Peter Lindbergh as Inspiration to create Art.
How do you create your style of photography?
I started studying for a B.A. degree at the University of Pretoria. Art History was one of my major subjects. I also took to a practical art path. My primary diploma subject was in photography. As a South African sitting intently through art history lectures, I loved listening to our acclaimed local artists’ stories. Artists like Norman Catherine with his dark cynicism and exuberant humour, Marlene Dumas focuses on the human figure and William Kentridge, best known for his drawings and meticulously drawn animated films.
My interest, though, was more focused on photography. I was fascinated with the Dada movement to the current image-makers.
Starting my photography studies is where I first saw a documentary about Peter Lindbergh. In the film, Peter Lindbergh directs photoshoots on the beach. His setup is a trademark black backdrop and his supermodel subject. The model emotionally responds to the moment. Peter Lindbergh has a powerful, playful, honest and sensual style of photography. A body of work that is unretouched and raw.
His photography is intimate and captures the female models’ inner essence. His work is glamorous but still creates a relationship between the viewer and the subject. He is known as the pioneer of natural beauty in fashion.
I remember that the goal as a photographer would be to create photographs with honesty. Create a connection between photographer and subject. If you connect with your subject, the magic happens. The goal is to capture a real moment, let the pretence disappear.
One of Peter Lindbergh’s qualities was his ability to create photographs with a story and spontaneity. This quality is what moved the big fashion houses and brands to request his commercial directing brilliance. Peter Lindbergh’s work shows mastery of black and white photography. His work portrays a cinematic quality full of emotion. These qualities defined him as one of the best fashion photographers.
Together with Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue at the time, they created a new look. Peter Lindbergh changed fashion photography’s style. He moved towards a kind of beauty linked to the woman’s personality rather than the status symbol. They created the iconic images of the 1990s, young models without makeup, wearing simple clothing like white shirts. The models photographed were Naomi, Linda, Cindy, Christy, and Tatjana. They embodied intelligent women with strong personalities in charge of their careers.
The photographer needs to plan, have a vision and work within a style. Peter Lindbergh never retouched. His clients signed contracts agreeing not to retouch his work. His style of photography shows character, telling stories, beautiful and elegant.
Peter Lindbergh photography is iconic and timeless.
As a photographer, I am inspired and influenced by Peter Lindbergh’s work to create a personal shooting style. Apart from being a fashion photographer, his photographs inspire creatives all across the creative arena. His work exists published in all the leading fashion publications and many commercial brands. He has photographed Supermodels and top actors over the years.
The biggest drive for any aspiring or current photographer is to create a unique photography style. You have to communicate in your unique voice.
My journey as a photographer started in my teens. A create path is challenging, complex and opens a road to creative search and understanding. In Cape Town, I met photographer Peter Christian who I worked with on numerous advertising and editorial jobs. I received the opportunity to travel the world with him. On one of our last travel trips together in Boston in the U.S.A, he gifted me the Peter Lindbergh book by Peter Lindbergh.
The book is a beautiful memory and a visual guideline to create any art.
Referring back to the work of masters is a timeless process. I see Peter Lindberg and Ernest Hemingway in the same light. Both masters of their craft. Both worked with dedication to present honest work. Their work is natural, easy to interact with and leaves an intense desire to create something.