Welcome Fashion Photographer Mikael Schulz to this Spotlight Segment of James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Mikael for sharing this moment with us.
Mikael Schulz: I was excited and happy to be asked.
JRP: Mikael where do you call home and how did you get your start in photography? Is there any formal training in your background?
Mikael Schulz: Home right now is New York City but when I get jobs in Sweden I say I go home. I used to paint as a child and I loved playing with Barbie and beautiful things. It was in the gymnasium where I first came in contact with photography. Our photo teacher showed us a small studio and that’s where it all began for me.
JRP: When was the moment that it clicks for you that this is what you should be doing, why fashion photography?
Mikael Schulz: It was that moment when our photo teacher showed us the studio. It was the first or the second class we had. When he opened the door to the small studio at the school the idea came into my head, I can become a fashion photographer wow! What a life!
Why fashion photography? Because I get to create beauty. I’m obsessed by the feeling I get when everything becomes beautiful. When the makeup, hair, styling, and the communication between me and the model is working and we create something of beauty together. It’s magic. Then being able to take a picture and retouching it, and making it even more beautiful is for me like drowning in beauty.
JRP: Name a couple of photographers you feel have impacted your work and why?
Mikael Schulz: Without a doubt that it is Steven Meisel. When I started buying fashion magazines in the early 90s as a 14-year-old boy it was his images that I always was drawn to. His sense of communicating style to the models is unique and breathtaking. Perfection. He’s my guru And then Avedon and Penn of course who set the standard that we are all trying to reach even today. I love Richard Avedon. I also love Mert & Marcus fantastic Iconic picture making.
JRP: Do you have a support team? What areas do they handle?
Mikael Schulz: My new agent is Hall & Lundgren. Louise and Mike are just great. All the wonderful Hair, Make up, Stylist and Models that I work with. Of course my biggest support, my fiance Claudio who also assists me sometimes and spreads a great atmosphere on set.
JRP: What equipment would I find in your camera bag or in studio for a typical shoot? What type of lighting do you favor and why?
Mikael Schulz: You would find a Canon Mark III and the Hasselblad with a PhaseOne back. I love a simple silver umbrella. If you can take a good picture with one you can take a good picture. For me it’s not about the technology but it’s the feeling in the photograph that’s more important. You can treat one light in so many ways.
JRP: Please describe your digital work-flow and the software you use?
Mikael Schulz: I do mostly all of my retouching myself. I work in Photoshop and I develop my pictures in Bridge. Working with the Wacom board.
JRP: Do you personally print your images?
Mikael Schulz: I only print pictures to my portfolio and when friends would like to framed one.
JRP: Are there any memorable images or shoots you could share with us? What made that image or shoot special?
Mikael Schulz: All shoots are different and memorable. By looking at the pictures you remember the day and how the team was working together. It’s also fantastic in this profession that you get to travel and see all the corners of the world. It’s the best way to travel. To be able to shoot in some locations you have to interact with people you normally wouldn’t interact with.
I remember a shoot we did in Vietnam out in the desert funny enough. We found a small place that sold water & coffee. There were all these wonderful kids there that we play with and we had water buffaloes helping us to
carry the equipment out there.
JRP: What do you feel is one of the major mistakes new photographers make in pursuing a career in fashion photography?
Mikael Schulz: Mistakes are great. That’s the only way to learn, and I have made plenty of mistakes. The only mistake you can really make is to say I’m no good. If instead you think, great, now I’ve learned something that I’m never going to do again then you’re on your way.
JRP: What has been some of the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Mikael Schulz: The best advice I got is to always look within. You can always ask for advice from somebody else but they will always tell you things from their point of view. If you instead listen to what you love and what you find beautiful then you will become unique.
JRP: What special advice would you like to share with other photographers?
Mikael Schulz: Just keep up the good work. 🙂
JRP: Thank you Mikael for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure.
Mikael Schulz: Thank you James for finding me and wanting to do this interview with me.
JRP: To view more of Mikael Schulz’s photography please follow this link: