Ingrid Irsigler is a former Creative Director, Who turned into a fashion photographer. A couple of years ago, while working on a gorgeous print production, she had to arrange a fashion editorial. Two days into the process she was astounded by how much fun this seemed to be. The photographer got to spend their days outside, climbing ladders and working with enchanting concepts and beautiful locations. She thought that was an excellent way to spend her days.
For those who doesn’t know you, tell us about yourself
I am a complete tech nerd, and all the gadgets and gizmo’s that come with photography excited my inner nerd girl to giddy happiness.
I live in South Africa and work between JHB and Cape Town, focusing on high-end portraiture and commercial work. I create the whole shoot from start to end, including all concept, location, and story.
Were you educated in photography, or are yourself taught?
On a rainy afternoon on Boracay Island in the Philippines, I finally decided that it was time to look at a different version of creativity – an email popped into my inbox from a local part time photography school. Although my schedule seemed to be totally jam-packed a few hours a week learning a new craft was an excellent idea at that point of my life. I emailed back and booked their part time, 6 month course, which included a few mornings a week.
I am also however an avid follower of Creative Live – and have spent many nights watching their episodes.
What camera do you use most of the time?
I use a Nikon D810. I like the lightness of the body, and have a selection of Prime Lenses. I maintain I can shoot any campaign, if I have my trusty 50 mm, 35 mm Sigma Art and my 135 mm Nikor in my camera bag.
I am currently also experimenting with film. I am truly obsessed by the work of Paolo Roversi and Sarah Moon, this is a genre I want to explore more.
Which photo are you currently most proud of?
The dam image from a Mid Summer Night’s Dream with Jade. This image has really opened doors for me and has been featured and published throughout the world. It has also Won a fashion and beauty award along with the rest of the editorial in the 2016 KAVYAR FASHION & BEAUTY Awards.
It is also an image that I think holds true to my innate artistic style of enchantment and whimsy. I want anyone looking at my images to be transported to a wonderland of make believe.
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?
I have been extraordinarily fortunate with my time line. With regards to how long I have been shooting and in this industry – it is a blink of eye. I feel though, that I am at the beginning of my career as a photographer and have a long exciting and colorful journey ahead. The shoots we have planned for this year are so exciting! From Nepture’s Angels, which are boat figureheads that have come to life, to a dark beauty story based around the original Grims Fairy Tales…
You’ve clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you recommend to people looking to expand their portfolio?
I believe diversity is key in any portfolio. I tend to work with models who are over 21, and are more character based. The strength of a photograph lies in your connection to your subject and how they interpret the brief. Having life experience is key to my photos. We are telling stories, be it for a brand or a campaign, so we need someone with a story to tell.
With regards to scouting models, I usually begin in instagram, I will follow the models I am keen on, comment on their pages, and then finally DM them. I don’t do model tests, we only work on campaigns or creative shoots. I find model tests are to restrictive to my style and the agencies look for a specific set of photos for portfolio.
One very important note to new photographers out there, is to always be kind. Models have such an emotionally draining and hard job. The weight of the images and campaigns relies on their performance. To get the best results, always have healthy food on set, water with no bubbles, allow for breaks in between shooting and always, always be respectful.
Describe a typical shoot.
A typical Location Day.
I love morning light, which we lose very quickly in South Africa. Mostly we have never-ending blue skies and an unrelenting bright hot burning sun. Not always conducive for location work – which is my favorite.
On a day such as this – we would start around 3am for makeup and hair, while we aim to be outside and ready to shoot by 5am. We have around an hour of light to play with – and then we will move to a different location, that is more protected from the Sun. We will shoot until 9am, break for breakfast and then start hair and makeup again for the next scene or editorial. We shoot again between 1pm- 2.30pm, break for lunch and change, then shoot from 5pm-7pm.
Things may vary slightly depending on what we are doing – we could shoot 3 editorials using this method. I will take around 20 min to shoot one look.
A typical studio day.
We will begin at 8:30 for makeup and hair, and a beauty story will be finished around 1pm. We will shoot 6 different looks during this time.
How much time do you spend taking photos, versus retouching photos?
60% shooting, vs 40%. I enjoy the shooting more than sitting in front of a computer.
My trusty step ladder. I spend an astonishing amount of time up mine :)!
Who would you like to work with most?
My stylist Karin Orzol. I think we were separated at birth. It took me a year to get the courage to try and convince her to work with me. Karin’s work on the projects we have done has been instrumental in any success I have had – her work is amazing! We think the same, I will have an idea and a concept and she will take it and take it to an enchanted level that is worthy of story books.
My two amazing H&MU’s in the form of Sam Scarborough and Dannit Gorden. Any projects I work on with these talented creatives always seem to get published and recognised globally. I am so grateful for my team. I get to work with the most extraordinarily brilliant people.
Most importantly is the producer and project manager of the campaigns we do. Phillipa Rose-Tite from Purple Raindrop. Phillipa ensure that everything goes according to plan, and we never put a foot wrong wile she is at the helm.
To know more about Ingrid, please visit: Ingrid Irsigler
IG: @ingridalicephotography FB: @ingrid alice photography