Begin with Marcus Schaefer
How did your journey begin?
I believe there were two significant moments in my life that got me into the whole photography thing. My journey began when a friend of mine got himself a new DSLR camera and I started playing around with it. Back in the days I had nothing to do with photography, but was really amazed by what you can actually do with a proper camera and lens. It didn’t take very long and I got myself the very same camera, which was a Canon 500D. Furthermore, during that time I was studying Fashion Journalism and Media Communication at the Academy of Fashion and Design in Munich, Germany. At the end of the 3rd semester we were supposed to do an internship, which I did with a fashion producer. He took me with on productions in New York and Miami, where I could experience proper fashion productions first hand and got myself hooked. I did a first test shoot in Miami on a day off and didn’t stop shooting every since...
How would you describe your work and yourself ?
I would describe my work to be very sculptural, it’s very much about shapes and forms, with a precise idea of how talents or objects are being arranged. Although my work is quite polished, whereas I always try to give it a twist by integrating a little something, that makes it slightly off and weird. I’ve always been very inspired by surrealists from the early 20th century and often find myself applying surrealistic ideas and approaches to my photographic concepts. Apart from that, my work’s got a very melancholic and vulnerable touch.
You are based in London..How would you describe the photography scene there?
London’s got the biggest and most dense editorial and magazine market in the world, therefore you’ve got the majority of the best photographers world wide in London too. It’s very competitive if you are a competitive person (I’m not), otherwise it’s simply amazing to work alongside the best people from the industry. It’s deeply inspiring and motivating to be part of this.
Why did you move to London instead of starting in your home country ?
I actually just moved to London about a bit longer then a year ago, before that I was based in Germany. If you want to go big you have to leave your comfort zone and go where things are happening, anything else doesn’t work.
The layout of your photos is the first thing attract my eyes..your work start by taking the pictures.. and end by designing the layout .. can you share your process with us?
My work is very much about telling a story by using all sorts of imagery. I believe a portrait or fashion shot can be very strong and powerful up until a point where there is a dead end. Once you combine that particular shot with more imagery, like a still life, landscape, painting, sculpture or some sort of art installation, you can trigger something else in the observers mind and push it to another level. That’s why I think the combination of images can make single images much stronger. I think that’s how I got into creating multiple imagery layouts. Editing all sorts of different photographs needs a lot of "try and error" - situations, until you find the perfect compilations. It’s almost like cooking a soup, where you have to find the perfect matching ingredients to make it magical.
Mirror is the object that shows in many of your work .. why mirror?
I love using mirrors as they somehow open up a parallel world and therefore are the perfect tool for me to add a surreal twist to my imagery.
Who is your biggest mentor in life? Why?
To be honest, there is no particular mentor in my life, as I believe you can have multiple "mentors" through-out your life. With mentors it’s almost like with inspiration, you can find it anywhere and anytime, especially when you least expect it.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
The fact that the world is full of beautiful things motivates me to keep on taking pictures everyday.
What are you working on? And what are the future projects you are excited about ?
I am currently working on a project for Sixteen Journal Magazine Vol. III, which is an annual independent print publication that investigates notions of the human condition. I am very thrilled and excited about the series I shoot for them!
What advice do you have for young photographers starting out into their careers?
Do your thing, no matter what and do not get distracted by any other opinions about your work from anybody. Literally anybody!