Who: Alexander Kientsch
When: 28th November 2012
How: e-mail interview
1. Why did you choose photography as your profession?
Because this is what I like the most! And you should always try to do what you love
2. Who has influenced you the most in terms of photography?
As a good friend of mine, Nikolaus Grünwald did. But I´m interested in the work of Crewdson and Shore also.
3. What specific way did you use to get your first clients?
I worked as an assistant and got the first jobs from clients who saw my pictures and the way I work. They told it to friends and so on …
4. What are your tools of the trade?
5. What is your number one fear or frustration when comes to working as a photographer?
It frustrates me when the client will not pay for the job because there are to many stock photographers out there working for a few cents.
6. What is your favorite style of photography? Why?
My favorite style is the documentation of history, meaning old things and the stories behind them.
7. Could you please describe your creative process from the idea to the final result?
Omg, Well I will try to describe it with an example. I had the idea to shoot in an abounded city, so I checked some points like: How should it look like? Where can I find it? It is possible to shoot there? Do I need permission? When is the best time to travel? When the best light condition? How dangerous is it to shoot there keeping in mind that there could be rattle snakes, a house could break down, are there “gangsters” located? etc. Than I did a research on the Internet to find the best spot and traveled to California. I had the idea to have a hard light in the final result, so I shot some pictures that way and others became it look in the retouching. So most of the work is the planning and research.
8. What is your best tip to taking a striking photography?
Do what you like the most. You will not make the best shot while doing a job for a client you don´t like (the job or the client).
Maybe you will create a striking shot anyway, but it feels not the same way as you would have did it with passion.
9. What is your favorite shot you have taken and why?
It is not a particular one and it varies how my mood is that day. But all of them are personal work, mainly done in the USA.
This is because money is not the focus in my personal work and I can be as creative as I like to be.
10. Do you think it is hard to be original? How do you keep your ideas fresh?
It is very hard to be original if you like to make some money. You need to be flexible in order to get the job. It may sound a bit weird but I get fresh ideas while watching music videos, pictures I like or even listen to music.
The most ideas come into my mind while doing sport and listen to good music.
11. Could you list a particular advantage of being a photographer? A particular disadvantage?
You meet a lot of cool people; you can work as a team or alone and be creative most of the time. A disadvantage? Well, it´s getting harder to get the job, as it was a few years ago and the main focus is on retouching instead of the photography itself.
12. Are there any current problems faced by most photographers? Do you have any specific advice for someone interested in this field?
I think the problems are individual depending on your clients and your own abilities. But the “low cost” thinking of the most clients (private and companies) is or will be the big problem in the future for west-Europe based photographers.
Try to be original! Keep the fun you have while doing the job – the customer will feel that! Try to get the most attention possible like being in the newspaper, social networks etc. Do some free work to keep your creativity and passion and do the paid jobs for the living.
13. Could you please list the highlights of your career? Satisfactions?
I´m not the type of guy who can list highlights because it´s not a highlight for me to get this or that job done. I´m satisfied and proud when a client is happy about the result of my work and tells that the next client or a other professional like for example a creative artist director or photographer feels inspired by my work
14. Where do you hope to go with your photography?
No, it´s not getting rich or things like that but influence people in the way they think. Have a cover shot in the time magazine with a story behind that will change people´s mind.