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Que Sera

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Photography by and Interview with Felix Kayser

I am a very political person and I always try to keep my ideals in photography. No unnecessary air travel, no plastic waste or food waste. The growing inequality of income in society is also an important issue for me. My heartfelt topic is transport policy in conurbations, for which I regularly take part in events and discussion groups; these always open up new horizons for me.

What would you call your photography style, who has influenced your photography the most and what is your favourite type of photography to shoot?

It's always hard to describe yourself, but lifestyle is the best way to put it, I guess. That's also what drives me to be on the road in different areas, but still combine them. I love the trip to the province to just photograph landscapes with their seasons. On the other hand, small trips with friends and friends of friends to have a great time and capture moments. My influences are very different and have of course changed over time, one also always discovers new forgotten photographers of past times. It tends to be less the very popular big names of international photography.

One current that always influences my thinking is documentary photography. From Gerda Taro from the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, to Roger Melis with his Paris pictures of the 1980s, to Ute Mahler with her timeless fashion photographs from the 1970s to the 1990s in the GDR. Each style stands on its own, but influences you in how you see cities, people or situations. The leap to my current style came mainly through French photographers such as Jean Philipp Lebee, Guillaume Gaubert, Theo Gosselin, Maud Chalard or Emmanuel Rosario. The freedom and lightness transported there are a style of their own that influences many photographers in the world. For me, it is also the French lifestyle and the light that always fascinate me in the pictures. I also find art house films from the European region

very influential for my style.

For me, photography always means being able to immerse myself in situations or being allowed to observe. Capturing a moment and being able to inspire other people with the pictures.

Do you recall the first photo you snapped that made you think that you really had what it takes to be the photographer you are today? What compelled you to continue on the path you are on, and which direction do you plan to take your career in?

Like many photographers, I am a very self-critical person. But I think it was the trip to Portugal that showed me a lot. For the first time I was in the situation of having the right light on an evening. It was really clear to me again that we all only boil with water, but it's the

timing. Such a "first photo" I would say was taken at the moment on the bridge Ponte do Infante in Porto during the series with Julia. There I also rediscovered analogue photography for myself. I want to photograph people from the creative scene, but also more reportage of social issues.

What does photography mean to you? What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer and is there anything you find difficult about this profession?

For me, photography always means being able to immerse myself in situations or being allowed to observe. Capturing a moment and being able to inspire other people with the pictures. I think being a professional photographer these days is incredibly difficult and it probably takes away from the passion I currently have for it. That's why being a part-time photographer is still the better option for me at the moment, so I can only answer that to a limited extent.

The difficult thing with any artistic pursuit is the relationship and battles you have with yourself. I regularly can go from feeling like Picasso to a phony in a matter of a day. I read somewhere that imposter syndrome is the price of admission for being an artist. I agree with that.

How do you make your models feel comfortable and safe when shooting with you? What measures are necessary to take?

I think it's probably the energy on set and language used. I never touch anyone. Even if it would be easier to move someone’s leg or arm than to explain the pose. It's a boundary I don't cross. I think it's also the level of professionalism. I’m only there to do one thing and that’s make amazing art. But I do get told all the time by people I’m shooting for the first time how they feel at ease with me. I was raised by women, single mom, a lot of aunts and my grandmother. Always a lot of friends who were girls. I’ve been surrounded by women my whole life to me its really not a big deal. I don't flirt, and I don't make suggestive comments. I see the body as just a body. to be honest what I do is really no big deal to me.

I'm basically influenced by people I see in everyday life, whether on the way to the office, to friends or while shopping. After people, it's simply the light that always amazes me and of course the reflection in the surroundings, which sometimes gives me a lot of spontaneous ideas.

How do you make your models feel comfortable and safe when shooting with you? What measures are necessary to take?

The most important point is transparency in communication, all ideas or possible problems must be on the table. The feel-good factor of the model is the most important thing, only then does it work. Many conversations and finding some common ground in order to seamlessly get to the first photos is usually a good process. This also means greeting the model without a camera in her hand and getting to know her mood on the day in a friendly way. Depending on the situation, you can start faster or perhaps have a pleasant snack beforehand.

What advice would you give to an individual starting out in photography?

Don't delve so much into technique, often it's other factors like composition and moment that bring you forward. It helps to start with cameras that have some manual functions, you should not let the camera set everything automatically, rather try to familiarize yourself with manual settings. So that you can better understand images that you have photographed. This way you learn to look at the light, the object and the moment much faster than relying on the electronics. If you want to photograph people directly, you shouldn't have too big a goal and implement a few fixed situations, but then don't switch off between

moments. It is also important not to hold on too tightly to images in your head and to be flexible with the situation at hand. Never sink into yourself and always talk to the model. In my experience, most models often complain about the communication of photographers in general.


Photography by: @kayserlich Location: Berlin, Germany

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