FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER INTERVIEW
1. How does this collection speak to you? How did it come about? What did you want this to say to your audience?
I'm fascinated by the strong colors and patterns of this autumn collection and their retro-chic. This spread catches this very cool, very smooth 70's urban vibe. Reviving for a moment this kind of past lifestyle. It’s the era that this collection also took its inspiration from.
2. What do you find to be the most difficult when bringing a team of artists together to create a cohesive look? How do you pick the right team?
I always try to choose very individual artists. They must have their finger on the pulse of fashion yet interpret with their own style. They must be able to create the finished style from the materials of the season. These people are rare in any field; our field is no exception. It is then my job to make sure that we work as a complete team to meld the individual creativity into a cohesive vision. In short, I do not choose a team, I choose artists and we create the teamwork amongst us as we work in unison.
3. As an editorial artist, what do you feel is one of the biggest mistakes beginners tend to make?
Loosing their authenticity and individuality, by trying too hard to follow the mainstream of other popular photographers. This is a job of creation, not copying. Take your inspiration from the greats but don't loose your own sense and vision.
4. How would you describe your artistic style?
I use a lot of mixed media in my photography… elements of paintings, collages—whatever is needed to obtain the desired final effect. I like the combination of different art forms because they create a sense of the unexpected and wonder in the audience. There should be a calming sense of familiarity fused with mystery and the unknown of how the image came into being.
5. Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
I worked as a model from the age of 13. I definitely like to be in front of the camera. However, modeling is a very superficial job that lacks the ability to truly create. You are trying to fulfill someone else's vision by lending out your surface without adding much else. Therefore, I do prefer to stand behind the camera, being the creator and visionary myself. I love to see how an idea becomes concrete, to realize my own vision.
6. What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength?
I think my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. I burn for the things that I love. This makes me a perfectionist incapable of just finishing something or moving on. I always need to see and work out all possibilities in order to intuitively decide what is the right one for each special situation. I'm not easy to satisfy. Therefore, I often forget the world around me during the entire working process.
7. What misconceptions do you think outsiders have about fashion and beauty editorials?
Not having been an "outsider" for many years it is hard to put myself in this position. I would say from the most common question that I am asked: "Why doesn't it ever look as good in real life as in the pictures?" Well, it is not real life. It is the art of fashion, displayed through the makeup artist, stylist, and of course, the final vision of the photographer put on a canvas of exceptionally rare beauty, the model.
8. What is your secret to keeping a happy balanced life while following your passion?
Following my passion.
9. Music feeds the soul and often motivates. What music are you playing while you are shooting?
I love music, all kinds of styles. The music I play depends on what kind of shooting I am creating. Shootings with a sensual mood require classical music, for example, Leo Delibes “Flower Duet” or Bellini's “Casta Diva.” For modern and artistic editorials, I like alternative and psychedelic rock music, The Black Keys, The Underground Youth, The Knife… the list goes on and on. For this particular shoot, I was listening a lot to French bands like Sebastian Teller and La Femme, especially their song "Hypsoline". They have a strong 70-80's vibe, which I visually tried to create in this urban city story.
10. Words to live by?
“The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.”—Jorge Luis Borges
John Elliott @ ARTIST GROUP MIERAU USING
M.A.C.COSMETICS AND ALCINA
Susanne Marx @ 21 agency
Najla @ parsmanagement
Video // Anja walther