Photographer Spotlight: Heins Evander

For photographer Heins Evander, his creative practice began as a coping mechanism. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, when Evander was six years old, he and his mother moved to the United States to pursue a new life. What followed was eight years of transition—moving from town to town, staying in motels and apartments, and many different schools. At fourteen, Evander left home and entered the California foster care system, where he bounced from family to family, new home to new home, and was often consumed by heavy feelings of hopelessness. He found respite in movies, daydreams, and hours spent gazing out the bus window while listening to music on his iPod, explaining: “It was in those daydreams and films, in the landscapes I saw while gazing out the bus window, deep in the album covers shuffling through my iPod screen, that I first discovered my love for the visual medium.” 

Now based in Brooklyn, New York, that sense of nostalgic daydreaming still permeates Evander’s work. “I do my best to portray the folks I photograph as honestly as I can, while simultaneously trying to create a sort of soft, cozy world around them,” he says. “I aim to catch people in those moments between moments, those fleeting bits of soul that shine through and make you smile, or break your heart, or make you fall in love. In that sense, I think the very best portraits are the most collaborative, the most vulnerable of moments when the guard is let down and the shutter is pressed. At the end of the day, it all stems from daydreams. When you look at a photograph and create a narrative, a character out of the portrait, you’re daydreaming. With the photographs I make, I wish to provide a brief respite from the trials and tribulations of the world and facilitate the whimsical daydreams we all wish to be living in our heads, much like the ones I found refuge in during my childhood.”

See more from Heins Evander below!

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