InterviewsPhotographers Talk

Interview with photographer TOMAAS

NAME: TOMAAS
OCCUPATION: Fashion and Beauty Photographer
CURRENT CITY: New York
REPRESENTED BY: Robert Bacall Representatives
PERSONAL WEBSITE: www.tomaas.com
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/followtomaas

DF- Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
T- Life is so fascinating. You can plan and prepare and hope, but life has just a funny way of placing you right where you need to be. My experience with photography began in front of the camera.I enjoyed it and I was especially intrigued by the sound of the hasselblad. It was that unique sound that led me to buy my first camera. Of course my first subjects were friends- what better way to test your eye than to work with subjects you know.I earned a master in public relations and moved from my hometown Hamburg in Germany to New York City and continued to take pictures and traveled extensively. As I look back at how my work evolved over the years, I think my passion for fashion has always been there. And like a painter I gradually discovered my fashion phase.
However I credit a lot of the transition of my work to an amazing journey I took to Vietnam. My work and the comfortability with the camera broadened and I was able to uniquely capture the land and it’s people in a way I’d never produced before. The more I studied the Vietnam pictures, the more I began seriously thinking about becoming a full time photographer. I attended the International Center of Photography in New York City where I was taught by an accomplished fashion photographer. My photos attracted more attention . I soon had several really good prints that I felt were strong enough to be shown to people in the fashion industry. So I designed a small portfolio and I introduced myself to several top model agencies in New York City. Soon after that I started to test shoot models from model agencies like Marilyn, Ford, Trump, Major, Elite and Wilhelmina. Of course that was quite a process, but the time invested in it was definitely worth it. My work grew from testing models to editorials and commercial work. And now I’m represented by Robert Bacall Representatives in New York City.

DF- Where’s home at the moment?
T- My home is in New York City

DF- If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?
T- In Paris

DF- How long have you been a photographer?
T-
I’ve started with photography from when I was 16 years old. But on professional level, I’ve only started 2 1/2 years ago.

DF-Who has influenced you to start taking photographs?
T- After I’d finished high school, I’ve worked a summer long in Paris where I met the famous Magnum photographer Mark Riboud. I ended up spending a week on Riboud’s summer house outside of Paris. He and his family had all these interesting guest staying over. Every dinner there seemed to be at least 20 people from all over the world that were  involved in the photography industry. I was just so fascinated by that world. I know that that time definitely influenced me to start taking photographs.

DF-Do you shoot digital or film?
T-
I shoot digital with a Canon 1Ds Mark II

DF-How would you describe your style?
T-
 Bold, edgy and intriguing.

DF-What gives you ideas and what inspires you to create your beautiful images?
T- New York City  represents a limitless source of inspiration for me. With it’s high level of diverse people, occupations, foods, art, economics and social status, there is much for my creativity to thrive on. Simultaneously, when you’re surrounded by such high concentration of talented and eager artists looking to perfect their craft, it motivates you to become better and to always keep working. Here in New York City people are  always ready to work on a project, ready to contribute or constantly trying to be the best at what they love. You really can’t ask for a much more creative atmosphere than that.

DF-If you can hope to leave one impression with your photographs, what would that be?
T-
I think if my images can be inspiring then that would be already a big accomplishment.

DF- Do you prefer Black and White or Color?
T-
I really prefer colors

DF- What has been your most favorite shoot and why?
T-
 I think my journey through Vietnam where I’ve captured the land and it’s people was one of my favorite photography experience.

DF-What’s your favorite piece of equipement?
T-
Profoto 7B2, it allows me to shoot indoor as well as outside on location.

DF- If you had to choose one lens which one would that be and why?
T-
The 24-70L Lens from Canon is probably the one I use the most. It seems to work the best for my editorials shot outside on location.

DF- What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?
T- I’m a big fan of Profoto.

DF- How important is Photoshop in your final images?
T- It definitely plays a big role, especially as I love to create moody images.

DF- Are you a Mac or PC lover?
T- I work with both.

DF- Where do you want to go with your photography?
T- I would like to focus a bit more on advertisement. In advertising you’re allowed to work with a bigger budget and everything in advertisement is mapped out very specifically. There’s a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished from the start. Editorials are more convoluted. You have a concept and an idea but not the same structure. The execution process is much more precise in advertisement. But in the end though, both have the same purpose, selling a product.

DF- Where in the world is your favorite place to live and to work as a photographer and why?
T- I think New York City is a magnet for some of the most talented people in the world. And yes, that makes it extremely competitive, but it also offers an amazing pool of hungry talent who are all here for their own reason. They’re willing to make sacrifices and just like me they want to get the job done. Another great thing about New York City is the infrastructure. Everything is accessible and convenient. It has everything you need and all on the same island.

DF- Where would you like to retire?
T-
 In Italy or France

DF- What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in photography?
T-
Try to be at your best every day. Have a plan, learn from mistakes and believe in yourself!

Hair: Seiji Uehara
Make-up: Emi Koizumi
Model: Alexandrina Turcan Major Models

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