Can you remember when you first held a camera?
Probably when I was a childaround 6 years old. My father converted our bathroom to a darkroom to develop and print the family pictures and I found it fascinating as a child to help withthat, and later regularly as a teenager when I joined a youth club with a darkroom.
What is a childhood image burnt into your mind?
Every corner of the garden of my grandparents. I spent most of the week-ends and holidays there.
Can you tell me an iconic photographer whose work you got very fascinated by?
— What did you feel when looking at their images?
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
I think it is not possible to generalize that one gender has only one direction of aesthetics. If you dig deeper you find so much more different views. I think that as creatives we are most of the times ahead of clients .
A few years ago I was in a pitch for a job, that I did not get , because the AD wanted a male photographer. As they imagined their client prefers the „male gaze“.
It was for a product that mostly women buy and women use.
Made me wonder.
What changed, I think nowadays no one would admit out loud that they are looking for a male photographer because they think their client likes the aesthetics the “male gaze” more. It should not matter if you are a woman or a man . The only think that should matter is your work .
What was your first fashion shoot?
As a job my first fashion shoot was for a Russian magazine an editorial about glamourous looks.
What do you love most about the Fashion Industry
The possibility to work with so many other creative people that challenge you .
What do you most hate aboutFashion Industry?
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about // who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
Nowadays I would try to go the Instagram way. It gives you much quicker access then when I started.
Statistics show that only 1 in 10 of the big money jobs i.e. womenswear- beauty and perfume campaigns ares hot by women. Is there just no qualified female fashion photographers out there?
I do not think so. There are just less chances for women. What I always found interesting is that a big part of Art buyers in the commercial industry are women. They have the chance to push female photographers to the client.
But most of the cases it does not happen. I think what has to change is the camaraderie between women.
And that can start with yourself. Instead of hiring a male assistant , try to find a female one that can do the job. Most of the photo assistants are male. It is the first barrier for female photographers to develop in this business. Thats something we can change.
As well as supporting your female colleagues.
One says it takes 10’000hours to become a master of a craft, how long in hours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
The first 3 years where though , after that it went steadily uphill.
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
Icon: Nadine Ijewere
One to watch : Clara Nebeling
Who is your female fashion designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
Icon: Iris van Herpen
One to watch: Florentina Leitner
What makes you feel comfortable on set?
Laughter and humor
How important is your team?
It is the most important part . You can be only as good as your team is.
What do you say about the charge that all fashion photography is predominantly sexist?
I do not think so. The visual language is already changing to be more divers and including. Now the industry structures behind the pictures has to change too.
And they do already slowly. Female Gaze does not mean it can not be sexy. But I think it caters more for women and empowers them.
It does not necessarily sees them as object but as empowered part of the storytelling itself.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect Fashion Photography?
I think it does already. We can see a shift into diversity, for example a more relaxed dealing with body shapes. There is so many exciting work of female photographers in magazines and campaigns then ever before. And hopefully this trend will intensify.
When I look at your work, I really love your shoot for Renaissance Magazine. What is yours?
My favorite about my own work is the the shoot with Tamara. She is a model with Down Syndrome. To work with her was very inspiring and eyeopening.
From your work I very much like the Golden freckles video.
Reminds me that I should dive into the whole video thing more.
What was your relation to fashion prior to working in this industry? Has it changed?
Before working in this industry I had zero interest in fashion so it changed for sure a lot.
What qualities do you value in an agent or booker?
Trust , honesty, reliability
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
From a famous hair artist who is 35 years in the business:
The picture that everyone on the shoot likes and thinks is the perfect result, including the client and the AD agency, will never be the one that you see later in the Campaign.
Do not take yourself and your work to serious.
What is your next big project or goal for your career?
To shoot more video .
Is there anything in particular you'd like to accomplish?
I would like to shoot more international beauty campaigns in the future.