Can you remember when you first held a camera?
I was too young to remember the very first time. But my dad had a Pentax MX mirror reflex camera which I was allowed to use, I must have been around 6 or7.
What is a childhood image burnt into your mind?
There isn’t one particular image, but there are plenty of images of the time I spent with my brother at my grandparent’s place in the countryside. I grew up in Berlin and being able to just leave the house and stroll around in the forest and the fields nearby was amazing. The feeling of being free and adventures. I do have a lot of childhood images from that time.
Can you tell me an iconic photographer whose work you got very fascinated by? — What did you feel when looking at their images?
I am German, so of course Ig grew up with Helmut Newton’s work. I love the way he showed strong, confident and elegant women. Looking at his images encouraged me to just do what I love to do and to be strong and confident.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
I don’t think that the ‘male gaze’ is a myth at all. That’s why I am happy that there are more and more female photographers and film makers out there than there used to be. I hope that this can change the way women are portrayed in films and photographs.
What was your first fashion shoot?
When I was a teenager I loved to take photographs of my friends. I would take them to a lake in winter to shoot them sitting on a tree or by the window next to a vase with Poppies.
I also went to the ‘Garage’ (a cool vintage shop in Berlin where you payed the clothes per kilo), found some cool vintage pieces in which I dressed up and photographed my friends or my brother.
But when I was around 21 and studying Fine Art photography in London I did my first more professional photo shoot with my best friend from college.
We went to all the Vintage stores in the East End, borrowed some clothes and did a Vintage fashion shoot which we published in a small East London fashion magazine. That was the beginning.
What do you love most about Fashion Photography?
I love creating something and I love working with people. I also have a big passion for colours and fashion and I really enjoy that I can bring all these passions together in my profession.
What do you most hate about Fashion Photography
There is nothing I hate about Fashion Photography.
But more recently I started to think more about our planet and am trying to cut down on things that pollute our environment. The fact that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world is horrible. That’s something I hate about the Fashion Industry and I think it is important that we find new and more sustainable fashion solutions.
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?
I think I would go the same way I did. I would start out in London and then move to Berlin.
Both cities offer so many great opportunities and bring together a lot of creative people.
But this time I would like to meet the great people (I work with now) right from the beginning. I have a lot of smaller goals like magazines or people I would love to work with or certain shoots I would love to do. It is great to have goals but I also think that it is important to be happy with what you are doing right now, the journey is the reward!
Statistics show that only 1 in 10 of the big money jobs i.e. womenswear- beauty and perfume campaigns are shot by women. Is there just no qualified female fashion photographers out there?
Wow, I didn’t know. There are definitely a lot of great female fashion photographers out there! It is sad to hear that we are not getting the big money jobs yet. Let’s change that!
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long in hours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
That’s hard to count, but I would say it took me 4 or 5 years to really make a living of my photography. In the beginning, I was doing a lot of different things to make a living like working in bars, assisting other photographers and doing photography jobs that weren’t great at all. But the feeling of being able now to pick the jobs I like and saying no to jobs I don’t like, is great. It gives me a certain independence and makes me very happy.
Who is your female fashion photographer icon and who is your the one to watch?
I have never been a person who has an icon or idol. There are a lot of great female photographers out there, it would be hard for me to pick just one.
But I have always admired the work of Inez van Lamsweerde and of course the work of Viviane Sassen. There are a lot of great up-and-coming female photographers, I would need more time to pick someone.
What do say about the charge that all fashion photography is predominantly sexist?
It’s never a good idea to generalise things but I must admit that I never liked the way some male photographers use to portray women in their photographs.
During the last years, a lot of great photographers, not only female, have appeared in fashion photography. But I think the fact that a lot of them are female probably helped to create a different and more sensual way women are portrayed now.
Instead of showing them as an object of sexual desire there is a gentler, subtile and artful way women are portrayed in fashion photographs nowadays.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect Fashion Photography?
I think that it will affect a lot of different genres, and hopefully Fashion Photography too!
When I look at your work, my favourite image the beauty shot of Lera and the Beach Beauty Series for Couch. What is yours?
These two are some of my favourites too. I also really love my Vogue Portugal & L’Officiel Germany story with Femke Lakenman. She is a great girl! I love working with Dutch models, they often have such an honest, relaxed and fun attitude and I think it is important at jobs (and in life!) to have fun and to surround yourself with great & positive people.