LENNART BADER

I think there are two major things that are keeping me 'alive' in that case: First, it was very important for me to first find, and in the end, keep doing my own thing - to exclude myself in my own mind from the photographic environment; especially starting out as a photographer in a social media environment with all the Facebook groups, get-togethers, photo walks etc. has a high potential of putting and keeping you in a big biased bubble you can't get out of. It consists of a fixed and non-changing constellation of characters that sometimes seem to lose their relation with reality because they only get their feedback from each other and don't widen their horizons.

In the first months, when I was starting to publish my photography on Facebook, I actually was close to getting in one of these bubbles, but I managed to avoid that for me. The downside is that you don't create such a big network with people that share the same passion - and a lot of people might argue that this is extremely important to grow. But for me, it just felt wrong and artificial, and now I'm happy with how it went because I still got my inspiration, still managed to build important contacts, and made the jump out of the social media bubble 'out into the world where I shoot real jobs.

 

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Talking about work and jobs, this is the second thing I wanted to mention: Since I'm still studying and currently finishing my master's degree, I was never really dependent on photography jobs. Jobs were and still are always just a nice opportunity for me to prove myself and grow. And because I'm not depending on them, I always only choose the jobs that I like, that seem to fit my style and that reflect (a part of) my vision. I don't do jobs where I can't put in my kind of approach. And this kept me going. Every job is a nice compliment, that your published work gets acknowledged, and like I said, an opportunity to grow even bigger. So for me there's literally only positive vibes connected with my photography, and I think that is what goes hand-in-hand with a growing confidence.

 

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On the one side, I think my photography is highly dependent on the effect that I create in the mind of a viewer. This is what I love about it: Putting images, scenes and movements in people's minds. For instance, denying the full view on a naked body exactly at that point where your fantasy has to jump in and create the rest of the image for yourself. And as I am a man, I think it's easier to create that effect with a female model.

I could of course try the same thing with male models, which would actually be an interesting idea, but I never tried it yet, which leads to the second reason: I have a quite high expectation of male models, higher than with females. I think that's because, for me, the expression on pictures of male models is very important and 90% of them do it in the same way, that's why for me it's quite rare to find some guys that really stand out.

 

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For me, the most important thing in working together with other people is authenticity. Models or client, I just don't like fake attitudes. I don't like playing games and I don't like being in high volatility, for example when a client just seems to not even be able to figure out what he wants. I always try to be as transparent as I can with clients, imposing an open and honest approach to the business negotiations.

With models, it's the same thing: I can produce the best and most authentic images, if I really get along with the model and sense that she/he is herself/himself in the moment. I think I have quite a good empathetic sensibility, and when I sense that my model acts very affected and artificial, I somehow instantly get a bad feeling from the beginning.

 

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I have to admit that I am not a fashion specialist. I have been dressing randomly for all my life and didn't start to think about what I'm wearing until maybe one or two years ago. And so this is one of the skills I'm still lacking in my shoots: styling. I love to work together with designers that have a clear image in mind, what kind of fashion is fitting the location, the model, etc.

For me, honestly, it's not really important what the model wears - it's always about the personality and if we're connecting. So, you could say that I only feel uncomfortable if I have to shoot a model that I'm not connecting with, with clothes that I don't have any idea of. : ) But generally speaking, I love to shoot swimwear or underwear because I like to place a model's body in a good light and tease the spectator with interesting perspectives.

 

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When I think back, there was maybe one or two models that really didn't work for me. But I still managed to get good shots out if it (her). And that's what I'm always thinking to motivate me. Also, when a job for example seems too big for me, somehow it always works out and I'm growing with every new challenge, which gives me more self-confidence for the next time. There are times when you're not motivated to shoot and feel stifled. The best solution for that is really just to go out there and start hitting the shutter. If you're passionate about photography, it always hits you again at some point.

 

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One of the most challenging aspects of my work, but one that I'm grateful for is: (I know I'm repeating myself) To synchronize with a new type of model and personality again and again in every shoot because it gives you some kind of pressure and excitement, which leads you into a kind of ecstasy in the end when you achieve it and realise that right now you're creating good pictures. Not to lose the focus on the client at the same time is also a challenge that exists at the same time.

 

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I am a very optimistic person. I learned in the last four or five years that I'm able to attract good things to happen to me if I just 'take them' or make them come at me. I know it's cheesy and so stereotypical, but once you realise that you don't have to follow every rule, that you're fully (!) responsible for your own happiness and what you make out of your life, you start gaining new perspectives. I, for once, stopped lying at some point. I wasn't a big liar, but you know everyone uses 'white-lies' now and then. Well, I stopped using these, too, and from that point on treated everyone with pure honesty, which of course gets people hurt sometimes; but that's important to gain a clear image of yourself that you love, and that is essential to be fully optimistic without lying to yourself.

I can philosophize about self-confidence, the need for more egoism etc. for hours (or pages), but will stop here. : ) I hope everyone get's at least a glimpse of what I mean.

About my future plans: Having nearly finished my studies now, I have quite big plans ahead (which I actually didn't communicate to 'the public' yet). I'm going to move abroad with a friend of mine and try to realise some business ideas with him, as well as continuing photography and expanding my base to the Asian market. I won't tell too much, but let's just say there's a lot of stuff going to happen in 2017, the year I'm actually the most excited about in my life.

 

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The end of civilzation will be caused by: Either Donald Trump or a forced shutdown of the Internet (or both).

 
















01 // Desiree Ronit // desiree_ronit
02 // Desiree Ronit // desiree_ronit
03 // Serinya // serinya.gj
04 // Charlotte G. // lottevonchamier
05 // Vanessa Bosen // vanessabosen__
06 // Desiree Ronit // desiree_ronit
07 // Charlotte G. // lottevonchamier
08 // Serinya // serinya.gj
09 // Vanessa Bosen // vanessabosen__
10 // Charlotte G. // lottevonchamier
11 // Serinya // serinya.gj
12 // Vanessa Bosen // vanessabosen__
13 // Charlotte G. // lottevonchamier
14 // Serinya // serinya.gj
15 // Vanessa Bosen // vanessabosen__
16 // Vanessa Bosen // vanessabosen__

 

Lennart Bader // lennart.bader // lennartbader.de

 

JUNNNKTANK is an online zine which has existed in one form or another since 2006.
For over a decade, the focus has been on highlighting the efforts of inspiring individuals and artists from around the world.

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Submissions are always welcome to junk@junnnktank.com.