Fashion Photographer Reno Mezger is featured in this installment of James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you for sharing this time with us. Where do you call home Reno?
Reno Mezger: I was born in Leipzig, a charming little place in the middle of Germany. For the past years and since I took up photography as my profession I made Hamburg my home.
JRP: What led to your interest in photography? Was there any formal training in your background?
Reno Mezger: I always liked to look at photographs from an early age. They had some mystique in their making I couldn’t quite grasp. Wanting to take them myself crossed my mind in my late twenties. I was working as an art director in advertising agencies back then, using images of other artists for ads and billboards. One day I couldn’t resist curiosity anymore and started to do what I do now.
JRP: Who are some of the artists that have influenced your work?
Reno Mezger: I love the story telling of Steven Meisel, the creative style of Solve Sundsbo, and the alluring pictures by Tony Duran.
JRP: What steps did you take to develop your vision and technique early on?
Reno Mezger: Being curious, trial and error and lots of practice. Get up, take pictures, compare your results with the best, start over.
JRP: Do you have people who assist you with your projects and if so what roles do they play?
Reno Mezger: My pictures are team work. Models, stylists, hair and makeup artists and photo assistants. All the individual skills by many different artists come together in one single picture. It’s like conducting an orchestra. Feedback and a fresh perspective by people I look up to and who are not involved in the project also helps.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Reno Mezger: I like a minimalistic setup and I use only what I really need. For editorial work you will find either a Canon 5D Mark III or a Nikon D800 plus 50mm and 85mm lenses when I shoot in a studio. On location I’ll add a 24-70mm zoom lens to be more flexible and quicker when deciding on the best perspective for the picture. Some projects require higher image resolution, typically when used for advertising, then I favor Hasselblad or Phase One.
JRP: What type of lighting do you prefer, artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Reno Mezger: The type of lightning depends on where I shoot and what the overall image idea asks for. Lately I experiment a lot with indirect lighting in studios, using strobes that bounce back from walls, creating an almost daylight-like feeling.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use?
Reno Mezger: I travel a lot and need access to all of my present projects no matter where I am. The three stages of any project are: planning, shooting and image selection plus retouching. The latest generation of Apple MacBook Pro enables me to do that with one single tool.
For image selection I use Photo Mechanic. All retouching is done in Photoshop. ChronoSync takes care of my backups.
JRP: What is the most critical moment in the capture of your images?
Reno Mezger: It’s preparation. Looking back, the pictures I love most have been the result of strong concepts and planning. Yet I do love surprises and friendly accidents during my shoots. They provoke real creativity.
JRP: Name a shoot or project that revealed to you the distance you’ve come as an artist.
Reno Mezger: My cover for the latest issue of L’Officiel Ukraine.
JRP: If not photography what would Reno Mezger be doing with his time?
Reno Mezger: I would be a professional baseball player in the North American Baseball League. Or a world-famous Rock Star. For one of the above I might be a little too old by now, I’m afraid.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Reno Mezger: Make yourself known to the world. Take pictures, show pictures. Get in people’s heads.
JRP: What advice would you share with other photographers?
Reno Mezger: Be in love with what you do and who you are. Take advice but don’t lose yourself over the opinion of others. You are the artist.
JRP: Thank you Reno for sharing this time with us. It has been a pleasure and we wish you continued success.
Reno Mezger: My pleasure.
JRP: To view more of Reno Mezger’s photography please follow these links: