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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Locational Photography

  • 5 min read

Locational Photography

Artist Interview with Ute Reckhorn

Ute Reckhornis a photographer based in the United States who is all about the atmosphere and location when she is out on a shoot. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Ute Reckhorn with Fuji 18 mm F2R

Q: When did you start taking photographs? Why did you continue?

A: I started taking pictures back in 2012. After my youngest child started preschool I needed a creative outlet and photography has always been a hobby of mine so it seemed like something I could easily learn.


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A: My favorite LB gear are the OMNI Filters. I love how the variety of wands gives me so much creative freedom. They are small and light weight, fit into any bag or pocket and always add something unexpected to your images.

Ute Reckhorn with Fuji 18 mm F2R

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use OMNI Filters?

A: I recommend starting with no expectations. Allow yourself to be surprised and play around. Actually play a lot. Over time you will discover how each wand effects the light, colors and sharpness of your image. Also, book a seat in my upcoming OMNI Filter workshop. The next run of this class starts early February 2022.


Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

A: I love the work of Henry Cartier Bresson. There is so much to look at in his clever and often funny images. I love looking at black and white photography even though my own work is so full of color. Robert Maplethorpe and Debbie Fleming Caffery both impressed me with their authenticity. But honestly there are many more and we would need more time to talk about this topic.


Ute Reckhorn with Lensbaby Sweet 50

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?

A: Doing the work. There is such a big gap between the images that are on my mind and the images that I actually make. This can be intimidating to a point where I doubt my skills. But over the years I have learned that most artists deal with that challenge and so I pick up my camera most days no matter what my inner voices are telling me.


Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?

A: I am self taught. I started copying work that I liked and quickly realized that I had a lot of learning to do. In reading books, studying the work of others, taking workshops (both online and in person) and surrounding myself with talented photography friends I learned a lot. I think having a photography community and being able to talk about the craft and sharing stories was the most important factor in my journey as a photographer.


Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

A: My work is often about the atmosphere of a location and to be able to capture that feeling, I need to allow myself to calm down and immerse myself. The more time I spend to understand where I am and what the location and my feelings are about, the deeper connected I am to the subject, the more likely it is that I will create meaningful work, that is important to me, that feels right.


Ute Reckhorn with Fuji 18 mm F2R

Q: What inspires you most?

A: I am a big fan of nature. I love the way being in nature makes me feel and how perfect and innovative plants, trees animals and landscapes feel. Photography is in equal parts art, passion and meditation for me. I dedicate time each day to spend with my camera, most often at the beach. The sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean and the whole landscape are inspiring to me. But my work is also about freedom. The wide open landscape, flying seagulls, there's so much to look at and I feel like I'm going on a journey when I do.


Q: What's your favorite quote?

A: "Its not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." by David Thoreau.


Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?

A: The most rewarding part for me is when a picture makes my heartbeat stop. When I capture something out of the ordinary and it just feels right. This doesn't happen as often as I wish, but the hunt, the anticipation of the process is fun too.


Ute Reckhorn with Lensbaby Edge 35

Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: I love landscapes and portraits. Landscape photography gives me peace of mind and is like meditation for me. I appreciate the calming nature or the craft. Portraits are super exciting. I love connecting with people to get to know them before I take their portrait.


Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: My style is calming, colorful and adventurous.


Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?

A: For me it is important to build a relation before I take a portrait. I tend to feel people so this is relatively easy for me. But not everybody wants to be seen. So when people refuse to show their real person I find it much harder to establish a meaningful relationship and I think this is visible in a portrait. So my best tip is, try to be real and most people will respond to that invitation and show you their real me.


Ute Reckhorn

Ute here (aka Californialover on Instagram)! I’m located in sunny Southern California near Los Angeles, where I live with my family of five, our two dogs, and one cat. I was born and raised in Germany, but spent most of my adult life moving around the world. Here in LA, one of my greatest joys is living so close to the beach. Most afternoons I can be found walking at the beach. My photography is a result of my love for colors, beautiful light, and seascapes. Besides teaching photography workshops, I’m a Lensbaby Ambassador and love sharing tips and tricks about the usage of specialty lenses and prisms.

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