Interview: Photographer Peter Malaise (Belgium)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Peter Malaise, freelance journalist and photographer for Mediahuis and PhotoNews. I live in the Flemish Ardennes, the region of the famous cycling slopes such as the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg or Koppenberg. In 2017 I won the Nikon Photo Press Award Sport with a photo showing Mathieu van der Poel. The NPPA is the most important press award for photographers.
How and when did you get into photography?
In the early 2000s I was active in Rock & Roll. I rented large screens for festivals or concerts. As the person with final responsibility I always went to the activities. When Clouseau played 14 times in the Sportpaleis you know the show after a while. To counter the boredom I started taking pictures. In 2004 I bought a reflex camera, the first "models" were the men of REM. As a supplier, I could easily access the front stage to take pictures.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my profession, also my hobby. I am a member of photographers collective FoCa Scaldis, where we do all kinds of activities. You also learn from others how they can approach a subject.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I especially want to emphasize the subject. When working with models, you should always make sure that your model is respectfully pictured.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everywhere, every day produces some idea. I don't follow other photographers to imitate them. Every photo is different, every situation is different.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes, but sometimes you arrive somewhere and the idea you had is impossible to make. Then you adapt to the situation to get the best shot.
Studio, on location or both?
I prefer on location. But in the winter, location is not always possible. Studio has more limits.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I get paid for the press photos. That is the main focus of my photography. But with the collective I do it for fun.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Every shoot is different, every situation is different. And every shoot has something.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Canon, I don't have a favorite lens. Each situation requires a specific lens. So I have from 11 to 400 mm.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Everyone is a photographer nowadays. That is why you have to deliver quality so that you are above average. And do at least a little post-processing to make a difference.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Great magazine in which you see great photos. It has level and that is good. You also sometimes see things that you would not think of yourself.
Mathieu van der Poel NPPA Sport
Matteo Simoni aka Jan De Lichte