had the pleasure to
interview many from abroad. It is always
exciting for me to interview people of different ethnicities,
countries, and backgrounds from around the
world. Yes, they all speak different
languages, but all have one thing in common, their
love and passion for their work.
I spoke to fashion photographer Kristian
Schuller, from Paris and enjoyed
our conversation. He was very open about his beginnings
and shared with me how he became a fashion photographer.
“When I was 11 or 12 I was interested in two things,
pitching around in my clothes and taking pictures of
myself in the clothing. Pretty much I was into
designing clothing and photography. That was the
only thing that interested me. When I finished my
school and I decided what to study, I went on to study
fashion design. My teacher was Vivienne Westwood,
she was very strong in her influence and it was a very
important time for me. She brought me to Paris and
showed me the big world of fashion shows and the fashion
atmosphere of Paris. This made me want to study
fashion design.” Kristian continues.
“After 5 years of
studying I still had a passion for photography, even
when I made some designs, I would shoot it. When I
had the opportunity I took pictures at the fashion shows
in Paris. It was a beautiful way of earning money,
much better than working at McDonalds. I also had
a very strong professor in photography. After my
diploma, which was a fashion diploma, I still didn't
know what I wanted to do, so I went into fashion
designing. I did that for one year. And then I
decided, no, no, that's not really what you want to do
because I was thinking about life; how would life be for
the next 12 to 15 years, something like that.”
was in a time where he was torn between fashion and
photography and needed to decide what was best for him.
Could he have two careers? Kristian continues:
“I was thinking as a fashion designer, if you're very
lucky and very successful, you could make two shows a
year, if you're good, but the rest of the year you would
work in your room and I thought as a photographer you
have a good chance to see the world. You have to
know I was born in Romania. I was born in the
communist world. So if you come from that side of
the world behind the iron wall, traveling was much of a
barren, so yea that was the main reason I wanted to
become a photographer and yes it was true and what I was
hoping for when people sent me to America, to South
Africa, North America, all over Europe, wherever, that's
when I realized after a couple of years that I was much
better with a camera in my hand instead of a needle in
my hand. So that's how I became a photographer.
Whether it was not a good thing or bad, I couldn't say. I
was never an assistant my whole life. I never
edited a film for nobody else.” So you never
“It does not profit because when
I started I was like 26 no 27 and I did not want to
start as an assistant, I wanted to go for it.
That's my special way, never assisting and now I'm here
in Paris and work so far is good.”
After travelling around the world, as
a photographer, he made Paris his home.
years ago I lived in Paris in a little apartment, then I
moved because the majority of time my work was in
London. Then my wife and I decided after
living in Berlin for 15 years, thinking
about moving to New York or Paris, we went to New York
for 3 months last year, then we went to Paris. We came
here a month ago. We purchased a studio, 3000 sq. ft., in
Kristian spoke about his wife Peggy
and their working relationship.
“My wife is a
fashion designer and she also work as a stylist.
So we came together. We work together and she is
also responsible for the retouching work of the
pictures. She is very much involved in the
In their 3000 sq. ft. apartment Peggy has a design
section where she designs outfits for the fashion
shoots. I enjoyed listening about the two
collaborating together. She's the fashion designer
and he is the photographer, that goes hand in hand, so
“We have no free time, never free time.”
It was very interesting to hear his
answer to what inspires him as a photographer.
“Fashion photographers are very close to people, very
close to the woman, um okay I'm a typical woman
photographer, I'm not shooting so much men. You
are kind of creating the woman of your fantasy. So
the question is, what is the fantasy coming from.
It is coming from art, exhibition art, movies, films,
things that you see in the streets, people, and
attitudes. Older photography, like the 70's, 60's,
the 30's inspires me.” Kristian explains how
he prepares for a photo-shoot.
“The most important
thing for me is to sketch, and research, try to find
direction of the shoot, what's the look of the shoot, so
you know what the girl looks like, how's the attitude,
how's the lighting, and the location.”
Kristian spoke in more details step
“Talking with the stylist, how the
general look of the girl is; hair and makeup, trying to
create several pictures, like when you come to the end, at
least 9 or 10 strong pictures in
your mind, and then you leave enough space for planning
pictures. It's always good to have pictures so you
can know exactly how to shoot them. Before you can
make the very first step you need real lighting in the studio and your
location, and have a picture in your mind,
that's so important.” Kristian is a
perfectionist photographer who pays close
attention to details. I wanted to know what
his typical day was like. He laughs;
“It's hard to
get up! Get on with the morning and go straight to
the copy machine, waiting for the thing to heat up for
20 minutes and sitting on the computer, working on
e-mails, working on all these things, going through the
last routine and getting rid of the selection, then
hanging on the phone and preparation for the next thing,
it's mostly working on the last shoot and making the
selection and allow the client to view. Then
preparation for the next shoot and in between and the
team working on the retouching and finalizing the one we
were just working on. So this is like a typical
day for me. When we are not shooting, there are problems
coming on every side and we try to do as much as
Kristian's camera is his tool.
He likes working with an old lens vs. a new lens. His
favorite camera to use is the Cannon Mark 3.
“Cannon Mark 3 is for fast, powerful, running with the
He laughs and continues.
“She's running in
the park and more time to concentrate on her and from
Kristian gave great advice for
aspiring fashion photographers.
1. Believe in yourself,
never lose your aim or direction that you start with,
and move your ass. You have to get up every
morning and go for it.
2. Work hard on your pictures
and don't make the mistake of thinking it can't be
retouched. That's absolutely not true. You
have to work hard on the picture.
3. You have to work in front of
the camera and then you just do your retouching.
For me it's important to do it that way.
4. Concentrate on your
girl, and the lighting.
5. You need a strong team.
Practice makes perfect when taking a
picture the more you practice the more better you become. Kristian explains not to be too quickly
happy with the picture, thinking about what you're
“Thinking about what you're
doing, not bum, bum, bum. Thinking of lighting,
thinking of why you are shooting, take less than more
pictures. Concentrate on what you want.
Before you take the camera in your hand think about what
you want and why do I want it.” Kristian
describes his style as a fashion photographer, 'not
“I have a glamorous fantasy side.
I like to make the woman sexy, and powerful. It
would be great if all the women in the world could wear
the dresses flying in the street, it would be great!”