Lasse Behnke is one of the most successful of Germany's microstock photographers and probably one of the few that offer only composing. In this interview he talks about the way to success and his most important tool.
DOCMA: How did you get to market photomontages on stock photo providers?
Lasse Behnke: I've always enjoyed working in my school days with Photoshop. So it was actually quite logical for me to offer photomontages even with Fotolia. At that time I had started training as a media designer and was in the agency my Photoshop knowledge professionalize.
From floor I was hooked quickly after the first sales, 3D tools were later meaningful consequence to withdraw to my pictures even more from most other offerings.
DOCMA: And then did you equal opted for independence?
Lasse Behnke: No, first time I brought my training ended. At that time I was earning only a few hundred euros with stock sales during the month. But I had tasted blood and realized that photography and image processing were what I wanted to do professionally. It then took about nine months before I was able to live from the picture sales and had to accept no more design jobs. From 2012 to early 2016, I then almost exclusively produced material for photo agencies.
DOCMA: How did you become so well known?
Lasse Behnke: 2015 I got an email from Calvin Hollywood. Who had discovered my stock image in an online article, investigated who I am, and then asked if we wanted to do something together. This was the perfect start for me.
Calvin put me in touch with the learning video providers Linked-In and mentioned my name on a few occasions. The result was once rising Followerzahlen on my Facebook page. Later, when he was a YouTube video produced with me, my range has increased massively. By working in the Anomymität it was over. This was followed by invitations to lectures, seminars and video projects. For several years I have been an official "Adobe Influencer", which in my case means I am invited to speak at events and regularly get orders from the marketing.
DOCMA: But you live still mainly from the stock sales?
Lasse Behnke: Essentially already. But with all the attention I have many other customers. They usually come from industry, but I have also worked as Rolf Harris on some projects.
DOCMA: You are just over 30, it now sounds almost as if you had already achieved everything. What drives you?
Lasse Behnke: In the beginning my motivation was enthusiasm about the fact that many people in my pictures money paid. And, although it me not so well published. Then I tried to make it better - and I'm working today. I always find something that I can still to learn. First it was the photography then Photoshop, now I also do a lot with Cinema 4D. For example, when I see the pictures of Uli Staiger, I realize that it just is still much potential for development at me in 3D. Although I control most of the tools now quite good, but I'll probably never be satisfied with my pictures to 100 percent.
DOCMA: Speaking of tools: What is the most important tool for you?
Lasse Behnke: In addition to the software clearly the monitor. I have a EIZO CG2730. The offers automatic color safety thanks to the built-in calibration device. I just need the time interval set, and then the monitor is calibrated without my help themselves. This is perfectly in professional environments. Recently I designed the key visual for Continental. For such jobs, the colors must be accurately prepared for printing. This is also true for the stock images. Just because I do not know which devices look at the customers their images and process, I must even be sure that the colors I see really stuck in the file. If you go as image buyers to professional, you would expect that yet. That was one of the first lessons I've learned from my training in the agency. There we had incidentally only EIZO monitors - I speak learned EIZO.
Eizo ColorEdge CG2730
The ColorEdge CG2730 met with its built-in calibration sensor, the true black panel and the supplied monitor hood the more demanding applications. He uses a wide gamut LCD modules (IPS) with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16: 9 covers that 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space.
Every single EIZO ColorEdge is calibrated precisely at the factory. For each device, the gamma curve is calibrated. In addition, the uniformity and color purity are determined each individual panels and corrected in order to achieve an undistorted image representation. For a particularly precise color control of the CG2730 has a built-in calibration sensor. This is precisely matched to each screen and is used for accurate calibration and profiling. It allows an automatic calibration process.
DOCMA: What do you have to for your experience - in addition to a high-quality monitor - still bring to market Microstock to succeed in?
Lasse Behnke: Since there are only three important tips in the ground. First, a bitter truth: The images that already lie dormant on your own hard drive, can not be sold, as a rule. On the one hand, there are a million sunsets. On the other hand, one can today Microstock almost exclusively motives make money that have been produced for a commercial purpose. I have to ask me for each image: Who would any reason to buy this? If I can find no clear answers as to tip number two is true: search for terms that fit in your view to the images on your hard drive and see what others offer to do so. Most important are the first pages of results, because here there are many images that are selling well. After that, the following question must be answered honestly: Can I keep up or make it even better there? Tip Three: There are now many millions of stock photos on any platform. Think about what you can, you know who or what you own, which is difficult to photograph for others. Even one who photographed what everyone else has also photographed a hundred times, will not have much success.
DOCMA: What you have to actually make durchzustarten?
Lasse Behnke: learn to rethink in the first place. Stock Photography needs detectable, visual platitudes quickly. So not elaborate photographic art that hangs in exhibitions. Basically, this is just completely: First, you have to focus on subjects that need a large group of buyers for their work. The "thumbs up" that people will want associated with microstock photography It is a perfect example of this. Though of course you need not to photograph him because there are already too many versions. Is found the subject or the subject, one has a clear, uncluttered and clean technical care image conversion. So a simple, thematically fitting background without distracting elements, preferably no more striking shadow and a consistent focus in all theme parts. Ideally, you photograph the same way that the main subject or individual elements can be easily release. That was it. The rest is work and experience.
DOCMA: but see your pictures very different.
Lasse Behnke: This has to do with my style. In the reason I'm doing all well, only a little less simple. Take, for example, the image on the next page. It uses the theme of "ideas" in symbolical form. The motive idea that a "light rises", is known as a figure of speech. I have now been implemented with everyday objects in my way.
As this has arisen with the bulbs helmet in Photoshop and Cinema 4D explains Lasse Behnke in your own words in Output 91 of the magazine DOCMA.