1. What first made you interested in being a Photographer?
A. I grew up in an media environment, where my father was with one of the largest German television networks. Somehow, I had interest in photography from about age 11 on and by the time I was 13 years old, I was certain I wanted to be a photographer.
2. What type of camera do you use? A. My main camera is the Nikon D800e, while I have a Nikon D7000 as a backup camera. I am using the D7000 for projects where the D800e would be overkill.
3. What do you think are some of the skills that are needed to become a successful Photographer? A. First and foremost, photography is Greek for "writing with light" and that means that means we have to study light, how to light properly, understanding shadows, etc. After having a more solid understanding of light, as a photographer that deals with humans, as opposed to a landscape or product photographer, we need to either have, or develop good interpersonal skills and being able to communicate to our subjects what we envision in our minds.
4. How did you learn the Art of Photography, did you just start or did someone help you? A. I am a self-taught photographer and trying to learn photography techniques since childhood. In my youth I took a few local courses and worked for two years, after school in the photolab of the ZDF (Germany), which is Germany's largest television network and the environment I grew up in, as I have mentioned above.
5. What type of photographer do you consider yourself? Fashion, Beauty, Runway, etc. A. I am an editorial fashion and runway photographer, with over 2,000 fashion shows under my belt since 1998.
6. Where do you display your photos? Magazine, Newspaper, Facebook? A. My photography has been published in Marie Claire, Ecouterre (London and Paris), Style Blazer, Huffington Post, Daily News, New York Post, New York Girl Style Magazine, Fashion Syndicate Press, Moda Cycle NY and Germany and many more. I have been a contributing photographer to BTE TV for over a decade, covering the runways of New York Fashion Week and various celebrities in film and fashion such as actor and director Mario van Peebles, model, fashion icon Beverly Johnson and Yoko Ono for Fashion Avenue News Magazine.
7. How important is it for you to cover New York Fashion Week? A. I love covering fashion week, which I usually do for either different media outlets or as a freelancer, under my own company with different clients domestic and Europe.
8. How do you promote your photography business? A. Promotion is a weak point to me. I have a strong'ish social network presence, but the bulk of my business comes from existing clients I am working with for many years and in addition to that referral business. People recommend to utilize social networking more strategically, but I am rather busy with editing photoshoots... As a matter of fact... I am not even updating my own website as I should. I have given quite a few interviews, have been three times guest on The American Fashion Podcast, a Canadian magazine did a big interview with me... and I have none of this on my own website... I guess this has to change.
9. How do you go about conducting a photo shoot, what are the steps? A. Most of my editorial shoots are working for different media outlets. The editor organizes the models, makeup and depending on the story, get's specific designer clothes that are part of the narrative. Then we do some guerrilla style shooting throughout the city, which I absolutely love. I usually have a team between 2 to 5 people on set. Maybe more if there are more models. Last but not least... I like to have fun when shooting... I want a relaxed but professional set. We can laugh, joke, poke fun, not creating additional time pressure. For my style of shooting, that works best and I get the shots I am looking for usually pretty fast.
10. What are some photography pet peeves when it comes to photo shoots? A. Models who refuse to follow directions or are constantly complaining about other photographers or models from their past. It has been a decade since I had the worst case of such a model, but I will never forget her as a bad example. Nobody likes to work with complainers!
11. What do you do when a person cancels at the last minute? A. I pray that her grandma comes back to life again, soon! :)
12. What is the difference between runway and beauty photography? A. Beauty photography requires more creativity and artistry, while runway photography requires a different skill set and a feel for the rhythm of the model walking down the runway. It is said that it could take up to two years continuing shooting until runway photos (especially at New York Fashion Week level) become usable for magazine editors.
13. What suggestions or inspiration can you give to upcoming people that may be interested in becoming a Photographer? A. Learn the basics about photography. Understand light, shadow and composition. Shoot as much as you can and develop your skill. Do not think that you will start to immediately make tons of money, participating on one party with celebrities and pretty models after the other. If you want to be a professional, full time photographer..., you have to network (works for me best in person). Tighten your belt and be prepared to get a part time job to help to pay the bills. It takes a while until your photography is good enough that other people want to pay you for your services. Try to assist an established photographer at shoots, etc. Learn about fashion, the processes, development of garments and how the different steps in the dress making process works. E.g. runway models at fashion week have a different function and target audience than the catalog models who wear the altered garments when they are offered in catalogs and advertisements. Most of all... you have to love photography... and like the fashion industry, don't ever think that you know it all and that you don't have to learn anything new, because you "know it all". Be humble!