Driven by a Subject's Vision
Artist Interview with Michael Krause
Q: When did you start taking photographs and why did you continue?
A: I started to learn studio photography during my Art Class at High school in 2004. This inspired me to become a Graphic and Media Designer later, where photography also was one part of my education. Photography is accompanying me since my High School time, so, since I´m a teenager. I continued because for me it is the greatest way to get creative and to interact socially at the same time**. During time I´ve found my own style. I´ve started with studio photography, then shot a lot of product photography and now ended up with my love for outdoor portrait & people photography.
Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?
Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby Sweet 50?
A: First: Be open for new, unique, and characteristic images and compositions. Try to test and use every lens and optic with a lot of calmness and don´t put yourself under pressure. Take your time and let the results and the atmosphere you´ve created sink. If needed, step back from your pictures for some days and then look at the pictures again with fresh, new eyes. This is especially important if you are new in using Lensbaby, because you will need some time to get used to this unique look.Be aware, that every lens has his own soul and needs a unique way to be handled and used.And above all: No matter if you are new or experienced with Lensbaby, ask for help, get tips from other Lensbaby photographers, for example in our Facebook forum, or from other Ambassadors. In my view, there´s no community that´s so constructive, supporting, and open like the Lensbaby universe.
Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?
A: For me, personally, it already starts in the way I prepare my shootings. Above all it´s most important that my model is feeling good with standing in front of my camera, with what we will shoot, with the clothes or style we choose, etc. That´s so important for me, that it´s the first thing I talk about with my models, long before we start to plan other details or start shooting. That means, that for me as a human and as a photographer I´d never shoot anything that my model wouldn´t feel well with in any way. I´d never push my models to anything or suggest realizing something that would make my model feel uncomfortable. There is nothing more important for me than my model feeling safe and sound during the shooting and has a good feeling about the shooting even afterwards. For me it´s a question of respect, chemistry, and empathy to be able to engage and respond with my models and. This is the “secret” of every single one of my photos! And it helps the models to bring out the best of them because they know there´s not a photographer who want´s them to do things they don´t want them to do or they don´t feel comfortable with. It´s important for both sides to find out and build a bridge between ideas and realization of shootings that both model and photographer feel good with and in the end are happy with the results.
Michael Krause with Lensbaby Velvet 85
Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?
A: Aside from recognition and the way everyone has to define what “success” means for themselves, the biggest challenge for me is this: On one side I want to create photographs in my own style, with my own imagery, photographys that “speak” to people and that people can identify or empathize with. Photographys, people can imagine being a part of. With this I can create kind of a foundation that can lead to a potential cooperation with models.On the other side you always have to think of, or at least I do, not to create a photography stile for a “huge mass” of people, photos that are already too many on the market. You´ve got to create your own style and not follow what the mass is already delivering. It´s important to let your own, unique creativity become reality. So it´s a balancing act to combine those two things without letting it hold back your own creative process, or, in the worst case, allowing this process to bore you or step back from being a photographer. Both things, creating your own style and fulfilling your own ideas and still be able to speak to people through your pictures are depending on each other and you´ve got to find your own way of combining both and still being able to take photos that push your creativity instead of holding it back.
Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?
A: I´m an educated Graphic Designer / Media Designer for digital and print and photography was part of my education. Plus, I´ve already started with photography at my High School art lessons. Basically, it was the photography experience at my High School and my teacher there that made me want to become a professional photographer.
Q: What inspires you most?
A: I´m mostly inspired by the humans that want to work with me. Every single one of them has it´s own uniqueness, charisma, and presence on photographs. Everyone has his own picture of themselves, or how they or others see themselves, but at the same time partially they wish to break out of this picture and get to know and show another side of them. Exactly this is my source for different shooting ideas and my source of inspiration.
Michael Krause with Lensbaby OMNI
Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
A: People combined with nature photography!
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?
A: For me it´s mostly these things: Letting the pictures in my head come to life, giving models a different view on themselves / showing them other sides of them, seiing the surprise and happiness in the eyes of my models when they see another side of them in my photography (especially, if it´s the first time someone stands in front of a camera). And of course, too, kind of a recognition, if it is with comments to my pictures, likes, shooting requests, words / comments from people from the other side of the world, or things like being published by magazines or even make it on the cover of a magazine. I appreciate and am happy for every feedback, no matter if it is a comment, a message, or whatever. I´m really happy if my photography is touching people.