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Todd Hido. Courtesy of Galerie Alex Daniëls and Todd Hido
Courtesy of Galerie Alex Daniëls Reflex Amsterdam and Todd Hido

These images sum up suburban loneliness

Photographer Todd Hido’s cinematically-steeped shots explore the isolation of the city’s outskirts

American photographer Todd Hido’s ability to harness cinema in the still image tightropes between the disturbing and delightful. Leaving his narrative open to interpretation, Hido imbues that poignant feeling that ‘something’s about to happen’. “With all my work – whether it’s a combination of one or two images or an entire wall – what I’m mostly after is a suggestion, and the narrative is always completed by the viewer,” he says. “I strongly believe that the best photographs suggest, and that ambiguity is a really important tool in photography.”

His narratives are often underlined with a burgeoning darkness, creeping into the edge of each image – it’s something Hido says is a comfort to him. Through the use of long exposures and natural light, he brings together a lingering sense of suburban loneliness. “I can finally feel at home then,” he laughs, when talking about his fascination with seeking out the ‘disturbed’. “But really, once you encounter darkness and then engage it on your terms it shows you are safe, you are in control of it. I often gravitate towards darkness, it’s just somehow simply more interesting and complicated and engaging than the opposite.”

However cinematic his images seem, Hido admits that he never consciously borrows from film. “I’ve never studied it at length, nor seen as many films as lots of people have. I don’t have time,” he says, joking, “I really need to relax more. Carving out time to watch full length films is a luxury to me. I should do a bubble bath and binge-watch some films – but then I'd drift off at sleep and fry myself.

One particular fixture in his work has become an important element to his imagery is model Khrystyna, who Hido came across when she knocked on his door asking to be photographed. “What Khrystyna brings to my work is this intense set of experiences that very much lines up with both of our pasts. Very often when we’re working together, the pictures will end up feeling like somewhere that we’ve both been emotionally, and even though we don’t ever really talk about anything specific like ‘let’s make a picture about this or that’, we always end up making pictures that are very meaningful to both of us.” Exhibiting next month at Amsterdam's Unseen Photo Fair, Hido shares a glimpse into his work here.

Hido’s work will be on display at Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair, taking place between 18-20 September, 2015

Galerie Alex Daniëls Reflex Amsterdam will display Hido's Work (“A Burnt Child Seeks The Flame”) at Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair taking place between 18-20 September, 2015. Alex Daniëls Reflex Amsterdam will also host an exhibition and book presentation of the photographer from 12 September – 7 November