Alumni Spotlight: Hugh Kretschmer

Hugh Kretschmer has been a successful commercial photographer for more than 25 years, but he just recently ventured into the fine-art aspect of the medium.  

During the Fall 2018 Art of Freelance, Kretschmer began work on "Mirage,” a visual commentary on the effects of climate change on our natural water systems.

It’s a project that is ongoing and one that Kretschmer plans to continue in the Spring 2019 AoF course.

We recently talked him to him about his work and his future visions for “Mirage.”

Why is this project so important to you?

Its message is double edged, in a way. On one hand it brings water back to where it once flowed or was in its purist form, while on the other hand it’s a preview of a dystopian future where we may only be able to experience its beauty and vitality by artificial means, like a museum diorama.

It is the first time in my long career where I feel like my work has a larger purpose and is targeted towards a greater cause.

What do the future plans for “Mirage” look like?

My objective for this project is to eventually benefit a non-profit organization dedicated to to water conservation through gallery exhibitions and sales, and a coffee table book.

Future excursions are at their infancy and I hope to be able to tell this story in a broader sense to include other parts of the world.

How did the Art of Freelance course help you accomplish your goals?

My biggest issue I have when it comes to my personal work is being accountable to myself. I will happily help others with their projects and leave my own to collect dust and not get completed.  

Art of Freelance provided a safe and supportive place for me to make my dreams come true.

And that is exactly what this project was: a wonderful “dream.” My cohort members helped by inspiring me by way of their own projects and with their infectious enthusiasm and commitment to meet their goals. I am very grateful!

What kind of support are you looking for as you continue with your work?

I will be applying for grants and scholarships in order to help fund the project, and would like to eventually complete 30-50 images. In the mean time, I will be sharing the work through competitions and future lectures, and hope to land an exhibition in a prominent gallery here in LA, New York or other major city outside of the United Sates. Once those happen, I would like to find a major book publisher and would like the forward be written by a celebrity who shares my passion for the environment.

View more of his work at: | @hugh_kretschmer