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Interview: Photographer Dorian Rosenthal (Netherlands)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I would describe myself as The Practitioner of Photographic Shamanism. I usually seek others to participate in an immersive experience because most of the time my practice is that of a shaman who records the photographic experience in a symbolic visual language of the photographic ritual. 


How and when did you get into photography?

I have always been fascinated with the themes of Eros and Thanatos. The exploits of these themes in photography have opened many doors of possibilities to express different aspects of human life, such as sexuality, gender and the diverse aesthetics of the human body. 

I always say I have had several lifetimes in one. First of all, being a storyteller obsessed with human nature as the first passion and finally finding the right medium to pursue the passion of storytelling in a meaningful visual way. 


What does photography mean to you?

Photography is my passion and the ultimate outlet for continues storytelling present in my mind.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

A significant part of the photographic shamanism practice is interaction with other individuals who seek participation in the photographic ritual. These works greatly emphasize on the bodyscapes of participants who are willing to share individual experience of self discovery during the photographic ritual.

In order to do so, I experiment with digital photography mainly in monochrome to tell the thought-provoking narratives from all sides of the camera. 


Where do you get inspiration from?

The inspiration comes hand in hand with an endless search for new ways to present portraits and bodyscapes of participants with features which sometimes differ from socially accepted norms of femininity or masculinity and into the realm that exists beyond binary gender perceptions.


Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

Most of the photographic narrative already begins when meeting a new character. I prefer well thought out settings to be sure the characters feel comfortable and safe with the process. I leave just enough room for improvisation and spontaneous creativity from both sides. 


Studio, on location or both?

The main focus is always a safe and comfortable space for the people involved. I believe in improvised space exploration instead of studio space. As a Queer photographer my main goal is to create a safe environment for the best possible creative setting. The main reason for this practice is the fact I never approach professional models. Also my experience with people tells me there is a lot of mistrust in the photography scene and private studios are seen as an unsettling environment especially in Queer community, As a response to the issue my main focus is the well being of a person who wants to participate, so I choose unfamiliar grounds to make sure everyone is at ease. 


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I consider myself as an artist aka a fool that will never get paid for my work. 


What has been your most memorable session and why?

The most memorable session was with a person who is no longer with us. It was a request to capture them before the last flame of creativity was still there.

Still makes my heart sink whenever I look at the beauty captured just before it disappeared from this world. 


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I’m definitely into Nikon at the moment. My favorite lens is AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4


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

As mentioned before I don’t see photography as a business. 


What do you think of our new magazine?

The magazine seems very consistent and the photo quality is excellent.


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