Photography in focus: Gabriel Hill

17. June 2021

Danish acting newcomer Sandra Guldberg Kampp is the face of this year's ZFF campaign. She was photographed by Gabriel Hill from Basel during her visit to the last ZFF, where she presented her film WILDLAND. The photographer reveals to us in a short interview why the first minutes at a shoot are the most important and how the ZFF has opened  doors for his career.

ZFF poster 2021 with Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Photo: Gabriel Hill)

ZFF poster 2021 with Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Photo: Gabriel Hill)

Who do we see in the photo and when was it taken?

The portrait shows the Danish actress Sandra Guldberg Kampp and it was taken in 2020 in a large suite of the Hotel Schweizerhof. We built several sets and had to convert half the suite to make room for everything. Sandra is a complete professional in front of the camera and the shoot was great fun.

What is your secret tip for capturing a successful portrait image?

I am always very well prepared so that my subject only has to stand in front of the camera and off I go. As a rule, the "shot" should be taken in two or three minutes and if I don't manage it by then, it usually doesn't get any better with much more time. Often there are numerous people on set like assistants, art directors, hair & make up artists and sometimes the PR people. Everyone is there just for this shoot and the energy in the room is very high the moment it starts. I try to capture this energy very quickly with my camera and often it results in extraordinary shots. But the energy also levels off again very quickly, so the first few minutes are crucial for a successful portrait.

What significance did the ZFF have for your career?

The ZFF is always my highlight of the year and even in my early days as a photographer I dreamed of being able to do portraits at the ZFF one day. You come into contact with people you wouldn't meet anywhere else and every shoot is different and brings new challenges. The ZFF is very important for my career, because new jobs and contacts often come about through the festival, which then take me a step further. Besides, it's only at ZFF that you run into Johnny Depp or spend an hour with a superstar like Shania Twain. Of course, these are memories that you never forget and are much more exciting for me than my professional progress.

Gabriel Hill, Photo: Lukas Stadelmann

(Gabriel Hill, Foto: Lukas Stadelmann |

Gabriel Hill - Fotografie


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