Austrian Photographer Sigrid Mayer

Sigrid is an amazing Austrian photographer, and today I bring you guys my last interview with her. I had the opportunity to see her work, in a photo-shooting she made for Jute Fashion Magazine, and it was fantastic.

She was also behind the lens for the photos of The Winemaker, and I am sure we are going to see more of her work in the Austrian fashion scene.

When did you first get interested in photography? What sparked it, and when did you decide that it was what you were going to do?

Like lots of young girls I wanted to work in fashion and started an education in fashion design – during those years I discovered that – spending half a year on designing and sewing – I was only keen on finishing the clothes so I could take pictures of them. So that was when I decided to study photography and combine those two sectors of education – I never regretted graduating in „fashion“, though. It helps a lot to know about different fabrics, cuts, etc.

Were you educated in photography, or are you self-taught?

I graduated in photography and audio-visual media at „Die Graphische“ in Vienna.

What camera do you use the majority of the time?

When it’s about jobs I’m definitely a CANON girl. When I’m traveling, I’m shooting everything with my Dad’s old analog Minolta. Love that one.

Which photo are you currently most proud of?

It’s always my latest work I’m most excited about and proud of. That changes with every shoot. 😉

Comparing where you are now with where you are when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner?

As long as there is always progress, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get where you want to be. I’m thinking very often: „Oh, wow – I can make a living out of the best job in the world!!“

But it took me time and practice to get there. So I wouldn’t change a thing on my past path.

You’ve clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you recommend to people looking to expand their portfolio?

  • Work with a lot of different people, but always check before, if you like what they do.
  • If you are not sure if you should do a shoot, ask for a mood board – professionals should be able to provide you with at least a vague plan before the actual shoot.
  • But: Don’t be vain – as a model you don’t have to love every single outfit or hairstyle – the team usually knows best what will look good on the final pictures.
  • If you already are at a shoot, give your best – whether you like the concept or not.
  • Always remember: You are part of a team. If you are not motivated, you are wasting everybody’s time. But that applies to everyone – from photographer to stylist, from make-up-artist to model.

Describe a typical shoot.

This can take some time. 🙂

Obviously everything starts with preparing a concept and casting the right model BEFORE the shoot. The actual shooting day starts with coffee for everyone – I always try to make everyone feel comfortable. While the hair&make-up-artist is getting the models ready, I am choosing the outfits with the stylist. At studio shoots, I’m setting up the background and the lighting, on-location I’m looking around to find the right place for the first subject. Then some light testing and more coffee.

When the hair & make-up is done and the model is dressed, we are doing a quick test shot, if everything looks good. Then I start to work with the model – trying different angles and poses until I am happy with the result. I always try to give the model the chance to move within his or her natural movements. Some poses are not for everyone, and you definitely can see that in the final picture.

But every shoot is different – you never know what will happen. So, in my opinion, it’s kind of an important quality for a photographer to be flexible. Of course, you have a particular vision, but you have to adjust within the situation, you need to precisely communicate what you want and you have to make quick decisions.

How much time do you spend taking photos, versus retouching photos?

It varies. I’d say 50/50?! Plus preparing the shoots. So, yes, I spend lots of time in front of the computer.

Favorite accessory?

My leather camera bag from GRAFEA. Not the most practical one in the world, but definitely the prettiest one.

Who would you like to work with most?

I’d love to assist Tim Walker – his photography is magical! And, of course: Kate Moss.

Favorite photography book?

One that always makes me smile is: „Frauen auf Bäumen“/„Women in trees“ It’s a collection of old photographs from the 1920s to the 1950s – and, yeah, the title says it all.

To know more about Sigrid please visit: Sigrid Mayer

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