Hosam Katan, Winner of the Emerging Talent Award 2017. Photo by Dustin Janczewski.

Hello, Hosam. In 2017 you were the winner of the Felix Schoeller Photo Award for young photographers. What has happened to you since then?

 Oh, a lot has happened. I published my book in which I also show the works I submitted for the Felix Schoeller Award and for which I got the award. I’ve even started a new photo project that I’m implementing here in Germany. Yes, and then I was involved in several exhibitions and presentations of my work. It’s been two intense and exciting years.

 May we ask what you used the prize money for?

 Yes, of course! I used the prize money mainly for three things: I invested a large part of it in my book project. The prize gave me the chance to produce the book in the quality I had imagined: I was able to improve the design and the paper quality. And I was also able to print a higher number of copies. That made me very happy! For another part of the prize money, I could buy missing equipment. I used the rest to start the research for my new project. This included travel expenses, but also meeting people I’d like to work with.

 What could you give young photographers as a tip for their careers?

 My advice is: Make the camera your best friend! Be open and do your best to understand the people you photograph – or the subject. Never give up too early, stay focused, even after setbacks, there will come a stimulus that will inspire and motivate you again. Don’t be afraid to realize projects you believe in. Use fear more as a reminder to be more careful.

 Would you recommend young photographers to submit to the Felix Schoeller Photo Award?

 Yes, absolutely. But they should only submit their best work. It’s worth the experience alone – you can see your work in comparison to others and possibly rank it better.

 Are you working on a new project? Can you tell us something about it?

 I am currently working on three different projects at the same time. But I can only describe one of it more detailed. It’s about integration in Germany. It will take the refugee perspective and tell the situation from their point of view. The project will highlight the challenges in different social strata and paint a broader picture of the overall theme.

 Just one last question: Will you submit a new work to the actual Felix Schoeller Photo Award?

 Oh, yes, of course, I will! I am looking forward to competing with the best photographers from all over the world!

 Thank you and good luck, Hosam.