events, we take the time to look back at some of the previous editions and showcase our past winners. We hope that this inspires you to get out there in full competitive mode.

Our guest today is Patrick Dreuning, the winner of our very first Rotterdam 2017 edition. He is no stranger to winning awards and we wanted to know how did it feel to win an UPR.

Theme 1 - Heartbeat of construction

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Patrick Dreuning. I am 26 years old, based in Maastricht I have graduated in 2017 from the fotovakschool in Venlo. My three passions in life are skateboarding, photography and my two cats.

What is your relationship with photography and for how long have you been doing it?
I have always seen myself as a creative person. A few years ago I started as a grafitti artist but I found out that it was more satisfying to tell the stories of the artists than to participate in the actual painting process. I see myself as a street photographer, and throughout the years I have developed a style which represents the way I see a street or the people in a certain city. I love the raw image, the dirty alleys and strong compositions.

Theme 2 - "Niet lullen maar poetsen" - Make it happen

How would you describe your photography style?
My work is mainly characterized by strong black and white contrasts, they are almost all street scenes that each stand apart but together they form series with beautiful lines and a lot of contrast.

Who serves you as inspiration? What other photographer's work you admire?
Alan Schaller, I get the most inspiration from his photographs. Hard contrasts, peaceful images and a harmonious collaboration with architecture, people and street. I am also very interested in Henri Cartier-Bresson and Gregory Crewdson. Although I get a lot of inspiration from them, I try to improve myself and give my own signature to my photos.

Gear wise… what do you carry on your bag?
Nikon D600 and a Fujifilm X100S, but most of the time a use my Nikon with a prime lens, 50mm F1.8 and 85mm F1.8

Do you participate frequently in photo competitions? Do you think that helps you to keep a fresh eye on photography?
Yes, I try to participate in as many photo competitions as possible. I think this helps me to stay focused and because of these competitions I keep pushing myself to come with new creative ideas. It also helps a lot with extra name recognition.

Theme 5 - Harbor

Was the UPR challenging enough? Did it serve to trigger you in any new way of doing photography? Was it motivating?
It was a very interesting way of photography, the themes where so versatile that in my opinion everyone could find a way to make a good shot one way or another. Because of getting new themes at every checkpoint made it a whole new experience of doing photography, I am always used to take my time and look carefully about what I want to photograph. In the UPR you have to think and select fast which made it a unique experience.

What would be your one advice to the next group of UPR participants?
Don’t overthink it to much. If you get a theme just shoot, try to surprise yourself even with shots you think are worthless, some photo’s work better in series. Don’t focus to hard on a certain theme, if the theme doesn’t work for you go to the next. At the end of the day you’ll have enough photo’s to choose from. And don’t forget to bring an extra battery.


You can check out the rest of his winning photos and visit his website on the links below.

Luis Monteirointerview