Another amazing find on 500px, this photographer goes by the name of LeFu. He uses text on his images to compliment the composition.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am 42 years old and happily married for 12 years now. I live in Germany and actually work all over Europe.
As a teenager I discovered my interest in foto, film and advertisement. Later on I choose to become a mediadesigner.
Digital photography for me started in 2004. At first I made a lot of landscape and panorama pictures. Later i began with people and fashionphotography. At the end of 2010 I choose to start my own business and became a freelance photographer and graphic designer.
What inspired you to get started in photography?
I was always fascinated by pictures and movies, but the inspiration to my people and fashion photography is the direct interaction on set with the people involved. As a media designer you spent a lot of time alone in front of the computer, so it’s really a refreshing and challenging difference to do a photoshooting with people on a set. Photography is a creative process and being part of this is very satisfying to me.
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
I work with digital SLR-Cameras and Middleformat-Cameras. On 99% of my shootings I use flashlights either as the only lightsource or in combination with the natural light. My favorite lenses on a DSLR are the 24-105mm 4.0 L and the 85mm 1.2 L.
What’s your favourite bag and why?
I buy products from LowePro for years now. I like the quality, the service and one can feel the designers think about the needs of a photographer.
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
Nothing can replace personal contacts and references. So I like to meet people in the real world and I am an active networker. But certainly I have my own website, a blog and I use social media platforms like facebook almost every day.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
I am very critical about my own work. So if everything works out fine, my latest picture is my favourite one. It represents my actual state of photography and postproduction abilities.
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
“douxplaisir” (and the rest of that shooting) was taken in July 2012 on Mallorca. It’s special in several aspects because it was a spontanous shooting with a model I met accidentally at the airport.
I knew her from her Sedcard but i haven’t met her before. So i also did not know she was flying to Mallorca too.
So I talked to her and we did this shooting on the rocks of a beach in the early morning hours.
Technically it’s special to me because it was an available light shooting and I used my PhaseOne with 40 MP digiback. The camera was heavy, it was already warm and I sweated a lot.
So I wouldn’t suggest anybody to use this equipment when you are going to climb over rocks on the seaside.
The post production was unspectacular. Because of the enormous data quality of the medium format camera it was easy and fun to do a little retouch work.
I sometimes like to add some typography to my pictures to make them look like they were out of a fashion magazine. But I also use these text elements to create a more pleasant overall composition
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post?
Post production to me is as important as the use of flashlight during a shoot. I use RAW converters (Adobe and PhaseOne) and Photoshop. I experimented with some popular filter plugins, but i try to behave myself. It’s too easy to go over the top.
Whats your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?
I love my small battery flash system. Especially for my outdoor shootings. Now with the new generation of batteries its even smaller, lighter and more powerful. Great stuff.
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
500px is a platform i really like. It’s a good “neighborhood” there, if you know what I mean. Facebook, because of it’s viral effects and the direct feedback from friends and other people.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
Of course. More often than I would like.
As I said before, I am a networker and I enjoy working with people. Fortunately I know some really good people who help me. Most of the time it’s just a telephone call or a nice meal and talk with one of these special people, to lift me up again.
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
No, I just wish I had started ealier to do my own thing and business.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Patience, commitment, discipline and thinking not only as an artist, but also as a businessman will help you to succeed. Stay openminded, be honest and treat people respectfully.