Michael Stonis

Fridolin Schöpper

Michael Stonis
Fridolin Schöpper

Hi Fridolin, where are you from and how did you get into photography?
I grew up in the industrial town of Duisburg in Germany, but I'm going back and forth between New York and Berlin right now. My art teacher in high school encouraged me to look into photography, and everybody seemed to like the results, so I kept doing it.

How would you describe your worK?
Natural, honest, contemplative, dreamy, sentimental, sometimes depressive and sad.

Going into a shoot how do you prepare?
I try to plan everything, I check the location, create a mood board, I think every shot through beforehand but, I never shoot like planned, everything keeps on changing constantly, and I like that.

How does your photo shoots differ from a clean portrait session to a fashion editorial?
Actually, it doesn't differ at all, it's all about images. I don't want to think in categories, I just want to create beautiful pictures, no matter if it's fashion, portrait or even landscape.

What's your normal camera setup?
I really like high quality lenses, so I work mostly with my 50mm 1.2 and my 85mm 1.2 on a Canon 5d mark II.

Do you have a preference between studio lighting and natural light?
I love natural light! I also like the challenge of finding a spot with nice light, studio light is so slow, and so inflexible...if I need to use artificial light, it's with HMI.

Do you work with the same creative team or do you like to mix it up?
I try to keep the teams as small as possible, I actually prefer to work on my own, but yes if there's a team, I try to work with people I know and like.

What would your dream shoot consist of?
First of all, it would be great to have a lot of time for once! Its always hectic, and someone is always waiting. Especially when you shoot celebrities, its usually over in a minute!
Second would be the model, it's just so important to have a great character in front of your lens. I would love to work with people like Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi, Andy Garcia.

Who are some photographers that inspire you?
August Sander

Thanks Fridolin!