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Peter Hoffman


Location: Lisle, Illinois.

Duration: Full-time since 2012, part-time since 2010.

Education: I earned an MA in photojournalism from Ohio University in 2009, though my primary interests are steeped in contemporary interpretations of landscape and portrait photography.

Cultural influences: The natural world and our relationship with it. I most often notice things, whether it’s something I want to photograph or an idea I want to pursue, when I’m out running. Friends, music, literature and photo books are also important inspirations.

First big break: Meeting my fiancee through an assignment for The Guardian: Weekend magazine was better than any job I could get. And being named an ADC Young Gun in 2013 was certainly a highlight.

Work environment: On location, minimal production. On assignment, I like to have honest conversations with subjects. With personal work it’s just me and my camera wandering a particular place for a particular reason, and photographing intuitively. The rest happens at a standing desk in a modest home studio.

Technique: I find that you don’t need much quantity of light to get an interesting quality of light. I’m comfortable asking someone to be still for a two-second exposure. I will light a shoot but that’s not my first choice.

Philosophy: I use photography to establish a more deep-seated connection between myself and whatever/whoever it is I photograph. You only live once and I’m doing my best not to gloss over anything, especially if it’s in my picture. When it comes to personal work, I don’t feel so much like I have to set out to make the work, I just have to let it come out of me.