How I got here: Nadav Kander

Existential questions have always informed Nadav Kander’s work. By abandoning himself to the unknown, he has mastered his own creative language. We talk to him about his work

Nadav Kander is renowned for creating exquisite photography that transcends the boundaries of fine art, portraiture and advertising, while maintaining his distinctive style throughout. In April, he picked up the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

Below, we talk to Kander about his life in photography, including his love of cameras, why putting your subjects at ease isn’t what a photographer should be striving for in portraiture, and what it was like to photograph Donald Trump.

On winning awards It’s a good feeling to get this award [Outstanding Contribution to Photography] because it hints that I’ve had an effect, and that I’ve been inspiring. Just before I go to my grave, if there is anything that I would like to have done, I think it would be to inspire. I’m very harsh on myself and I find receiving compliments often hard to hear, but I do feel quite proud. And also [considering] the other recipients of this award – from Candida Höfer to Martin Parr – I’m in proud company.

Eddie Redmayne (Forest), 2016