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Interview: Photographer Lars Fink Rasmussen (Denmark)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I work and have worked as a creative director, art director, graphic designer and photographer in the advertising industry for more than 30 years. I'm trained to think conceptually or to make good ideas, and I just love to tell beautiful stories - visual stories.

How and when did you get into photography?

Well, that’s actually a long story, but I will make it short. As a creative developer at an agency, I have worked with a lot of photographers and filmmakers. I made the concept and they delivered the pictures/film. I was on the set every time and sometimes, I helped set up the light and so on. And because I was on the set every time and for many years I, without knowing, got myself an extra education. So back then, when the financial crisis hit us all in 2006 and my clients suddenly didn’t have the money for expensive photographers, I had to do something. So to keep my clients, I offered them a cheaper photographer - me! I was totally out of the comfort zone, but then again, I knew what I should do on a set. So the agency bought a camera, lights and different devices and then, it started. A campaign from idea to shoot and the next, and next. And before I knew it was my new normal to both be the idea maker and photographer. Today, I still do the same, but with way more shoots than concept developments. And I love it that way!

What does photography mean to you?

It means everything!!! It’s my biggest passion! My heart belongs to beauty and fashion images. I can be deeply fascinated by a beautiful fashion image and all the work associated with fashion images - all the clothes and shoes, accessories, the right location, selection of models, the theme, the light, styling, makeup, assistants and photo equipment. And I love when the right model, the clothes and a cool location merge into one beautiful universe that makes pure magic for the eyes. Therefore, magic is a very important keyword for me, at any shoot - I want, I can, I will always go for creating a unique visual expression. Okay, is not good enough - it's got to be special, catchy or just crazy beautiful. To me, fashion and beauty are not just an easy solution. It requires a lot of preparation with the idea and research, so the final result gets the right magic mood. Perhaps I'm a perfectionist or a little nerd, but I simply love all facets of a great picture, both before, during and after. I’m the type of photographer that go all-in to create the perfect picture every time.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Hmm, that’s really hard to say! I try my best not to make the same kind of style in my photography. It’s kinda killing my creativity if I should make the same style over and over again. But I guess, some would call my kind of photography edgy, iconic, colorful and sometimes provocative - very undanish! Many is surprised that I come from Denmark, because of the way I make my shoots - “it’s so US your style”, “wtf, I thought you’re from Miami” (a few statements from people who write to me on Instagram). I have a deep respect for many kind of photography, but I think fashion and beauty are extra hard to manage and make catchy. I think I see too many “dead faces” and I hate that trend. For me fashion and beauty is an art form and face expression and poses are extremely important - it shall hit your heart and make you wanna stop up. It has to be different! It’s all about creativity, feelings and to make it unlimited eye catching. And I just love love love when I capture the one and only moment, the magic, the truth in the models eyes and I can feel my heart pumps faster!

Where do you get inspiration from?

Well, this one might seems a bit weird, but I often use google and make a search for some words under images. And then I look at all the pictures at the same time and try to see a connection or a pattern without reading any text. It sometimes ends up with a totally new dimension in my head and inspires me to an idea. And I love to read articles about human behaviors and new trends. I look daily at Pinterest for both fashion, beauty, graphic design, architecture and interiors. And I often find the biggest inspiration in older fashion pictures from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. In some way, I think pictures from these periods were a bit more iconic than most of the fashion pictures taken today. I try to learn my kids that life would stop if we all did the same, looked the same, had the same culture and walked in other people’s footsteps. So, in other words, I try to live my life making a difference by not doing the same as most people do. Do it your own way or die trying, I say :-) But I love and respect all people and I love that we all have different opinions, styles and cultures. And it’s always inspiring to meet someone who is totally different from yourself. I really hope that my style and my way of thinking one day will fit in and suit the danish fashion and beauty industry, so the uncolorful, plan, non-expression Nordic minimalist style not is the only accepted photostyle in Denmark.

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

I always want to create a unique visual expression - that’s my no. rule!!! But besides that, I guess I try to see every photo task differently, so if I one day make a beauty shoot and know if I set up all light the same way as the day before, something just teases me to set it up differently. And I have sometimes planned an indoor fashion shoot with a lot of soft box flashing lights and ended up shooting with a speed light because I saw or felt something at the set that could make the shoot more edgy. But with all that in mind, I always plan my shoots carefully and make a lot of research with locations, lights, styles, model, mua and so on. And of course, before all the planning, I love coming up with ideas about the shoot and to find the right style, model, stylist for the task. I love every part of my shoots, before, with the ideas and planning, during, with all the involved people (I just love meeting people) and after, with selecting the right pictures and retouching. The only thing I always know well happen on my shoots, is that I make the same faces as the models while shooting. I simply can’t help it, and I don’t do it on purpose! It often make the models laugh out loud, because I apparently looks like a moron :-D

Studio, on location or both?

I shoot both. Mostly I use my studio for beauty shoots and make fashion on different locations. I love location shoots because the perfect environment can make an extra dimension to pictures - inside or outside doesn’t matter, as long as the environment is beautiful, cool and fits the idea with the shoot.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

That’s a tricky one, because I earn money on my photography while shooting campaigns, fashion shoots and other stuff. But I shoot a lot of TFP too, which is for example when I have an idea I would like to make and trying new technics.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

Have had so many, so it’s really hard to say. But maybe one session or picture have made a big difference for me. It’s a picture take of the model Simone Borg in a pool. This picture have been reposted on Instagram so many times, that I have stopped counting. It have gained so many interviews in different magazines and have in some way been the picture that made me known outside Denmark. And I love that picture - it says a lot about my skills and way of capturing eye catching moments.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I shoot with Canon. I have tried other brands, but it just doesn’t feels right. Canon and I are best friends, because the navigation and buttons are made for my fingers. I use Canon, Sigma and Tamron as lenses. I have many different, 35 mm prime, 50 mm prime, 85 mm prime, macros, zoom and other lenses. There are something with the technology in Tamron that makes their 85 mm lens extremely accurate and stable. It never lets me down.

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

It’s always hard to give advice to newer photographers I think. But the most important thing for me as a photographer is to never stop experimenting with ideas, the mood, compositions, light, setup, graphic lines and so on. For me pictures shall be entertainment for the eyes! And the most important thing for me is to NEVER put One and same style in all pictures. It slowly kills my eyes when I see the same over and over again! Some will surely not agree with me, but when I see a photographer doing the same thing (specially on Instagram), I get bored! I see pictures and content as different movies - I don’t like to see the same movie twice! And I simply don’t like a movie if I can predict it before I have seen it or if I feel I have seen a similar movie before. I simply love variability - it’s my drive! And that’s why I consider myself as a versatile creative person and photographer! I love to make plan and simple fashion, beauty and portraits one day and the next day some out of the box fashion and beauty series. I don’t say that I’m a champion in my way of making photography - I just say I try my best to make entertaining pictures.

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