ADPPRO An Interview With JR

An Interview With Johannes Reinhart

‘Western Australia’s Photographer of the Year’, Aaron Dowling

Who now resides in Canada just introduced an inaugural “An Interview With” series, where he interviews photographers from around the world, learning about their creative vision and seeking to be inspired by their work and approach. And he kick started this of with me. 

You can read the whole interview on the Aaron Dowling Photography Website.

Here’s an exerpt:

Johannes Reinhart – Documentary & Street Photographer

Johannes has a unique vision for capturing the most amazing imagery. He has the ability to see the world in an striking way, capturing life that most of us miss.

Johannes has created works for many exhibitions and has won many prestigious awards for his prevocative work. Most of all, his love for photography and showing the world through his unique eyes, really stands out.

Find links at the bottom of the page to check out more of his amazing work.

What got you into photography, and has what got you started, evolved and changed through the years?

As a kid I was fascinated by those mysterious cameras with all those buttons and dials – I mean, which boy isn’t? But it took me to the age of 22 until I finally bought one of those button cameras.  I was then lucky enough to go out on a beautiful autumn afternoon around the lake I grew up on in Germany and take my first roll of film.  My first pictures turned out amazing, even though now I look back at them and see there was a lot of room for improvement …like lots.  Though, I was hooked and loved it instantly, and so my passion began.

Initially I just tried to emulate what a professional photograph looks like. I think it took me another ten years before I would say that I started to have my own vision.  I think it constantly evolved and continues to evolve; just like life shapes us, life also shapes my photography.

You spent many years as a wedding photographer, capturing beautiful moments in the lives of your clients. What did you do to put yourself into the minds of your clients to ensure that you were able to capture those perfect moments for them?

Yes, I spent 13 years as a wedding photographer, starting on film, back in the day where families were happy just to get a sharp picture …then digital came along and I had to learn a lot to transition to digital, which was also liberating.

Back to your question, I approached my wedding photography with my personal philosophy, which is always do the best you can.  I tried to create beautiful photos that resemble the spirit of the wedding day including the love, the funny moments, the sad moments, the formal photos and the party.  Essentially, I would photograph how I would have liked my wedding to be photographed and combined that with quality products, so that clients could look at the photos and relive their wedding day in all their uniqueness.

You now focus on documentary and street photography, what drew you to this style of photography?

Short answer: Escape!

Long answer, I always like a good photojournalistic image and when I heard of street photography which is about capturing life as it happens, mundane or otherwise I was immediately intrigued.

It also happened that I was photographing weddings and portraits for a number of years and looked after our 2 young kids as my wife went to work. So life as a constant juggling act, so going out on the street with only one camera and lens was a great escape. The fact that you never knew what you are going to get, also made it interesting.

But best was that when I got into the zone I found it to be quite meditative and I forgot all the worries in the world, which made me do it more of course.

You have a way of seeing and photographing life in a way that most people don’t see. When you are out with camera in hand, do you go out with a specific intention or capture what unfolds around you?

Most of the time I just go out with an open mind and see what I find.  But what I realized over the years, and especially since I teach photography, is that I capture pretty much anything I connect with.  This can be as simple as an object bouncing in nice light, or as complicated as trying to bring compositional order to the chaos. I think the first thing I look for is good light, and then I look for someone or something interesting.  I find it hard to linger at a place for more than a minute, let alone five, so I am mostly on the move and make decisions on the fly.  For example, if I see an interesting person walking down the street, I look around and see if there’s anything around I can match them with and if there is, I try to get myself in the right spot to capture it.  So it’s preconceived ideas on short notice. Then when something unexpected happens, rather than thinking this isn’t going to plan, I try to take it as an opportunity to see if I can get a better shot.

I think the strong point with this approach is that I get images that are fresh and that can’t be replicated …even by myself.

Read the whole interview on the Aaron Dowling Photography Website.

And check out his brilliant Luminosity Mask Panel here.


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