Interview: Photographer Gabriela Stiep (Switzerland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a 32 year old self thought photographer from Switzerland. I grew up in a small town in the Kanton of Schaffhausen. On my full time job I am working in a Restaurant at the Rheinfall as Assistant of the manager.
How and when did you get into photography?
I got into photography about 5 years ago. It's pretty funny how I get into it. All started with a Facebook group which had the challenge to record and post a picture every day for a year. After 3 months I had my first model shooting and from there on I invested a lot of time in workshop and building up my photography and Photoshop skills. This year I also did my MUA diploma so now I am able to do all the parts of the shootings by myself. The group hasn't only brought me to photography I also get to know a lot of amazing people which are family for me now and I meet them in London all year 2-3 times.
What does photography mean to you?
It's a big part of my life now. When I'm not at work I invest most of my free time into photography. I love how I can life out my creativity and the amazing people I get to know true it.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I love the human body and face. Most of my pictures are in Boudoir or Nude art style. Due to my MUA Diploma I started doing more portraits this year. In all the pictures I take I try to transport the models personality as well as their beauty.
Where do you get inspiration from?
There are a lot of things which inspires me. F.e. advertising pictures or just a person I see on the street or a place I walk by. I also love to follow other photographers on Instagram and get inspired by their amazing work. For bigger shootings I use Pinterest to set up mood boards.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Mostly not. Most of the time I meet the model the first time at the day of the shoot and let myself inspire by her character and style. If I do a bigger shoot with lots of accessories I work with mood boards and have a clearer idea what picture I like to have in the end.
Studio, on location or both?
I love doing available light and outdoor shoots. But since I have my own studio I am getting more and more into the studio work. So I would say I prefer available light | outdoor shoots but I also work in Studio.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I would say I am somewhere in between. I do paid customer shoots but mostly work with models. This year I took a year off of customer shoots to only concentrate on model shootings and to be able to do a year what I like to do in photography.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I loved the session I set up with my photographer friend Jannine Küffer. She had a parachute lying around for over two years and we finally were able to use it this year. I really loved it because the results are some of my favorite pictures from this year and we had a lot to set up and a lot of assistants for this shoot.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I am a Canon girl and I'm happy with it but personally I think it’s the eye and not the camera that make your pictures good in the end. I have two all-time favorite lenses. My must have lens is the Sigma Art 50mm 1.4. This is the most important for me because I can use it for portraits and full body pictures. It's amazing with light and gives you a beautiful sharp result. For close up portraits, I use the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens. Its results are so sharp and it works perfect with less daylight as well. Additional to these two lenses I have the Sigma Art 24mm lens which I like to use if I like to bring some special angles to the picture. The other lens which I like to use is the Canon 80-200mm. Its pictures are really high quality but it's also really heavy to work with.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Concentrate on yourself and your work. Don't start and think you will be famous within two months. It needs a lot of time until you can keep up with the real professional photographers (I am also still working to get there). Also, don't care about Facebook or Instagram likes. I saw a lot of photographer concentrating at this and getting frustrated if they see that others get more followers as them. Also, don't sell yourself under what you're worth. You need to have the guts to also say no to a customer if they don't like to pay your prices. If your quality is right, you will find the customers which will be fine paying your prices.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I really like your new magazine. I think you show a lot of high quality work and it's great to see all the amazing artist in your magazine and to get to know them. I am looking forward to see your upcoming magazines
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