ーーCan you tell us about yourself? About your background and about your career as a fashion photographer?
Andreas：I’m 36 years old and lived in Berlin for 15 years. I grew up partly in Bavaria south of Germany but original immigrated 1993 with my family from Siberia, Russia where I was born.After traveling around Germany and Europe after finishing my school I moved with a skater friend to Berlin. Without any idea what to do with my life, I plunged into the Berlin nightlife. Working as a part-timer in bars and clubs, 2-3 days a week nonstop. I was spending my youth to the maximum. But after several excessive years, more and more did I became intrigued to photography. My knowledge at that moment was near zero, so I decided to work for other photographers as an assistant. The following years I literally worked my ass off. I was addicted. But then a different phase came. The phase of bringing my thoughts to life and becoming a photographer myself. I started my own small photo shoots, working with friends and on the ideas I really felt worth doing photos for. Year by year the ideas, the team, my portfolio and the productions grew.
ーーWhat process did you go through in order to develop this own style of yours?
Andreas：A lot has to do with having all the parameters right for the shoot. It starts with a general idea or impulse. To figure out the location or studio setting that suits the mood. And after all the preparations with the team and the technical stuff, you can get to work. But the key of developing my style is the interaction with the model. Everything falls or stands with the right energy between the model and the photographer. Developing my style means for me to live the moment and staying focused on implementing the ideas, I have, in that very moment, onto the model.
ーーHow do you reflect your own identity into your work and how do you define it?
Andreas：Every minute of my life I get inspired by something. Starting from art, exhibitions, movies, deep conversations, traveling and even from my dreams. I wake up in the morning full of inspirations.They are just waiting to be transformed into pictures. But I must say, the most powerful inspiration for me is traveling! Meeting the unknown and enriching myself and others is the key source of my inspiration.
ーーWhat is the creative starting point for each of your shoots?
Andreas：It all starts with an idea. When the idea grows, I search for moods in magazines and on the internet. I do spend a lot of time searching the right moods, so people can understand me easily. But when I am able to convince the team to work with me, I make my ideas tangible very soon.
ーーWhat kind of techniques do you emphasise the most? Especially, in the lighting techniques?
Andreas：When I started photography and technical possibilities were limited. Meaning we had to use a lot of flash light. But through the ongoing technical improvement of better cameras, lenses and sensors. In terms of continuous light, for instance, LED is making everything a lot less heavy and easier to handle.
ーー How do you develop your own narrative?
Andreas：That question is difficult to answer.That’s as if you are asking me who will win the jackpot in the next tombola. I don’t develop my narrative. I live in the moment and act through impulses. If I have an idea, I create it and if something doesn’t feel right, I end it and start from scratch. My narrative lives in the past, I live in the present.
ーーWhere do you gain your inspirations from?
Andreas：Every minute of my life I get inspired by something. Starting from art, exhibitions, movies, deep conversations, traveling and even from my dreams. I wake up in the morning full of inspirations. They are just waiting to been, transformed into pictures. But I must say the most powerful inspiration for me is traveling! Meeting the unknown and enriching myself and others is the key of my inspiration.
ーーDoes trend or movements in the society effect you in any ways? How do you balance your own style and trend that is on-going?
Andreas：One trend did have a lot of impact on me. Namely, the returning of analog photography. When I started to do photos they were mainly being shot digitally. The analog trend in fashion photography has been going on for over 6 years now and I must say, to work analog is pure magic. Although so many photographer shoot analog, I try to stay focused on my way of seeing things and concentrating on my core ideas and feelings. To stay true to yourself is the most important thing when you want to cope with trends.
ーーWith regards to shooting fashion, what are modern challenges for photographers like yourself?
Andreas：In terms of commercial clients, I would say what challenges me the most is to help the client develop the best possible output for their label or collection. Many clients are really stressed out. Working on one or more projects at once. To calm the ideas down and focus on bringing the quality into the picture is my goal.
ーーHow did the crisis of coronavirus impact the fashion photography industry?
Andreas：The COVID-19 crisis had and still has a huge impact on the fashion photography industry. All jobs were rapidly canceled when the virus reached Europe. For many weeks we were all very insecure what the future may bring. But in general, all companies were trying to keep their cash together in order to act accordingly and save up for the future. But till now, nothing has changed in the way I work. Through the quarantine, the social media got another huge boost. If the crisis carries on and everyone has to stay home, the industry will mainly use social media to reach the people at home.
ーーSocial media has become a huge platform to celebrate and spread one’s identity and diversity. Has this movement towards social media effected you in any ways? If so, in what kind of ways?
Andreas：Social media is a very important tool. For instance, Instagram is the key platform for photography.The great thing about it is the connectivity of everything. If u compare it to a regular portfolio website where images are still, Instagram spreads the images technically to everybody. That can be very helpful, but it also can overcharge the viewer. The ongoing information are at some point too much to handle and have a short lifespan. But otherwise it’s a great tool for sharing, spreading and connecting ideas and values. I’m not sure about social media becoming a standard. I think social media is a kind of add-on to the real life. It helps u with many things, but doesn’t and shouldn’t replace real people, real potentials and real emotions.
ーーWhile long-term effects of the current coronavirus is expected, has anything changed in terms of your perspective towards creations under quarantine?
Andreas：I don’t think my style will be effected by the crisis. Although, I would love to work with the same team as before, I guess the productions have to be smaller and safer. The same outcome has to be made with a smaller team. But that can also be positive. Back to the basics: Good ideas and a motivated smaller team that bring forward a creative outcome. But besides that, I am constantly keeping up with my network and trying to handle the situation in the most creative way.
ーーWhat do you want to challenge yourself in the near future? Do you have any goals set for yourself?
Andreas：For now, I would love to work mainly with magazines. Because with magazines I can be the most creative. Besides that, I love the print media. Having the editorial work physically in my hands, makes it become real and that’s what it’s all about in life, feeling real.
ーーWhat do you see in the future of fashion photography?
Andreas：Not only the fashion photography, but all kind of visuals are being transformed into the third dimension. Virtual reality is I guess the next big step. Besides that, I would say that in the short term video will become much more important. Videography and photography will technically become one. And the future of fashion photography? I don’t know where this will go, I just know that I will handle the changes in the most possible personal way.
As I mentioned before, the corona crisis has boosted the social media traffic. Combining this fact with the VR, a lot of opportunities can be created by the fashion industry. I hope to see more creatives using this chance to reach the customers in a more interactive way.