WELCOME TO OUR FEBRUARY GUEST; PHOTOGRAPHER EVA SCHWANK
let me start by telling you a bit about myself, I always find it tricky to write about myself and how I became a photographer without just stating facts and sounding super boring. It’s like nearly every photographer finds it weird to be in front of the camera, though you get used to it a bit more when you assist and need to do all those beautiful light tests. A friend of mine collects them as a photo project which is really hilarious but we are getting off topic now.
There are so many different ways of getting into photography or becoming a photographer - it is more about finding the right way for you.
It was always clear for me that I wanted to work in a creative job, in the beginning I always wanted to get into art and just paint all day long. The turning point for me was on a school event where former students told us about what they are doing now and one of them worked as a advertising photographer - she would become my colleague a year later. I never really thought about the origin of those beautiful glossy adverts or editorials in Vogue and that there are so many different genres in photography. Sounds funny but for the little girl from the country side this was an eye opening moment and from that moment it was clear - I wanted to become a photographer.
Lucky as I was, I got an apprenticeship with an amazing advertising photographer, who did a lot of product photography as well. Trust me, you really learn how to set a light when you work with a stills photographer.
I finished my apprenticeship after 3 years and stayed at the company as a full time advertising photographer for nearly 2 years before I decided I need to leave the small town and move to Berlin, to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion photographer.
I never fooled myself, I knew I had to work hard to get there but I was ready for it. I assisted a few photographers in Berlin and already did a bit of my own work. When I look back now my early work makes me cringe but hey we all have to start somewhere.
After 2 years in Berlin I decided I need to go somewhere outside Germany and see the bigger picture. This is when I moved to London for an internship with a beauty and fashion photographer and got to know the big industry and the really serious shoots.
I remember my first day as a runner on set, which basically means being the helping hand to the team and doing all those little task even if it just means getting some water or some new batteries for the trigger. I couldn’t believe how many people there were on set after just having a small team in Berlin which usually only included Photographer, Assistant, Hair&Makeup and Model. This is when it dawned on me that this was a whole other world and that I still needed to learn a lot.
After starting out doing basically everything from archiving files to being a runner on set I became her full time assistant, digital operator and manager of her retouching company. I have learned so much in those years and it was crucial for me to get to know the industry. Also I learned so much more about proper high end retouching.
One and half years passed until I decided to go solo again so I could assist different photographers in the industry.
Over the years I have worked with various photographers on such a variety of jobs for clients like Nike, Diesel, Jimmy Choo, L’oreal, Adidas & Garnier to name a few. From shooting in the streets of London in December and freezing my bum off (even the heating packs and thousand layers wouldn’t do the trick) to an abandon bridge in Kiev which really wouldn’t have passed German security standards, you get it all.
I have learned so much by being a digital operator, every job brings something new. The tricky thing is finding the time to also pursue and develop your own photography, it is hard assisting 5-7 days a week and shooting your own project on the side, at this point the only thing that helps is loving your job, even if it sounds like a cliché. There were many days where I would come home from an assisting job and went straight into working on my own projects planning a shoot, doing edits or retouching,
Over the years I actually noticed that my focus has shifted and I don’t want to become “THE” fashion photographer anymore, I enjoy mixing it up and found a passion for beauty photography.
Wow so this is my “short” story about how I became a photographer. Thanks to the wonderful girls from THE 4 OF US you are stuck with me for a whole month now and I will do my best to give you a little inside into the industry and how I work.
We will finish it off with an amazing shoot of the girls which is currently in the final planning stage, where we will take you along our journey and take you behind the scenes.
But for now have a fantastic weekend.
ANNABELL BY EVA FOR AUTUMN AFTERNOON
FIND EVA’S WORK HERE