You are interested in shooting Models... How to find them, what gear to use, direct them or let them free? All those answers in Prodibi Pixel Magazine this week.
German photographer and former model, Martin Strauss has got the best experience possible to answer our questions about Model Photography. Discover his fabulous work, showcasing the shape, curves, and expression of gorgeous models in full-resolution and his tips in this cool interview!
A few words about you. Explain me a little bit how did you start photography?
I am a 33-year-old photographer and retoucher from Berlin. Back in the days, I started in this business as a model for denim/jeans clothes and for some shops and e-shops. To be honest: my success wasn’t the biggest, but I knew that I wasn’t the commercial type of guy. I then had a lot of professional pictures but no private/personal photos. No real memories so I bought myself a camera, that's now roughly 6 years ago.
You take pictures of a lot of models, how do you find them? Do you prefer to be directive or let them free when they pose?
I browse through various networks always looking for new models. Networks in the broadest sense like even Facebook but for sure Instagram being the number one.
While shooting, I developed a style back from my beginning where I was really really directive towards a more free style … I am a huge perfectionist: still, I am directing even minor tweaks in the models pose and expression but try to recreate the same pose more naturally afterward out of a natural movement. Directed freedom.
What is your philosophy about portrait photography? What makes a successful portrait for you?
That’s a tough one. First of all, as a photographer, I look for technical perfection. On both technical but artistic level: unsharp images are not bad, per se. They offer a sense of living which no sharp image can ever transport so this is kinda „okay“.
The second is the emotional level, are there any believable feelings, or does it just look blank, or is the model trying too hard…in all artificial setups, I always look for a natural look and feel.
The third is creativity in ways of styling, makeup contrasts or location and model or hundred other things. A good image may surprise you, gets you itchy or calms you down.
Which other photographers influence you?
So many and yet so few. I think, influence comes from every corner, I admire some of the strong contrasts by Ansel Adams, the feeling for moments from Bresson's, but also feeling and look of Keller Tran & Patrick Xiong. In Germany, I like Kristian Schuller and Lina Tesch, but I couldn’t tell if they ever influenced me in a way. I like a lot, like thousand a lot, various images from various scenes and styles, so it all kinda blends in what I am doing, and I am kinda bad at name dropping ;)
Is there someone in the world you dream to photography?
Hands down: Monica Bellucci.
What kind of photography gears do you love to use (camera, lenses, flash…)? If you would have to choose one lens what would it be?
I love my gear … haha. I can shoot with Nikon, Canon, and Fuji - that's not really about the gear itself. Yes - it may open up some more ways to shoot but in 99% of all cases, it is more about hard work, creativity, and problem-solving than having the „right“ gear. With one exception: I love 35mm Widescreen. I think I was one of the first in Germany to hop on the love train of Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4. This lense hooked me up right from the start.
If you ever need to choose: take this and you have one for landscapes, reportage, weddings even portraits. (And no, I don’t get paid by them ;) )
Do you have projects for the future like workshops, personal series?
My main project happens in my private life right now. I feel an urge to do a new personal series, yes - but so far no blast of creativity has struck my brain. Maybe this personal project delivers me a new Muse.
To see more of Martin's work:
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