by Editor Yvette Depaepe
Peter Müller describes himself as a "hobby" photographer in spite of his great professionalism. His portraits, fine art erotic and fashion photography have one essential target: celebrating the beauty of woman. Peter always tries to concentrate on realizing his visions or help his models to realize their own ideas.
Today, 1x wants to put Peter in the spotlights through this interview where he tells more about himself and his splendid work.
Dear Peter, can you tell us something more about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs?
I was born in a small town close to the Belgium border and after my MBA I worked as a consultant in major companies like PwC, IBM and until Feb 2018 I was Partner at BearingPoint Consulting. I left in February to follow my passion and only work as a photographer
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
I believe my style was affected by the German culture, the international experience of the emotional approach with humans and life itself, the way pictures are presented in Newspapers and Magazines. And not the least, the way movies are made in different countries.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I was influenced by the pictures of Helmut Newton, Avalon, Albert Eliot, Stefan Moses, Abe Freijindlich and later Peter Lindbergh (my absolute role model), Vincent Peters and Greg Gorman.
What first attracted you to photography?
At the age, my father taught me how to work with a Voigtlaender Vito B and a Lica M4. He also had a darkroom where he showed me everything... so it was more a natural approach to the art of capturing moments.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
I love the beauty of each human being, I shoot women and men. But women are more emotional than men and show their feelings much easier. They also have a higher variety of looks and - by the way - are mostly more beautiful .. at least in my eyes. In essence I see myself as a movie Director and Camera man at the same time.
Your work is very stylish. Portraits, Fashion Photography, Fine Art Erotic. Why are you so drawn by these specific categories?
I was really influenced by the classical portraits of Yossuf Karsh, Jeanloup Sieff, Albert Steichen. They showed me the beauty of outstanding portraits. The film noir pictures in the French movies of the 60s were so exceptional good: wonderful young beauties with a stylish but natural look … all those pictures inspired me to create something timeless as well and I try to make women looking like in old French or American movies.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Definitely the mood/story … my camera is my tool which I know very good so I don’t have to pay much attention to the settings … To me, an emotional picture is good even if it is not technically perfect.
What generally is your relationship to your models?
As Peter Lindbergh also said, I almost fall in love with every woman I work with during the shoot. Their attitude, their behaviour, their beauty, all this contributes to my passion for photography. The longer we work together, I get used to their best looks and sides and can work even more intensely to have better and better pictures by the end of each shoot.
When the moment comes that women have full confidence in me and our relationship, they feels safe and relaxed and we reach the full emotions we want to express in the scene. That’s the magic moment I try to create and capture.
For me, I behave like if they were my daughter or my wife and treat every person the way I treat my beloved ones. Treat everyone as you want to be treated. That’s the best filter and recommendation I can give.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Yes I select the location before every shooting, I prepare my studio gear and clothing and MUA … Preparation is the key and provides more than 50% chances of success.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Nikon D5 and 810 and most of the time 2.8/70-200 on 200 open aperture and 2.8/24-70. I also use an old 1.4/85. Most of my pictures are straight out of my camera (RAW + Jpg and monochrome). It is rare that I convert a raw file to BW.
What software do you use to process your images?
95% LR CC Classic. I cannot use Photoshop, I never learned it. I only can use PS to get a pimple away and that's it.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
As said before, there is no work flow.. I import all my pictures in LR, I select the frames I want to work on and just use contrasts, light etc... Nothing more!
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Portrait- Fashion- or Fine Art Erotic Photography and how do you get started?
Know your camera 1st so that you don’t be distracted by the technology. Get to know the persons you photograph, talk and guide them from the 1st to the last second.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
In the beginning, Helmut Newton, Avalon, Albert Eliot, Stefan Moses, and Abe Freijindlich. Later on, I started to follow Peter Lindbergh (who is my absolute role model), Vincent Peters, and Greg Gorman.
Just as my role models, I like black and white because of the total focus on the essence in the frame. No distracting colours, just the main subject, the moment, the emotions and the story behind the picture are important.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
Portrait by Paolo Roversi
The girl's look is incredibly strong and intense. The way Paolo succeeded to capture this look was my greatest inspiration to achieve the same in every shooting: trying to photograph the strongest and most intense look of each person.
Street portrait by Helmut Newton
This picture of Newton was taken using the available street light only. No frills needed but still an amazing atmosphere. That was my guideline accepting the light conditions in some situations to give every frame the most natural look.
Both pictures taken in natural light, were fascinating to me by their intensity as well as their simplicity.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I love what I do. Sometimes I also work in colour for agencies and for campaigns.. My main goal is to work for major brands that accept my natural looks and style.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
This picture is part of my lifetime heart project… inspired by degas and Alfred Eisenstaedt and Lindberghs ballet pictures. I always wanted to create something comparable… This one is the opener of a series and one of my most beloved frames.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I like the 1x community because of the high quality and creativity.
Thanks for letting me be part of it and for the continuous support and feedback.