Today we talk to Max. He is passionate about books, music, photography, and the internet.
He currently work as Head of Creative Content at Virtual Identity AG in Munich. In his spare time, Max is a portrait, fashion, and street photographer.
1. What are your inspirations for a shoot?
Typical sources of inspiration are certain pieces of clothing, locations or faces, and of course work by other photographers. Sometimes browsing through a photo book or random discoveries of a special place during a photo walk is enough to have a lighting idea for a shoot.
From my point of view, the work begins – the way from the initial idea to a concept, the selection of models, numerous small and bigger decisions right up to the finished picture.
2. Explain the course of your shoot
The course of a shoot depends, of course, on the desired photo idea as well as the setting. Meanwhile, I concentrate on the most demanding sets around me. This also means that I book professional hair & makeup artists for a shoot. During the shoot, I concentrate on two things: good, easy atmosphere and implementation of my vision in a quiet but definite way. Especially important from my point of view: during the shoot you should enjoy the process and not just think about the result. This attitude is, of course, particularly strengthened by filmphotography, since there is no way of looking at the result on a display. In the best case, a magical atmosphere arises between me and my model, everything else disappears.
3. Where do you find your models?
I work with girls from the street, spontaneous discoveries on Instagram, booking models from agencies such as Munich Models as well as ambitious hobby models.
4. What is your personal concept?
I don´t have a straight concept. I try to continue developing and experimenting with new things. For this, my small YouTube channel and the feedback from the film community helps me very much.
5. What is important in your film selection?
I initially worked with all film on the markt and learned a lot about them. Since my focus is on portraits and street photography, there are a lot of classics like the Kodak Portra 400 or Kodak Tri-X in my narrow selection. However, I always try to adjust my film selection consciously to the intended mood of a set, so to ensure that the light, film, chosen camera and intention of the set match. This needs from my point of view some experience, but is sometimes one of the most exciting aspects of the film photography. For example, you get a “pastel” look not only from over-exposure of a portra, but also needs the appropriate light. If the light is bad, it may be more sensible to choose another property of the same film, for example to exposed it on boxed speed or trying another film. I like these creative possibilities very much in analogue photography.
6. Technology: What equipment do you use?
I prefer photographing with medium format cameras. I own a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II as well as a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, which I love both very much. I use also regularly a Hasselblad 501 CM from my friend Jules. In the field of 35mm, I am happy with my Leica M6 for classic street photography in the streets of Munich. For portraits I use the Minolta XD-7 from my father as well as a Canon 30V.
7. Why does work on film convince you?
Analog photography makes me think a lot more about a photo before I press the shutter button. I love this way to work and it makes me step by step a better photographer. In addition, I like that I have to make a lot of design decisions before I shoot the photo and not only afterwards. This also triggers a more conscious and responsible discussion with my concept and subject.
I now work almost exclusively on film, only for selected projects I use in addition my digital Leica. But even here I rely on manual lenses (mostly a Leica Summicron from my 1985 birth year) and try to work slow. A model recently said to me, “You work digital almost like analog.” I feel that as a big praise.
8. Where can I see or buy your pictures?
An insight into my portfolio is available at www.maxplusone.net. In addition, I work together with my buddy on our YouTube channel. There are regular gear reviews, analog insights (for example, night photography on film) or stories behind the shoot, in which I explain the “making of” as well as conceptual reflections of a photo gallery.
Thank you Max for that interview. Now we have a look on your portfolio: