Can you tell us a little about you?
Hi I am Robert Hechinger a 59 years old French photographer based in Colmar where I set up 3 years ago my photography studio - La Boite à Images. I love portraits photography and on top of all I like teaching through workshops that I organise around different themes.
How and when did you get into photography?
I stepped in to photography as my father when I was 13 years old gave me a 35mm camera. I bought my first Minolta Reflex camera when I was 15 years old by working hard during summer time. I remember at that time spending all my free time in the dark room trying to produce my first landscape portfolio. Often I return to this first set of photographies - I believe that it is important to remember and understand where we are coming from to appreciate better the way achieved and the one which still has to go even if it is an endless path.
What does photography mean to you?
For me photography is a window open to the world and to the people. What excites me the most every time when I press the shutter is to know that I freeze a very tiny slice of time which is very unique and which will never ever come back again.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I am still in the process to fine tune my style but basically I love to produce pictures which are focusing on the sensitivity of the models and to present them in a non distracting and flattering environnement
Where do you get inspiration from?
Actually inspiration sources are every where - the ones which I use the most are checking and analysing the work of other well known photographers, flipping through fashion magazines, researching on Pinterest, watching and rewatching movies… And of course Modellenland Magazine that I check on regular basis to find new inspirations.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
I try, before stepping into a photoshoot, to get prepared as well as possible - when shooting outdoor I scoot the potential locations, check the quality of light, the possible point of views… For any shoots with models, I try to come up with a mood boards which helps to bring all the actors involved (model, makeup, styliste…) to the same page and give myself a large chance to produce consistent pictures in line with my vision.
Studio, on location or both?
I love shooting in studio and on location - Actually it depends on my mood and on the concept I try to drive through. Also it brings a lot of excitement to change from studio to location and vice versa as it forces me to step into a different ways of thinking.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
So far making money through photography is not important to me as I have a day job. What I like the most is taking beautiful pictures that the models love.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Actually all sessions I did with Nienna have been memorable. She is a wonderful lady with a big heart like this. She inspires me at each shoot. There is a close complicity between the two of us. Nienna has been my muse for now almost 2 years
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I shoot on Canon and my favorite lenses are the 85mm f1.2, the 70-200 f2.8 and the 24-70 f2.8. For outdoor portraits my go to lens is definitively the 85mm - I love the creamy look it produces when shooting wide open. However I must say that the gear for me is not important at all. Nikon or Canon both brands are so close each to the other that it does not make a difference. I am dreaming about a brand putting on the market a camera where only aperture, shutter speed and ISO can be adjusted, with a high class sensor and with a very reliable autofocus, without all the other millions of features and functions that I do not use on my camera and which some times do confuse me.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
I would give 3 main recommendations
- Work hard on your craft to produce pictures which stand out from the crowd
- Workout and adjust a solid and realistic business plan
- Pay a lot of attention to Marketing and communication plan to promote efficiently and consistently the image of your brand
What do you think of our new magazine?
I believe that your magazine is great - first as said above it is a very good source of inspiration and second it allows a lot of photographers to be published and have their work be recognised and broadcasted.
Robert Hechinger - La Boite à Images