Robert Komarek: internationally well-known Fine Art Nude photographer
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Robert Komarek is an internationally well know professional fine art nude photographer with a long and successful career.
He is being shooting models for more than 30 years and his outdoors work stands out from the crowd just because it looks like studio shooting always with an amazing interaction and complicity with the model and always with amazing natural backgrounds where the tones and the composition seems to fit perfectly with the body language of the models.
First of all I would say a very big “Thank You” to Paulo Abrantes (member restotus) for giving me the possibility to tell a little bit about my 'photographic life' to a wider circle of people!
Well, born 1956 in Vienna/Austria my interest in photography started quite early. It was inspired by my father who has been an enthusiastic amateur photographer. In the 50s he won some photography contests and actually he and his cameras sparked my passion. When I was about 14 years, I had already begun to develop my films and prints by myself – still handling my father's amateur equipment, Kodak® Cameras and a no name enlarger. In the afternoons, after school, for hours and hours I trolled the lanes and places of Vienna and shot everything – and everybody – what and who seemed to be worth a picture.
How did you start your career? And were your parents supportive? Were they artistic? What were some of the hurdles you encountered in the beginning?
But of course during all the college years I shot already photos. Especially photos from pop and jazz concerts, now and then several times a month. After the concerts I had to develop all the films and prints to deliver the pictures next morning. It was marvellous! I earned real money by shooting all the legendary stars in concert, from George Benson to John McLaughlin's Shakti, from Herbie Hancock to Frank Zappa etc etc. Elvin Jones tried to teach me some drum beats at 04:00 am. and Carlos Santana played Frisbee with me during a soundcheck break. And all the music I had for free!
But I was too young and inexperienced. So I agreed most of time that I would deliver all the negatives I shot together with the prints. That's why today there are not many photos left in my archive originating from that period.
What kind of equipment and gear do you use in your work?
Do you belong to any photography associations or groups?
What is your favourite photograph ever, from you and from others? And what photographs and photographers from the past or present have had an influence on your work?
What have been some of the obstacles or challenges you have faced all along in your career?
How do you get inspired? What are some of the things you do to get inspired to shoot? And your biggest inspiration is…?
What has been the worse job you’ve ever shot?
Is it really as glamorous as the media makes it out to be?
You’ve clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you give to people looking to expand their portfolio?
Are you working on anything at the moment, either for a client or for personal?
Can you describe a typical photo shoot session? How much equipment do you typically bring to a photo-shoot? Do you have support staff and what areas do they handle?
Remember, most of the models like to watch the pics you made. Try to get periods of approximately 10-20 minutes of shooting followed by short breaks for changing the flashes, for restoring the hair/make-up AND for watching the just finished shots TOGETHER with the model. Talk to her! Don't get tired of praising her performance and be sure she will give thanks with her top form! And don't act big! Remember: without her now you would be nothing; you could not do more than to shoot the background paper. So TALK TO HER! Nothing is more embarrassing than a speechless shooting.
For someone who never saw your work, how would you describe it?
What do you consider to be the main difference between yourself and others like you who have failed to get to where you are?
If you could tell yourself anything when you first started out, what would you say to yourself now?
Robert, can you describe and tell us something about the hidden work of a fine art nude photographer? The work between the photographer and the model, the psychological and mental aspect of that work and all the main aspects of that relationship. It doesn’t begin right in the spot and it don’t ends with a “how do you do”, for sure.
Any final words of wisdom you would like to share?
Thank you very much.
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