Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Klaus Wegele (Germany)
Tell us something about yourself and how and when did you get into photography?
I did photography since I was a boy of 10 but I needed 6 months to fill one roll as my parents had not too much money. It changed when I finished my university and went shortly after for my company on a 3 months business trip to San Francisco. I alwas wanted to take nude photos of my girlfriends but they didn’t liked that too much. One day when strollling throught he city of San Francisco I saw in the window of a bookstore a poster ‚Nude Workshop‘ so I went in booked it and hat my first ‚nude photoshoot‘ This was in 1989 and ever since I am addicted to photography
What does photography mean to you?
During my professional life as a project manager for an IT company I used the photography for relaxing. As soon as I had and have the camera in hand it seems that I am in another world. The model photography gives me contact to new people and I have to admit in all my photography history I had never a problem with the models, they are always very nice and open minded. Now as I added ballet to my portfolio it becomes even more interesting, as the ballet world is a very interesting world mostly enclosed in itself, and therefore it took me 5 years to get my foot in the ballet world. To work with ballet dancers is very cool as they know how to control their body, and they can do poses most of my other models cannot do.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Where do you get inspiration from?
In my model photography sometimes I get some ideas from other photographers, but i don’t copy because that will most likely result in frustration as the model is not the same as on the photo, neither the location and the accessories are. Most of the times its the model itself which inspires me. And now ballet performances mainly from the contemporary ballet company (Delattre Dance Company, Mainz/Germany) I am working with.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
For my ballet work always but during the shooting it most times develops and the results are then totally different from what I had planned. The reason for that is that the pose I had in mind could not be performed by the dancer or because the light is no good to support the pose, or the angle of the pose I had in mind looks on the monitor not good. For the rest of my shooting it depends, in the studio I do always one lowkey set but the rest is more or less developed with the model, on outdoor location I am need to check on the season when the light is best, or when we have enough shadow to do the shooting.
Studio, on location or both?
I shoot both but I prefer to go outside or into a nice appartment and work there always with available light. The studio option I use if the model has only little time or on bad weather or I have an idea which I only can realize in the studio, e.g. lowkey bodyparts.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
The most memorable session? Well, I have two. One was the experience at the National Ballet of Ukraine this year, where I could take photos from the performance sitting on the stage behind the curtains as it was very interesting to see and hear what is going on on the stage and taking then photos from Swanlake. The second one was a girl/girl shooting where I was so fascinated that the girls w/o knowing them before harmonized from the first second and also as this was my first real girl/girl shooting and I was so busy finding the right angle and give directions and to know when to just use the flow of the models.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Think about your question: I work professionally, but I am an hobbyist as I am most of the times unpaid. I teach my own workshops to be able to recover at least a bit my expenses.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
To be exited before each shooting and looking forward to meet and work with the model(s), and dance dance dance.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I am Nikon, but for me it’s just a tool, it could also be Canon, Sony or whatever. If I have money left I will purchase also a Sony Alpha 7 which of them I dont know I need to search for more input, but I need that to be able to shoot in ballet and theater performances, my Nikon is just too loud, and I had a workshop participant with a Sony Alpha 7 and I asked him when he want to start shooting and he said he has already taken 10 photos ;o).
My favourite lense is the Nikon 1.8 85 mm and the very old Nikon 2,8 80-200mm. The 85mm has a nice bokeh and the 80-200mm is just sharp but this lense challenges me in the ballet world as the Autofocus is a bit slow.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Well, to have a clear idea in which area they want to find themselves and they should specialize on not more then 3 different sujet e.g. Nude, Fashion, Portrait at the beginning and then knowing the own performance broaden the portfolio. In shootings first take the low hanging fruits meaning do first one or two sets you are solid in and when you have the photos save then start to experiment.
Not the equipment makes the photo but the photographer.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I saw your magazine recently on the facebook page of a featured photographer - Guenter Stoehr - and started to reading the articles and watching the fotos. For me it is an source for ideas and I like the interviews. It gives a bit insight of the model live and also some info how other photographers work. Continue with this good magazine, I like it very much.