How old are you and where are you from?
I am 31, turning 32 in a few days! I am from Munich, Germany. I was born and bred here and spent my entire life here so far (except for many vacations all over the world).
What qualifications have you got?
Iam self-taught but I have been taking photos for a long time. I started at the age of 12 years, although that was with a “normal” film camera and worked my way through all sorts of cameras until I got my current DSLR about two years ago. I have been trying out things, researching, reading and watching tutorials ever since and I still enjoy learning new things.
What do you consider your main style of work?
I would say conceptual photography. I love taking portraits and creative photos of people! Most of the time, there is a certain message or concept behind my photos or an emotion that triggered a certain idea. However, I also love taking landscape shots a lot, esp. at the ocean.
Do you have any routines when preparing for photo-shoots or when on shoots?
Once a shooting has been booked or I have set a date with a model for a TFP (time for print) shooting, I start putting together ideas for locations and what we could do, how we could do it and if we need props (and if so, what kind and do I have them, do I have to buy them, where will I buy them etc.). Once I have put everything together, I make a folder on my desktop and put my ideas, sketches I made and photos I might use as a inspiration in there. Then the night before the shoot, I put together all the things I will need for the shooting (different lenses, external flash, extra batteries, extra SD cards, white balance cards etc.) and put them into my camera bag. Depending on the shoot (creative shooting, baby shooting etc.) I also look at photos that I have taken or that I find inspiring again on the day of the shoot and think about what kind of photos I want to take, what angles would work etc.
What tends to be your editing process?
I upload the photos I took to Lightroom pretty much the minute I get home from a shoot. Since I shoot in RAW, I find this is the best way to pick photos. Then I sort them into p (for pick) or delete them and then I sort the picked ones according to stars (5 being the best pick). If it is for a client, I will then change a few basic things like light and then upload them into a password-protected online gallery for them to choose and then edit them later. If it is something else, e.g. self-portraits, I normally edit them in Lightroom and then add finishing touches in Photoshop CS5. Lightroom is brilliant for a lot of things but I use CS5 for any bigger changes like levitations or double exposure.
Do you use a model agency to find models, or are they people you know?
I used to use a German model agency when I started taking photos of other people and I still shoot with those models every now and then. But mostly they are people I know or that recommended me to others who then want to book a shooting with me.
Have you ever used make-up artist, hair stylists etc?
Not a lot so far unfortunately. The main reason why I haven’t is that I don’t really have many contacts in that field! I would love to though, I think it is amazing how much you can achieve with a great make-up artist!
Where has been your favourite location to shoot at and why?
This is difficult to answer! Two years ago I was in Bali and I had my private little villa including my own little pool, which was a blast to shoot in! The light there was just great at all times and I never get to shoot in a pool normally… generally I would say anything to do with water like a lake or the ocean.
What equipment do you use most?
My Nikon D5000 and a combination of my 50 mm 1.4 and my 17-55 mm 2.8 lenses. Also, my Manfrotto tripod and my SB 900 flash.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Dreams. Magazines. Pinterest. Flickr. People on the street. I think you can find inspiration anywhere, the tiniest thing can trigger something in you that makes you think of a great idea! A lot of times I have the best ideas right before I fall asleep...unfortunately I don’t always remember those in the morning though!
Have you ever been paid for a photo-shoot, if so how did you get the work and how did you budget?
Oh yes, many times! I work as a creative photographer here in Munich and even though I make exceptions (e.g. the TFP models) I generally get paid for my work. I mostly get booked due to recommendation from others but I also have flyers and the like. When I used to put together prices for my shootings I calculated how much time it would take to take a certain amount of photos for clients to choose from and to edit the photos afterwards etc., then calculated an hourly rate for me that I could live on in the future and then set my prices according to that.
Have you ever had any really bad experiences when on a photo-shoot?
Not really, no. Sometimes it can be difficult, e.g. when you are taking photos of a kid who is not really in the mood to have photos taken or if you take photos of someone who is very shy and doesn’t know how to pose but I always try my best to get people to relax and make them laugh.
Have you had any influential people in your life that have made you want to peruse your career in photography?
I would say my parents because both of them have taken photos all the time when I was growing up and esp. my dad knows a lot about cameras and photography. My entire family has always been very supportive of my work!
Colour or black and white?
Both actually! I love black and white but colour can be so fitting and beautiful too! Some landscape shots e.g. would be boring in black & white while others get dramatic because you turn them into black and white. The same applies to portraits in my opinion.
Film or digital?
Digital! I love that you can see right away how it worked out! I have a Polaroid but their film is so expensive that I don’t use it a lot…
Studio or location?
Definitely location because I love using my surroundings for photos. So far, I have only shot in a studio once but I would definitely like to do that again.
Any advice for up and coming photographers?
Try out a lot! Experiment, read books about photography, watch tutorials, talk to others and realize that there is always something else that you can learn! Travel to get inspired by different cultures and people. Don’t limit yourself to one field of photography, it is ok to love them all! And never give up. Always push yourself and even if things don’t work out, do not give up!