“A Journey Through Japan” Ami Suzuki lensed by Erik Madigan Heck for Departures Magazine October 2016.

Heck identifies himself as a “painter who uses photography,” and cites the 19th century painter Edouard Vuillard as one of his major influences as well as the work of modern photographer Harry Callahan. Due to Heck's interest in mediums and technologies of the past, his reoccurring use of nature as a theme, as well as his focus on beauty as the ultimate ideal, Heck’s work has often been described as a contemporary extension of Romanticism. Referencing his own work, Heck explains that “...to access beauty is what we ultimately desire, and the tangibility of this access is what in my opinion ultimately differentiates fashion from art as end points on a continuum, and simultaneously elevates fashion photography to such an important place in contemporary society.”

Journalist Dan Thawley describes Heck’s work as “[having] a dreamlike quality marked by surrealist undertones, an appreciation for fine art conventions, and an exploration of various photographic mediums (both modern and obsolete)”.