Maria Hermes (1973) graduated cum laude in Photojournalism, Documentary and Portrait Photography at the Photo-academy in Amsterdam with her self-published book The Cutting Edge, about self-harm. She broke a taboo with her photoseries about young people who inflict injuries upon themselves by cutting or burning themselves. The photos appeared in several international exhibitions, in editorials and on Dutch national television.
Hermes was selected for masterclasses and workshops by Magnum photographers Carl de Keyzer (2008) and Stuart Franklin (2009, during the Noorderlicht Photofestival) and VII Photo’s Donald Weber (2011). GUP Magazine named her one of 100 most promising Dutch photographers of 2012 in their book New Dutch Photography Talent.
She works on assignments and published work in the editorials Vrij Nederland, NRC Handelsblad, NRC Next, HP/De Tijd and de Groene Amsterdammer. She also works independently on her own long-term documentary projects.
Hermes has earned a master’s degree in history (cum laude) at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Her background in history helps her to choose her photographic topics and narrate her stories, such as the photoseries commissioned by the North-Holland Archives she made about Polish immigrant workers in North-Holland.
Maria Hermes is chairwoman of the board at the Dutch Association of Photojournalists (NVF). She is represented by Photo Agency De Beeldunie.
Mater Maya ('Mother of Maya’) is a unique project: never before did a photographer not only document her own pregnancy, but also her own delivery. I did it: in classic black and white photography and in my own words I have tried to tell the story of the magnificence, but also the misery of becoming a mother. Because becoming a mother for me was paired with doubts and insecurities. And I think that I am not the only one who had experienced this. My story is both personal and universal.