Anna Fichtner is a lifestyle, portrait and interior/architectural photographer based in Southern Germany – close to the scenic alps. She was kind enough to give us a little insight into her interior and architectural photography during her last project.
I recently had a project to take photographs of a property with multiple chalets. Below I will give you some insight into what the project was about, my approach, my gear and what my process is to try and capture the essence of a place.
The main goal of the job was to capture the winter mood. There is plenty of snow this season and no other guests – so perfect conditions for a photoshoot. Beside this my client asked me to ‘create some epic shit’ – which is my favorite kind of briefing :-)
What gear do you take with you?
Canon 5d MKII
Canon 35mm 1.4
Canon 50mm 1.2
DJI Mavic Pro
Most used lens is the 35mm and the 50mm (for detail shoots).
How do you start the process of hotel/interior shoots when you just arrive
First of all, I am trying to speak to my clients, get an impression of their values, the story behind property and their needs. I then start to search for the emotion of the place by walking around, taking the whole property in alone and just being aware of the surroundings and how they are making me feel.
For the chalets I felt the importance of reduction. The architecture is clean and kind of minimalistic which gives the surrounded area (trees / nature) full attention. So after I spoke with the client and walked around a bit I sat in one of the chalets with a coffee, experiencing the presence of the nature and how the outside seeps to the inside. Dancing shadows on the wooden walls and the calming smell of pine were an outstanding highlight I wanted to frame.
This is when I realize the magic moments I want to capture. In this case it was the strong light and shadow game. As it gave me a deep feeling of peace, homecoming and ease, I wanted to share that feeling through my photogprahs with the client, and try to expose that feeling.
Is there a perfect time to shoot- if so what time of the day is that for you?
Yes, I prefer to wake up before the sun rises to get the very first light in the morning. In winter that is not too difficult as it is around 8am. The morning light brings a certain peace which in most cases you feel and see in photos. For this project the sun around 11am was perfect as it created some harsh light, and the shadows were strong.
Interior architectural photos I prefer to stay at least one night at the place to really get a good feeling for the property. Again, going back to trying to capture a feeling in the photos.
While I personally don’t care too much about how a room / hotel / airBnB exactly looks like, I do want to know if it’s a cozy place, or a clean space. For e.g. when I book an apartment in California I’d love to feel that I am actually in "Cali", I want to smell the ocean, feel relaxed and fun when I walk into the apartment. Same when I come to the Chalets, I want to feel like I am in Bavaria, a part of Germany with lots of forests and nature. This is what I want to capture with my photographs.
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