Hear It!

Wow! As cliché as it may sound, time does really zoom past when you’re having fun. December has come-a-knocking and we are in to our final edition of Hear It for the year 2011! This month, Bernd Jürgens share his words of wisdom for those venturing into photography and mentions how he enjoys looking at the impressed look plastered on people’s faces when they see his masterpieces. Go ahead and “Hear It”.

Photographer: bernjuer / Bernd Jürgens
Country of Origin: Germany

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
Canon 5D MII, Canon 40D, Canon 70/200, mostly a 20 year old Mamiya Macro on a Canon adaptor, a lot of cheap studio flashes and the best of all, Photoshop.

2. What do you think of photography these days?
It's still evolving. There are a lot of pictures that have been taken since its invention and everyday there is someone out there who is taking a unique picture. About 20 years ago, by some coincidence, I cycled through the village where Niepce photography was invented and that was where I spotted a stone monument and a museum

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be a computer programmer, which is what I mostly did.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I used my father's Minolta SLR at the age of 15 when my friends and I went on a tour in France. I read all the photography books I could get my hands on at that time and then I sent my pictures to newspapers in order to buy my own dark room, which I used on a daily basis. I also took photos mostly for newspapers and did a lot of weddings.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
Be different, find your niche, don't be upset by refusals and aim for perfection.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Limited hard disk space and the learning curve of digital post-processing.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
The look that says ‘Wow!’ on the faces of people I show my good shots to.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I usually have a list of items or posing styles that I keep in my personal wiki. Once the list is done,that’s when things get wild.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
Just some pictures from a guy who thinks his pictures are nice. No art here.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
I usually start by shooting the things I pre-visualize and after the list is completed, I let my mind roam around and get some more inspiration to be creative.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Great pictures of food that is mouth-watering.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Real ice-cream. It’s rather difficult to keep it away from the studio lights and my wife.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
Aim for the best shot possible.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
I indulge in watching paintings, not necessarily photographs. My preferred art period ends, however,with the french impressionists. I turn to the great Netherlanders such as Rubens et al instead for excellent light work.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I go on mountain bike rides, wind surfing - if there is wind in Bavaria, check out an art exhibition and jam on one of my guitars.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
I just walk down the stairs, insert the CF card into my camera, turn the flashes on and start shooting.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
I discovered that I have patience, usually unknown to others. Spending hours rolling up films in the dark room, or clicking dust away in Photoshop is a zen experience

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
i. Ansel Adams for his perfection through all stages of analogue photography and his dedication.
ii. Helmut Newton for his directness in the visual field.
iii. Rembrandt for his light rendition.
iv. Van Gough for changing the view of a sunflower with a tube of chrome yellow.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
I follow the motto of a particular brand - Just do it. There is a chance that you might succeed and there is a chance that you might not. But whatever it is, remember the sunscreen.

More Hear It! Interviews