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Interview: Photographer Ralf Schellen (Germany)


Can you tell us a little about you?

Although I am a beauty and fashion photographer located in Mönchengladbach, I am currently making a transition from working with clients to selling own pictures in a gallery or on the internet. I also really like fantasy pictures. For me, it generates a lot of fun to create artistic works. My current exhibition “Spy Art Edition” of 24 pictures can be seen in a gallery in Krefeld. Also, I am carrying out workshops and do coaching. In addition, I have successfully started to create short films last year.


How and when did you get into photography?

I already dealt with image processing during my studies to become a graduate engineer. In 2009, I then completed my photographic education at the renowned “New York Institute of Photography (NYIP)” and started my professional carrier beside my normal job as an IT Project Manager. Two years ago, I quit my regular job and began to concentrate on photography only.


What does photography mean to you?

For me, photography is art and is a perfect way to express myself as a person with a technical background.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

My motto is: “simple – emotional – alive” and my works are normally kept rather dark, with light-flooded accents and characterized by intensive image processing. Currently, I really love making pictures with a cinematic look. My pictures are defined by a simple structure with concentration on the essential. I also like to experiment with colors.


Where do you get inspiration from?

I try to learn from the best. Therefore, I spend a lot of time on the internet looking at portfolios of famous photographers, wondering how they made their work. I also read and own a lot of books – the last one I bought was from Peter Lindbergh.


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

Yes, I plan every shooting in detail. If I am going to produce pictures with more focus on art, I start thinking of the message and the symbols even before I plan the setup itself.


Studio, on location or both?

Both, depending on the client demand but my focus is more on studio photography.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I am a paid professional and owned a studio for more than ten years. However, the Corona pandemic forced me to go different ways and I got rid of my studio.


What has been your most memorable session and why?

I will never forget a fashion shooting in Tuscany with beautiful models, locations and weather. So, everything was fine. However, my memory card failed, and 2 days of work were gone. You can be sure, this happened never again to me.


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

In the past, I owned all major brands (Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sony). Currently, I am shooting with Sony and Fujifilm medium format cameras. My favourite lens is a Sigma 35mm, F1.2 lens. I really love the look of this lens, especially with wide open aperture.


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

Don’t think too much - just do it. You can start your business in parallel to your regular job (which I have done, too).


What do you think of our new magazine?

Awesome work! It looks very fresh and is an extreme good resource for inspiration.




Model: Lotte Henning

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Anja Franz, Fabrice Labako

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Lotte Henning

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Ria Greek

Make-up: Julia Rein

Model: Katya Dubrovskaya

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Vanna Seelenspiegel

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Taisia Model

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Inna Schmidt

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Nici Larubia

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Inna Schmidt

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model:Anja Franz

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

Model: Lotte Henning

Make-up: Swetlana Horning

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