Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Guenter Stoehr (Germany)
Tell us something about yourself
I’m a German photographer living close to Aachen in the western part of Germany. Photography is my most ambitious hobby.
How and when did you get into photography?
I liked photography since I was at school, but took pictures mainly on private occasions and on trips and holidays. About 6 years ago my son decided to become a professional photographer and made me aware of my old love. I started with people photography in workshops and meanwhile I do my own shootings.
What does photography mean to you?
I do people photography as an intensive hobby and for balancing my life as head of my computer company. It has an intersection with my professional life, because you need to be organized, ambitioned, communicative and forward looking, but for photography I need in addition to be also artistically creative, spontaneous and easy going.
I like the whole “package”, meaning looking for ideas, models, locations, getting in contact with other photographers and with models, getting good pictures and receiving feedback for them.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I mainly shoot with available light and I even don’t use reflectors or other devices to change the existing light situation. Soft window light or from the sky is all I need.
I like a crisp clean appearance, normally with high contrast and shallow DOF. I hardly do BW. I concentrate on the model, so full body shots are quite rare. I use locations like hotel rooms or apartments to get some atmosphere, also cars and outdoor locations, but it’s not so important to see the details around. Outdoor shootings are my favorites, because I prefer natural light.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
I have basic ideas to prepare, but I normally don’t have already a very detailed picture in mind. The location and the light is important and I react flexible to what develops during the shooting. Because I’m working with professional models, their posing and ideas also have an influence;
Where do you get inspiration from?
I try to be not too repetitive with my pictures and so I look for different ideas and scenarios as often as possible. I’m looking for inspirations in communities with good pictures, but I don’t copy them.
Studio, on location or both?
I prefer on location, studio shootings are rare at the moment, because I try to have a mood in my pictures, resulting from the visible location. It’s sometimes not much what you can see, but it’s more than the clean and reduced background you get it in a studio.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I’m a hobbyist and I have high ambitions in what I do, but at the moment I’m not so much interested in projects getting money from, because then it’s turns into work and I just want to have fun.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I once had the rare chance to have a shooting with a model and 2 little polar wolf puppies. It was remarkable. They were very cute and played wild, but like in real nature, they didn’t make any noise, because this would be dangerous for them.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
In fact there is not just one source. The focus is always changing, depending on what I already did and what I came across next.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
My camera is a Canon 6D and I have a set of several lenses from portrait to zoom. One of my most favorite lenses is the Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD. I like it because of its quality at open aperture and the possibility to separate my model from the background. The other one is my Sigma Art 50mm F1.4
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Photography is omnipresent due to smartphones. Everybody takes pictures and there are millions published every day. To stand out of the masses, you need to be professional in every aspect, in terms of creativity, personal picture style, quality of postproduction, social competence, self-promotion and reliability.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I got aware of your magazine through a model which published one of our pictures in the September issue. I was impressed by the quality of the articles and the volume of the magazine. You invest a lot work for this.
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