Talking to Elisa Bouchon

When the world was still in order, one day, Elisa Bouchon’s work caught my eye on Instagram. I couldn’t help but reach out and tell her how much I admired her imagery. The sets she creates are so interesting, organic, and sensitive – you actually want to grasp them. So we exchanged numbers and talked a bit but didn’t have the chance to meet and chat in person yet. Facing the lockdowns caused by COVID-19 the work of many artists transformed and so did Elisa’s – again I was impressed, and this time by her striking self-portraits. So I asked her for a video call as opposed to my previous interviews when I used to emphasise physical meetings. Necessity is the mother of invention and like in any crisis people surpass themselves.
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Interview with photographer Dale Grant photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Dale Grant

The first time I met Dale Grant it was summer and we were at a dinner party ’chez Norbert Cheminel’, a mutual friend of ours. It’s hard to describe what a lovely evening we had – with good wines, French homemade food, one loveable dog, and ten beautiful human souls sitting and eventually dancing together. While Dale was claiming that he and Hercules were just invited in order to bring ’Blitz’ (the dog) he revealed himself as a joyful and entertaining person who at the next moment conjured his new photo book ’Fading Beauty’ up as a present for the hosts. I could just catch a glimpse at it that evening but I was listening carefully when he mentioned that he switched genres from fashion to fine art flower photography with great success. Very interesting – by this, he made it on my ’photographers to interview’ list! A good while after that evening I reached out to talk to him a little more and we met at Café Berio in Berlin-Schöneberg. I realised we had much more in common than just our photography… And finally, I received my own signed copy of ’Fading Beauty’.
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Interview with light painter Gunnar Heilmann photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Gunnar Heilmann

I know Gunnar Heilmann for a year now. We met at Soho house during the very first edition of Photofuture and we immediately got along with each other. Back then he had a little presentation on how he paints a portrait with light. It was the first time that I’ve seen someone do that so I got curious. We stayed in touch and finally had a little session at his place where I could try light painting on him and he did some portraits with me. On October 5th this year his light painting festival LIGHT UP BERLIN took place at MONOPOL for the very first time and I was invited to come and see the workshops, talks, and exhibition. On this occasion, I’m meeting up with Gunnar a few days later for a retrospect and to listen to his funny stories and experiences with light painting. I just love to listen and see him talking very energetically and with sparkling eyes. Internationally his works are well known among light painters – one of the reasons why many big names showed up at LIGHT UP BERLIN. 
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Interview with photographer Colleen Mescole photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Colleen Mescole

It’s a late Sunday afternoon on September 29th and I’m meeting up with photographer and artist Colleen Mescole at Mauerwinzer in Berlin. Colleen and I first met in June to talk and have a portrait session later on. I get to know her as a resolute and strong woman who has no fear of saying what she thinks or feels. While I’m setting up my tripod to film our conversation we realize: Colleen is matching the nice interior of the wine bar – a perfect start! Over a glass of wine, I’m listening to what she has to say on the importance of a good work-life balance, especially for her art. I’m also curious to know more about the differences between America and Europe and how it is to live and work in New York City where she’s from, originally.
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Interview with photographer Arai Moleri photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Araí Moleri

On September 28th I’m meeting photographer and retoucher Araí Moleri at Café Tasso in Berlin. Coming from Montevideo, Uruguay, and having a degree in product design she’s been working in very diverse fields of photography including fashion, portraiture, beauty, architecture, product, post-production, and even in stop motion films. I’m admiring the lightness in her work. She’s managing to capture interesting perspectives and postures showing off-beat aspects of people. Her retouching is extra-ordinary and it helps to really understand her subjects. I can feel that she’s a caring person who has a voice and I want to talk to her about her views.
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Title photo for Journal entry "Starting Still Life Photography"

Starting Still Life Photography

I’ve been thinking about shooting stills for a long time already and now I’ve started doing so. I enjoy images reminding of old paintings and Vanitas imagery and couldn’t help but growing the desire to make some own works in this direction. Firstly I love arranging things and make them look good together. That’s why I’ve often created the whole set design when shooting fashion by myself. The problem here is that you need to focus on too many different things and also spend a lot of budgets when you rent a studio AND all the props (given that it is a free project). So you have to be quick and it kind of gets dirty through that.
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Remove the Fences!

I don’t want to sound like a guerrilla person, but sometimes I’d just like to go to forbidden places and/or do shootings on other people’s private property. Don’t get me wrong, I would never try to invade someone’s privacy. But you can find lots of abandoned and lost places (which usually are private property) or public spaces that are not accessible with a camera. In a time when everyone can take a photo with his or her smartphone camera and no one seems to care, a photographer’s DSLR seems to be seen as a weapon, a danger that has to be removed immediately. But why?
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The Most Powerful Tool of a Photographer

This little sentence has always been the best advice and guideline for me, definitely. I belong to those people who develop an immediate passion for things they see and find beautiful. When I get inspired I also get quite excited visualising new ideas. There is so much aesthetic around everywhere, so I’m always collecting details passively. Then I get curious and start making inquiries that create more ideas. The list in my head has no end for sure. When I was studying my professors always told me to dismiss everything unnecessary from my drafts. I always got frustrated, because I loved my ideas and I wanted to add too many of them to one single project. But I knew that they were right and they had years-long experience in what they did. So I reluctantly took their advice realising every time, that the result was better than before. With every new student project, I more and more learned how to decide by myself what to drop from my layouts, movies, or photos because I trained my vision to good and effective designs and compositions.
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