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Interview: Photographer Christoph Boecken (Germany)

Tell us something about yourself

Growing up near Cologne I now live in Berlin, working as a portrait photographer and software developer.

How and when did you get into photography?

Back then a friend of mine did some street photography, and suddenly this mysterious being called ‘photographer’ had a name and wasn’t so distant anymore. So I thought I could give it a try and at the end of 2008 bought a used entry-level DSLR and started taking photos.

What does photography mean to you?

Nowadays, it’s a way to connect with other people. I consider myself slightly introverted so meeting someone with the same passion helps me a lot. Usually I refer to a shooting as “an afternoon full of talk, the photos are just a byproduct”.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Calm and honest. I don’t retouch, I don’t alter. I want the person in front of my camera to be able to look at our photos years later and still can say with confidence, that on that particular day in that particular hour he or she was that incredibly beautiful – something you can in my opinion only achieve with honesty.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Well I would lie when I’d say I don’t draw inspiration from other photographers, so yeah... usually from their photo books or exhibitions.

Think you in advance what you want in the picture? Yes, though that can change in an instant. A portrait is something very personal, so I try to get to know the person up front before taking any photos. And if the the idea doesn’t fit I’ll have to think of something else. But that’s the charm of portrait photography too!

Studio, on location or both?


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

In between. I can’t live on photography alone, but I do get paid for client work.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

Well it’s not really positive, but one of my most memorable sessions was a trade shooting where the model told me that she had a wardrobe designer at hand and asked me to be the photographer. And then we were on that rooftop somewhere in Berlin, she wore the only dress that didn’t looked ridiculous while doing some extreme fashion poses and all I could think of “This isn’t my style, this isn’t what I’m doing, and you know that, so why did you ask me, what the fuck am I doing here?” Since this session I learned to trust my guts and that it’s OK to say No to requests.

What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

Peter Lindbergh, of course because of his photography, but also because of his approach and stand regarding retouching.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Neither. I do have a Nikon F100, but that’s more like a backup. Primary cameras are a Pentax 67II and a Rollei SL66

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Learn the business part of the profession. Taking photos takes up the smallest amount of time, most of the time you’re communicating. Don’t try to imitate someone else, instead try to find your own recognizable style.

What do you think of our new magazine?

To be honest, I didn’t had much time to take a thorough look at it, but what I saw so far was really good! I especially like the fact that you’re doing a real PDF magazine, which helps me a lot to focus on the content.

Model: Saraida

Model: Jacqueline Gärtner / MUA: Christine Be

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Model: Mary Gram / MUA: Julia Firefly

Model: Mary Kolende / MUA: Silvia Schwarz

Model: Lili Koehler

Model: Jacqueline Gärtner / MUA: Christine Be

Model: Ilka Brühl

Model: Alisa Chepel

Model: Celina Degen

Model: Eve le Belle

Model: Carlotta Davis

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