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Interview with Robert Maschke

Interview mit Robert MaschkeDark portraits of seemingly sinister characters - a combination which has made the court photographer of hip-hop scene Robert Maschke. Christoph Künne met with him to find out whether it is enough to life when one is known for a style.

Christoph Künne (CK): If you visit your website and there looking at the references, it looks like you're in two different worlds live: On the one hand you porträtierst hip-hop musicians, comedians and other artists. At the same time you are working for companies such as Vorwerk, Henkel, Eon and Bayer. How does it work?

Robert Maschke (RM): Quite correctly observed: I serve two completely opposite market segments with very different visual languages. In the Business customer I can put my technical skills to the test. This is often a matter of serving agency requirements to the point. Quite different is the work with the artists. With these images I try to create emotions to create projection and break usual sound barriers.

CK: How did you get into photography?

RM: Late. My first digital camera so I have, bought in 2008 with the end of the 20th Actually more because it was a bargain, but because I would have really needed. Before that, I had exposed just two rolls of film in a holiday. However, I knew then Photoshop almost half my life. I started as a 13-year-old to play with. In my later work as a designer it was my favorite tool because vectors are just not my thing. 2007 asked a photographer if I wanted to be their model. I said yes, and after the shooting I looked her in image processing over his shoulder. She was one of the Photoshopper Group, which operates without levels. The when the image fails, just do it again all begins again. After several clues how to do this or that better, they left me unnerved to the computer. We later became friends anyway (laughs).
I then noticed very quickly that photo retouching is exactly what I always wanted to do.

Interview mit Robert MaschkeCK: So you're a Photo Hopper, who came by chance to take pictures?

RM: At the beginning already. I am - how likely any amateur - once pulled around with the new digital camera and took pictures of everything: forests, arranged still lifes and for a while even padlocks. Who somehow fascinated. If they were properly rusted, it was also so nice to work out the structures. I went relatively quickly stuck as a motive in humans. In fact, the mixture of portrait photography and post me so captivated that I lost more and more out of sight my old business area in which I had built websites and developed logos. I brought with me to work with flash systems, published photos in that time much frequented online communities, had the first pictures in magazines. When I started to take pictures of private clients for a fee, the first contacts emerged in the music scene.

CK: Passion, online recognition, small private jobs, here and there a job for reputation - is this story I have in the last 20 years, hundreds of times. But hardly any of them that they told me was - like you - just about to move into his new 200-square-meter studio loft near Cologne, because the old rooms are too narrow. How did you manage, share your passion on an to provide solid financial base?

RM: When I started taking pictures, I knew from my previous business: To succeed, you have to work with advertising agencies. I was lucky to find an agency that - like me - was about durchzustarten. The rest was a mix of luck, coincidences and hard work.

CK: let's get back to the music. On your artist-reference list can be found mainly hip-hoppers like Kollegah, KC Rebell, AZAD or PA Sports next to the world-famous stars like Yello or the No Angels. How do you get the to be photographed by a?

RM: First and foremost, their own attitude is important. I is not about to photograph scene VIPs in order to earn a lot of money in any media. I come from the other side. What interests me is the music. I deal with the culture behind it and would like to make these aspects beyond the usual clichés visible.

CK: Solely on the attitude-or have the Visible-making will come but no one in front of the camera, right?

RM: Of course not (laughs). To come into contact with the musicians, they must have seen pictures of you already. If the results are impressive enough, even the stars will eventually pay attention to you. As soon as you can work with them, but the pictures appear a little way into the background. usually my experience that it is essentially a question of access and the sound, which must be properly selected. The more honest and direct you can be, the better the images. But this honesty and directness will be well packed course. In the end it is always a package that opens the door, not only the image itself results.

CK: Meanwhile, your reputation has grown. People come now to you?

Interview mit Robert MaschkeRM: Usually already. Many have realized that just photos shape their public image greatly and their products - making salable - such as music albums. Meanwhile, I'm even more to the young talents and offer them my support at the "appearance" of. However, for me is also the music in the foreground. I en-
gagiere me only if I like the song and find people interesting.

CK: Please say a word about technique you used - or play them for you not matter?

RM: Technology plays an important role especially in my corporate job. First, because this is about the maximum quality, but also because many customers as the use of medium format cameras is important. While the resolution here may not be high enough, the choice of technique for my portraits of artists follows other priorities. My current favorite camera is a Sony a7s. It is not only small, handy and inconspicuous, but allows me to work even under unfavorable lighting conditions. In such cases, the image resolution is secondary for me. 

CK: What about the post-processing in Photoshop? Are you doing that yourself or you give it to service?

RM: The important votes I make basically self - that is all that concerns the final look. If the job requires, but I'll give preliminary work such as Cut or Ausfleck retouching out of hand.


Interview with Robert Maschke: Would you like to know how Robert Maschkehis special style with Photoshop converts step by step? Then read the making-of tutorial in the new DOCMA77 (Issue 4/2017).


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Christoph Künne

Christoph Künne is co-founder, editor and publisher of DOCMA. The scientists studied cultural photographed passionate portraits and works since 1991 with Photoshop.

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