Photo: © Francisco Duque

Student in Focus: From POP to VOGUE

United POP student Francisco Duque has achieved what many can only dream of: Two of his works were published online in VOGUE. Read how it came about and what makes him tick as a photographer in this month's feature. 

POP: What are you doing at POP, and where? 
Francisco: I graduated from both the Photography and Graphic Design diplomas at United POP in Amsterdam, and I'm now finishing my Bachelor of Photography. 

POP: What did you like most about your education?
Francisco: I especially appreciate the instructors who love what they do. It's easy to recognize them: they always have time to help, or explain when things get hard. I've been able to take away some feedback from my instructors over the years that still helps me today! 

POP: Have you always had an interest in photography, or did it develop over time? 
Francisco: I have always felt attracted to photography. I started playing around with a camera I got from a friend when I was about 17, including Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. When I bought my first camera, I decided it was time to do it professionally, and I enrolled at POP in Amsterdam.

Photo: © Francisco Duque

POP: What are your plans for the future? 
Francisco: Photography has always been a hobby for me. My plan is to be self-employed, and take photography as my main career. I don't believe in working for a boss, although I am very adaptable. I will finish my photography degree in June, and I would like to have an exhibition of my work after that. Not only would I like to show my art, but I would also like to work with a charity organization.  

POP: Now on to the main topic - you've been published by VOGUE! Tell us more about that! 
Francisco: I was actually published online 2 times by Vogue. Being a determined person, I try to get my photos published in many different ways. After being published in smaller local magazines, I wondered what the next step was. 

Christmas 2021 in Paris, I went for a walk on Christmas morning and suddenly saw this woman with her giant poodle. I thought "what a fashionable composition" and secretly took a picture. When I got back home, I just sent the photo to Vogue
and went to take a shower. When I got out of the shower, I was surprised to see that the photo had already been published. It was a great sense of achievement and self-discovery through photography. I directly called all my friends and

Photo: © Francisco Duque

The second project, "Panther", published by Vogue, is an interpretation of my self-oppression. It was part of my major thesis for my photography bachelor's degree. I hear so often that people hold themselves back out of fear of what others think of them. But as you get older, you realize more and more that those thoughts are merely holding you back. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself. If you like me the way I am, that's great. If you don't, that's okay with me too. As a photographer, I see it as my duty to pass this value on to other people, especially the younger generation. This photo has an indescribable appeal to me and reflects that message. When this photo was also published by Vogue, I was incredibly happy, but not surprised this time, because the photo is
undeniably magnetic in my eyes.

POP: What makes you stand out as a photographer? 
Francisco: As a photographer, equality, diversity and inclusion are very important to me. I want these values to be reflected in my photographs. This is my way of fighting social oppression or shaming. Also, I am very grateful for the people I have met so far in my journey as a photographer who have supported me. Through these encounters, I have also been shaped as a photographer.  

POP: Congratulations on your success, we look forward to seeing much more of your work! 

Franciscos Instagram
Franciscos Website

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