There are so many incredible images on 500px but we want to know more about the photographers, and stories, behind them. Our Portrait series interviews a talented photographer each week, allowing us to discover more about living life through a lens.
This week's interview is with photographer Matthias Heiderich.
When and how did you fall in love with photography?
I'm not really sure, I think it was in 2007 when I started to follow picture blogs on the internet and came across all kinds of photographers I hadn't heard of before.
Have you had any formal training?
No, so far not. I'm self-taught, but photography isn't rocket science and relatively easy to learn, if you really want to.
How would you describe your photography style?
Artistic architecture and landscape photography.
Who or what inspires your work?
Electronic music is my main source of inspiration. But I also love to browse through portfolios and blogs to find inspiration and stay informed about interesting photography and graphic design projects. I'm really into link- and image-bookmarking and easily lose myself browsing the internet.
Is photography your profession?
Yes, it became my profession in 2011 when I realized it is possible to pay my bills with selling my art and doing some commissions.
What camera/s do you shoot with?
Pentax 67, Mamiya 645, Canon 5dMKII, Ikoflex Twin Lens, Polaroid SX70
And your favourite lenses?
Good old 80mm, f2.8
How about other equipment: lighting, tripod, filters etc.?
Yes, there's a tripod in my bag and a couple of colour filters and of course films. I never use artificial lightning.
How important is post-processing to you; do you need to remove many elements to get the clean lines we see in your images
I must admit I hate post-processing and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But digital retouch is, nonetheless, one of my routines and I usually work on crop, contrast, and colours; I very rarely remove elements and definitely try to let photography be the main part of the work.
How did you arrive at your unique colour palette, was it something you set out to achieve or was it a happy accident that you’ve made your own?
Well, I guess it's all a question of personal preferences. I really love colour photographs from the 50s and 60s and old polaroids. This and memories from my childhood might have been some sort of unconscious inspiration while step-by-step discovering what kind of photographs I prefer to take.
How do you market your work?
I'm working together with galleries which offer some of my works in different editions. Additionally, I run a small webshop with a monthly changing range of prints. And well, I try to make use of this thing called social media to inform people about the availability of prints. Btw. there are limited edition prints available of most of my pictures.
What advice would you give to amateur photographers?
Ignore trends. Work every day.
Your work often breaks the two-thirds rule, favouring symmetrical shots. Do you think it’s important for amateurs to learn these rules but know to experiment against them?
Yes, I guess it's good to learn some rules, but following them won't make an outstanding picture. I would definitely encourage everyone to think for them self and to question all rules, not only when taking pictures.
What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?
The strange moment when I saw my pictures in a print magazine for the first time. It was even a really famous one.
Out of all the photographs you have ever taken, which is your favourite and why?
Before I was able to take this photograph I had to go through a snow storm, walk over a frozen lake, climb a fence, defrost my fingers and my camera. I simply HAVE to love it.
If you could capture anybody or anything on camera what would it be?
Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell me 5 things about you that are completely unrelated to photography?
What are your aspirations for the future, in photography or otherwise?
I definitely want to improve my photography and interview skills.
Thanks to Matthias for being interviewed and to you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below, feedback is awesome!