A ONE ON ONE INTERVIEW WITH SOUTH AFRICAN PATRICK LEMMENS
My name is Patrick Lemmens, I am South African born of Dutch parents. I largely grew up in Holland but returned to South Africa 17 years ago. I have had a keen interest in photography since my teens, but only started taking photography really seriously about 4 years ago.
Initially focusing on landscapes, macros and architecture, my work has mainly concentrated on fashion, glamour and fine art work in the last few years.
I love the process of working with different models and make up artists, who all make their contribution to the creation of beautiful imagery. Looking forward to venturing into more high fashion work in the near future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? I have a property development and management background and I’m currently employed in the platinum mining industry. I’m married and we have 3 kids, aged 15, 13 and 7.
What type of photography do you specialize in? I like to think of myself as being an all rounder and I’m interested in a broad range of photography types: architecture, landscapes, macros, fashion/glamour, and fine art nudes.
How would you describe your style? I’m a passionate hobby photographer who is interested in a wide range of photographic topics: architecture, wildlife, landscapes, macros, and the beauty of the female form. I am very much a natural light photographer, who enjoys shooting on location. Always on the lookout for cool, different places to shoot.
What are your hobbies? Photography, of course! Other than that I play tennis and enjoy watching rugby.
Is this what you enjoy shooting most? I enjoy shooting a range of different things and go through phases where I will focus on a particular subject or topic. For now, it’s mostly fashion, glamour and fine art nude work.
Where have we seen your work? I’ve had work published in Uncovered Magazine and Pink Mink.
When did you begin photography? How long have you been a photographer? I got my very first, simple little camera in my teens and have been interested in photography since then. But probably only started photographing more seriously about 4 years ago.
How do you feel about being a photographer in 2015? Very much the same I did in 2014….
Did you go to school to study photography? No, I’m entirely self taught.
Do you have experience using film and a dark room? Yes, I started out shooting film in the previous century….lol. Never worked in a dark room though.
Your go to equipment list (If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?) If I had to choose one lens, it would have to be my 50mm f1.4: it’s amazingly sharp and gives me fantastic blurry backgrounds.
What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera? I have an ever expanding collection of hats that I use for shoots 🙂
What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot? Usually just the sun 😉 But I have a couple of speed lights that I bring along as well.
Your dream equipment list: I don’t really have a dream equipment list…. Really want to add a fast 24-70mm lens to my collection though.
Where in the world would you most like to visit and photograph? Why? I love the combination of female beauty and abandoned/derelict buildings. Kolmanskop in Namibia (an abandoned diamond mining village that is gradually being taken over by desert dunes) is high up on my list of locations to shoot that theme.
What inspires you to shoot and come up with your concepts? Constantly creating new images and pursuing different concepts. Also, working with different models who all bring their own creativity to a shoot.
Do you natural crop your images the way you want or crop more in post-production? I try to do as much as possible “in camera”, but also crop as part of post-production.
Do you use tools for post processing? Explain your work flow. I do fairly limited post processing and prefer a more natural look for my images. But, most of my post processing is done in Photoshop.
Any tips you would like to share on educating other photographers and artists are the world? (Secret workshops we should be attending or learning groups of guru masters to follow?)
Go out there and shoot as much as you can. Play around with your camera and camera settings and get to know your equipment as best you can.
How long does it take you to finish one final retouch or photo on average from start to finish? It really depends on the image and type of feel or mood I want to create, but on average probably 15-20 minutes.
What makes a picture good, and then another one so great it stands out from the average? There really isn’t one thing that makes a picture stand out, it’s usually a combination of factors. But any image that grabs your attention and conveys or elicits an emotion will always stand out.
What is most challenging to you about being a photographer? As for any photographer: getting the lighting right!
Do you personally deal with any hurdles or are you trying to overcome any? Apart from models not pitching or cancelling?…lol. My biggest hurdle is that I don’t have enough time to shoot. I would love to shoot more often.
Best ways a photographer can promote their self? Get your work out there for the world to see. Use social networks and media to your advantage.
People you wish to photograph, (can be anyone from the past or present) Nelson Mandela, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima…. the list doesn’t end…;)
How important is it for you to make a connection with your subject(s) to bring out their true self? Connection and trust are very important. Not necessarily to bring out their true self, but to play the part and bring out the emotion you want to capture.
What do you want viewers to take from your work as an artist? Enjoy the imagery!
Why do you take photos? It’s my creative outlet.
Favorite “photographer” quote out there: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it” – Ansel Adams.
Do you enjoy collaboration work? I love the combined creative process of several people involved in a shoot: model, MUA and photographer. It’s the combination of their creative inputs that makes a shoot rock!
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. I don’t really like being compared to anyone out there. I’d like to be known for my own style.
Favorite or most inspirational place where you currently live? Cape Town: my favorite place in SA.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Go out there and shoot!
Professionally, what’s your goal? To keep on improving my work and see more of it being published. Nothing beats seeing your work in print!
And lastly what wouldn’t you do without? My wife and kids 🙂