It is interesting how different answers you get when you ask photographers what it is that they like about photography. The art, the technique, the technology, the documentation, the interaction with people – there seem to be as many answers as there are photographers out there.
“I love to solve problems,” answers Dutch photographer René Kramers. “When a client or an ad agency comes to you with an idea, it’s up to you to turn that idea into a result. The challenge is of course to figure out how to do that. So in a sense, photographers are like problem solvers. And that is something that I really, really appreciate.
“This is connected to the fact that I enjoy working with people. Together you are almost like a football team. You find the right people for the right position, you have a common goal, and when the atmosphere is right and everybody is enjoying themselves, you might just be able to create something mind blowing.”
What would you say is the most important thing that you have learned during your 20 years as a photographer?
“What’s the word in English? Self-esteem? Or perhaps confidence is most accurate? As a photographer, you’re like the team leader on the set. You must believe in yourself and stand up for the ideas in your head. You also need to be able to express those ideas to the people you work with. You need to convince them. Otherwise you’re just not working towards the same goal.”
And what would you say is the most important thing that you’ve learned about lighting?
“That light is crucial when it comes to creating that feeling and atmosphere that you want to express. It’s also important to remember that the light becomes a part of your composition. Let’s say you’re shooting a dark, intense sky. A sky like that will of course seriously affect the balance and composition. But for some reason, you tend to forget that.”
What products do you mainly use?
“I love the Pro-7b because of its speed and simplicity. But I hate travelling with equipment, so I always rent it when I’m going somewhere. That’s one of the main reasons why I always go with Profoto; no matter where I go, South Africa or America or Spain, they always have it.
Speaking of South Africa; these images were shot there, right?
“Yes, they were done there as part of an ad campaign for Johnny Loco bicycles. You know, I had a lot of fun shooting those images. Planning the shoot, scouting the area, going out there like four in the morning to set up the lights, and then just waiting for the sun to rise – it was pretty amazing. It’s also a nice example of how important pre production is. We spent a lot of time prepping that shot. Hence, the actual shooting was actually pretty easy.”
So the sun is the main light?
You make it sound so easy.
“It wasn’t easy. But we did come prepared.”
See more of René’s images at his website.
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