For its third interview Up-Her is proud to receive Andrea Hübner an already well know woman photographer, based in Germany and mainly working on portraiture and nudes.
Up-her: Hi Andrea, can you introduce yourself and your work with some words?
My name is Andrea Hübner, I'm a photographer currently living in Mainz, Germany. Photography is my passion but not my profession.I enjoy the freedom to shoot personal projects a lot. I started with sports photography but my main focus is now on portraiture. From time to time I shoot nudes as well.
Up-her: How would you describe your photograpic work? Can you illustrate it with photos?
My photos are very feminine and calm. It is important to me to stay true to my style, although I like to try new things as well. The environment and colors are a very important part of my photos and are essential for the mood I want to create. I use a digital camera as well as my old film camera and I love square format (that is where the name "quadratiges“ comes from, it means „squared things“ in German). My main focus are women and I want to capture the amazing variety of beauty within women. I love taking photos of models without make-up, but I also like to experiment with professional make-up artists in order to develop bigger projects and ideas.
Up-Her: Is portrait photography your main subject? What others subjects do you like (some photos to show us)?
Yes, I focused on portraiture during the last years. I started with nature photography but soon developed a passion for portraits, faces and expressions. Each face is so different and I love to capture this amazing variety. Different expressions and faces don't stop to inspire me. Sometimes I like to shoot nudes as well.
Up-her: When you started shooting portrait and specifically female what was the main difficulty?
As a photographer with no experience, it wasn't easy to find models. At the beginning, I had no portfolio, which made it difficult for the model to trust in me and my skills. But this became easier when I had done my first shoots and could provide some examples of my work. I'm very thankful to my first nude model who agreed to pose for me although I had never shot nudes before. This trust means a lot to me, because beeing in front of a photographer's lens without any clothes is a very intimate situation.
Up-her: When did you start shooting female and why did you choose this kind of photography ?
I started focusing on women photography in 2007. I didn't have a clear direction or style before and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to take photos. I liked nature shots, animals, people, and gave everything a try. In 2007, I was drawn into portraiture photography and discovered the amount of possibilities it offers. My style is very female and soft, and therefore more suitable to female models than to male models. But I plan to shoot male models as well in the future :).
Up-her: Can you define what "beauty" means for you?
I like natural people who feel self-confident without make-up. Beauty does not mean to be perfect, some flaws make people even more interesting. When you have a look at my photos, you'll notice that I often have red heads and/or freckled girls in front of my lens because I consider these two attributes very beautiful and special.
Up-Her: While preparing a shooting, what are the steps you follow to be sure the results will as you wanted it to be?
The model is the most important element and her face has to inspire me. That's why I carefully chose my models. Sometimes I already have the location I want to take the photos in my mind, this makes things much easier (but finding awesome new places by chance is exciting too!). For the more „complexe“ shoots, I make sure to have a good make-up artists with me – indispensable for some ideas where the make-up/hair plays an essential part. Another important point in my preparation is time, because I usually work with available light only. That's why I rather start in the morning, to ensure that we won't be under time pressure later.
Up-Her: You work with both digital and film camera, When and why do you choose one or the other ?
For my portraiture photography, I use my digital Canon 5d markII most of the time. It's easier because you can be spontaneous and try new things with a digital camera. With my film camera, it is a completely different way of taking photos. I have to thorougly watch the light and focus and it takes much more time until I finally press the release. That is why I use it mainly for my nude shots. It helps to create a very relaxed atmosphere during nude shoots, which also has a positive effect on the model I think.
Up-Her: Same question between color and black and white photography:
Sometimes I can already tell before a shoot whether the photos will be in black and white or in color. But more often, there's a crutial point during my post processing when the decision is made. I try out several versions of the photo and then decide which version I like most. Sometimes I really cannot decide at all whether to chose color or b&w, I then decide more or less by my instinct.
Up-Her: Where do you get inspiration from?
Basically it's everywhere around me. It might be a certain place, a piece of clothing, a face, colors... But also paintings and films. Sometimes, an idea pops up in my mind and then I develop it.
Up-Her: Can you tell us something about what will be your next big project/shooting?
I had lots of shoots lately and will take a short break now. But there are still many photos to be edited and I'm really looking forward to this :).
Up-her: And in the long term do you plan to change the kind of photos you make ? In a technical or stylistic way ?
At the moment, I'm very confident with my style and equipment. Of course I will always try new things (e.g. work with studio light), but I'll stay true to my style. My Canon 5d markII is the perfect camera for me and will probably stay my best friend over the next years. I want to take some shorts videos in the future, that's definitely one of my plans for this year!Up-her: Thanks a lot Andrea.