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ePHOTOzine Chats To Frank And Steff - Sony WPA 2011 award winners Frank and Steff talk to us about their photography.
We met in the mid-90’s through a common friend. As we were both already into photography, we started to do numerous common projects. Then, we lost track of each other for several years, each of us doing his own stuff, being convinced that photography was a job that can only be done as a one man show. In 2004 our paths crossed again and it started all over. We realised that we can pursue our photographic goals better together than alone and this led to the team we form today.
What made you want to get into photography?
Frank: I was always fascinated by the creative fashion photography I saw in magazines. I wanted to create commercial pictures with an artistic touch. To tell a story or simply to describe a state or a certain feeling with non-moving pictures was the challenge that tempted me.
Steff: When I was young I wanted to save the world with pictures, but then I realised that it was't that easy. I was frustrated doing nothing but superficial photography and there was a time I never wanted to use a camera again. Then the collaboration with Frank started and the resulting picture language, combining seriousness with humour, gave me a new perspective of contributing something to the world.
Can you tell us how you would set up and take a shot?
For our personal work we start with an idea that begins to grow and gets more and more shaped while talking about it. We spent a lot of effort on the set and the details to give the picture the right mood. Looking for props and decoration is big fun for us and although we work together with stylists and other professionals. We always keep a strong eye on these things and care about lots of the details ourselves.
Lighting in your shots is always very good, how do you achieve the look of your images?
Our aim is to achieve a set-up which allows us to shoot from various views without making big changes. Our pictures shall look vivid, something that we believe can´t be done by static camera positions. The trick is to set up the lights in a way to have this freedom without being flat and boring lighting.
You are able to photograph everyday objects and make them look different and original, what is your thinking behind this?
We are not just taking pictures, we create them. That means we usually don't go out and search for something to take a photograph of. Instead we construct our sets carefully most often in the studio but also on location. It´s always some kind of staged photography we do.
What do you aim to achieve through your photography?
To stuff a bit more of a message than the obvious into a picture that can reach the people. That may be something funny or something very serious that shows the problems in our world.
What inspires you?
Inspiration can be found anytime at any place. The point is to keep your eyes open. Very often the smallest things give the initial idea to a complex picture or series.
The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards close for entries on 4 January 2013, except the Professional competition which will close on 9 January 2013. All entries are free via www.worldphoto.org
For further information about Frank Bayh and Steff Rosenberger-Ochs please go to their website.