FAQ Part 1 - answering your questions

On Instagram I receive so many DM's with questions about me and my photography every single day. That's why I thought doing a FAQ blogpost would maybe be a good idea to answer some of them and I also think it's just a cool way for you to get to know me a little bit better. So let's start:

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My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.
— Steve McCurry

How old are you?

I'm 18 years old.

How do you find your models?

That's something I was always curious about when I started photography a couple of years ago. I thought that "real models" only shoot with professional photographers. So just like most beginners, I started taking pictures of my sister, my friends and sometimes asked others to take pictures of me. I kept doing this for at least a year until - as my numbers of followers on Instagram kept rising- I received the first direct messages of people asking me about where excactly I live and if I would like to shoot together.

I guess the reason why it took quite long for me to receive the first requests was the lack of personal information (age, name, location) on my Instagram account. So my tip for you is to always mention your name and the biggest city near your home town in your bio and you can of course also try to find models yourself by just looking for people living close to you. Just stay polite, friendly and honest and I'm sure you'll set up your first shooting pretty soon.

Over time, those messages kept increasing rapidly and since I created this website and a business email address it's easier for me to distinguish between tfp projects and paid shootings. So now it happens quite often that I contact models if I've got a special shooting idea I want to realise or models contact me if they have a certain concept in mind. I also have a really good relationship with most of my models so I often shoot with the same people not only once, but on a regular basis. I think that's just another great thing about photography: all the lovely and inspiring people you meet.

 

What camera and lens do you use?

This is probably the most frequently asked question, although I think it's almost the less important. Many people still believe that photography is all about having the best and most expensive equipement - but that's so wrong! I personally started with a very cheap digital camera, then used my father's old Nikon d80 and my first own DSLR was a second hand Nikon d5100. Eventually, I spent all my money on my current love: the Nikon d750 - my first full frame camera.

But now that you know about my camera history, let's move on to the next mistake many people make: they only care about the camera body and not about the lens, even though buying a new lens can make so much of a difference while buying a new body doesn't have to! My all time favorite is the Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4G. Because of the wide aperture you can perfectly use it for golden hour/sunset shoots and you'll get the lovely bokeh background. I also own the standard Nikkor 18-55mm 1:4.5G and a macro lens, but I barely use them. That's why my recommendation for everyone wanting to get into portrait photography is the 50mm 1:1.8G - it's only about 200 euros and you can't go wrong with it.

So these are my equipment suggestions for complete beginners (the remote shutter release is perfect if you want to try self portraits or long time exposure at night):

How/Where do you find inspiration for your photos?

I already know that this answer is going to be really boring and that many other creatives say the same thing, but inspiration is just everywhere! I find it on the internet, on social media, in magazines, but most of all in the places and people around me. It happens quite often that I drive by a certain place and immediately start to imagine what it would be like to shoot there. And it's the same with people: sometime I meet a person and directly have a special shooting idea in mind.

"Ok great, but what should I do if I can't find inspiration that easily?". My tip for beginners or just people feeling a little bit unispired (everyone feels like this sometimes!) is to scroll through your Instagram or Pinterest feed, look for pictures you like and then try to do something similar. One might argue that it's not right to steal other people's ideas and it has got nothing to do with creativity, but most of the time you just need to start following an idea to start developing your own ones and I think it's a great way to find your personal photography style.

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If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.
— Steve McCartney
The photographer should be interested in the people in front of his lens.
— Eve Arnold
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How do you edit your pictures?

I normally use Lightroom, Photoshop and the Vsco Cam App, but it always depends on the pictures. Because it seems like so many people are interested in my editing routine, I'll probably write a more detailed blogpost about it very soon.

What are you doing at the moment? What are your plans for the near future?

As some of you might know, I just finished school a couple of months ago. So now that I've finally got lots of free time again, I can concentrate more on the things I like. That's why I've been working in a creative agency,  focused on my freelance photography and social media activities, spent quality time with my family and friends and for example had time to set up this website and blog!

Concerning my future plans: In October I will start living and travelling through Australia and Asia for about 6 months and after that I'll start going to university. I'm already so excited for all the cool things ahead and can't wait to share my adventures with you.

 

Ok, so I guess that's it for today. I'm sorry if I couldn't answer your question yet, but there will definitely be another FAQ coming soon.

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