He’s taken photography as a hobby only two years ago, however he’s already been featured in magazines like Vogue, C Heads or Dash Magazine. Christoph Schaller, an avid traveler with a unique visual sense, an eye for fashion and natural beauty and a passion for photography shares his thoughts on following his dream.
At only 21 years, Christoph has already visited some of the world’s most beautiful and inspiring cities, which certainly helped and shaped his way of perceiving the reality beyond the lens of the camera. Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong or Capetown, have developed the artist’s photographic sense in a way that can’t actually be defined. Moreover, Christoph had the luck of supportive parents but also the willingness to work as hard as it took to support his traveling and hobby:
I think having traveled a lot, especially to cities like Cape Town or Rio where the light is amazingly beautiful, inspired me visually, in every sense. I can’t really name one aspect of my photography that is the way it is because of my travel experience, I guess it’s just a sense I have developed for images in general.
Even after receiving recognition and appreciation from popular magazines or other photographers, Christoph’s “all in” attitude towards his hobby turned passion continues as he challenges himself even more:
It was a huge motivation to keep going, to push myself even further in order to get better. It’s my dream to shoot for a magazine like Vogue one day.
With no professional training whatsoever, and only improvisation and the plan to not to have a plan, he shares the view that his best results come when he doesn’t envision the image very clearly in his mind, leaving a lot of room for his imagination to go wild and experiment:
I used to have every single image that I wanted to take in my mind before a shoot but I felt like it kind of narrowed down my creative possibilities, now I like to have a bit more room for improvisation. Believe me, the best pictures are the ones that you haven’t planned in advance (at the least it has been like this for me the last few times I shot). Of course you still have to have a general plan of what everything is supposed to look like in the end… I always talk a lot to the models while they’re having their hair and make up done, explaining them what I’m planning to do. It’s extremely important to me that the girls understand that they can trust me.
Nurturing his creativity in this way and trying not to limit himself to traditional norms, Christoph managed to develop a unique visual voice in a very short time. He’s not focusing on a particular type of photography, but he identifies mostly with editorial photographs, where his idea and concept are more easily converted in the image than for example street photography, where the setting plays another role. He still acknowledges the importance of professional training but considers personal experimentation just as important:
Everything I know I taught myself. I’ve never visited a photography class, I’ve never studied photography and I’ve never assisted anybody so far. So, it was just experimentation and trying out different things until the image looked the way I wanted it to look. I guess I’m pretty improvised, when someone talks to me about difficult use of light or something like that I’m mostly clueless. I think having a professional training, especially assisting / working on set of a good photographer, can help you a lot. Yet it is not enough to become a good photographer. You have to go out there yourself, try things and challenge yourself.
When asked about his impulse of taking photography so seriously, from the level of a simple hobby to a passion, Christoph has the attitude of a doer, and I personally admire his way of taking charge and making it happen:
I guess this is one of the most difficult things in photography, and in life in general. Making your dream come true. If you want to become better at what you do, you have to put some effort in it. You can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen… Nothing is impossible, you just have to start at some point. Exactly one year ago I had my very first test shoot with a professional model (you can’t imagine how afraid I was….) and just yesterday I took some photographs of Aline Weber who is a top model with Vogue covers. It’s crazy but you have to believe in the impossible, go out and make it possible.
Christoph has an inclination towards naturalness in general, and capturing beauty as it is. Possibly why he admirers fashion photographers like Juergen Teller and Peter Lindbergh.
In a world full of photoshopped images and retouched faces they managed to keep real and shoot in a very natural way. Exactly what I want to do!
Christoph’s enthusiasm is just gushing as he keeps exploring unconventional, natural beauty. Can’t wait to see your editorials featured in Vogue, very soon.
I’m having a few shoots coming up with extremely beautiful girls! I can’t wait!
Enjoy some selections of his works below and for more details on his upcoming shoots check out his Facebook page.
All images are courtesy of Christoph Schaller