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Interview: Photographer Michael Oxkjær (Denmark)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I will turn 59 in April, married, and have an 18-year-old son. I am a self-employed individual, specializing in website development and online marketing. Additionally, I engage in some commercial photography. A significant part of my time is dedicated to the local photography club, where I serve as the chairman. I have a passion for Photoshop and regularly stream on Twitch while editing images, hoping others can learn from my editing techniques.

 

How and when did you get into photography?

It was a bit of a coincidence; I experienced stress-related issues back in 2014 and ended up in the hospital with symptoms resembling a brain hemorrhage – fortunately, that wasn't the case. However, it led me to find a hobby to get a break from work. Photography became that hobby. So, I haven't been photographing for a particularly long time compared to many others, but photography plays a significant role in my daily life.

 

What does photography mean to you?

Photography means a lot to me. It is my way of meeting new people, forming new friendships, and creating a lot of cool pictures. I primarily shoot model photos, and being creative with others gives me an energy boost and surplus in my everyday life.

 

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I am very detail-oriented (at least, I think so), and my photographic style is very clean. By that, I mean I can't stand dirty backgrounds and similar elements – the images should be clean and neat. Consequently, I spend a relatively long time editing photos, but for me, editing is a significant part of the photography process. All images go through Photoshop to present the models in the best possible way; I feel it's somehow my "duty" as a photographer. There might not be much storytelling in my images; the beautiful and neat aspects mean more to me.

 

Where do you get inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from various sources, such as magazines, websites, Pinterest, Instagram, Kavyar, and Facebook. When I come across some cool pictures, I save them in my notes and use them as inspiration for future shoots, especially when I have a model with the right look. Many times, models also come up with ideas, and I highly appreciate it when that happens.

 

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

It happens sometimes, especially when I come across some inspiration, but quite often, we figure it out based on the clothing the model brings to the shoot. For me, it's a challenge to make the most of what we have available and to set up the right lighting, etc., without everything being planned in advance.

 

Studio, on location or both?

I would say both have their merits. Shooting on location is always great because you have surroundings that can add more life to the pictures. On the other hand, you have 100% control in the studio. In Denmark, we have very unstable weather, making it challenging to plan a location shoot more than a few days in advance.

 

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I would say both, somewhere in between. I use the hobby part to test various things that I can then apply to my commercial photography.

 

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

None of them, I shoot with Sony. I love Sigma lenses and use no other brand. They are super sharp and cost only half of what Sony lenses do. I enjoy shooting at a wide aperture, so my favorites for location shoots are the 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.4, and 135mm F1.8. In the studio, I tend to use the 24-70mm F2.8.

 

What has been your most memorable session and why?

There have been many, but what stands out most vividly in my memory was when I first started taking pictures. I participated in a workshop on model photography, and it was the first time I was going to photograph models. After completing that workshop, I knew that it was what I wanted to do—working with people. It was a significant eye-opener for me and clearly the reason why I do what I do today.

  

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

Believe in yourself, take pride in what you do, and always do your best – every time.

 

What do you think of our new magazine?

I love when a new issue comes out; it's always inspiring and exciting to see what others are creating, especially because you feature many creative amateurs in the magazine.

 


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