Interview with Josefine Hoestermann | GBPW Episode 87

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Whatever you create as a photographer is totally unique. There’s never going to be that same image again.

Josefine Hoestermann

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Castbox, and Google Podcasts.

In this episode, I talk to portrait and travel photographer Josefine Hoestermann. Josefine’s work is conceptual and emotive. I’ve been following her work for many years, so I’m very happy that I finally had the chance to speak with her about photography!

We talk about:

  • How Josefine started taking photos at the age of 7
  • The techniques she uses to take emotive landscape photos
  • Self-portraiture and overcoming body image issues

& much more!

I hope that you take the time to look through Josefine’s inspiring portfolio. I admire the way she looks at photography and look forward to seeing all the photos she’ll take in the future.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Josefine Hoestermann.

Q: You got into photography when you were seven years old. What was that experience for you like as a child?

Josefine Hoestermann: I got my first camera at the age of seven from my father. He later gifted me the Yashica, an old analogue camera that he got when he was 16 from his father.

When I was a child, it was mostly driven by curiosity. I would take my little camera – it was a tiny Canon, an electronic analogue that wasn’t fully manual – outside and just photograph everything.

It was still on film, so I had to keep the cost in mind to a degree. Since my father also likes photography, he would sometimes pay for the development of the images, just because he wanted to encourage me to take pictures. He was also the first person who explained to me how cameras work and what you want to watch out for when you’re taking pictures. The lighting, the exposure, and all of those things. Curiosity was a big thing when I was young.

Q: You have a very diverse portfolio that focuses on many genres, like travel and wedding photography. A lot of people want to build portfolios that are strong and diverse as well. What advice would you give to those people?

Josefine Hoestermann: Learn your camera and the basics of photography, which doesn’t mean that you immediately need to know off-camera flash, manual focus, and all of that. But learn about exposure, apertures, and shutter speeds. What’s the difference between them? What are they for? It helps to know these kinds of things.

Shoot really diverse things, people, and events. Shoot under different circumstances, at different times of day, in different kinds of lighting conditions, and in different weather conditions to see what you like and what you don’t like. See how that affects your photography. See what suits you and then refine what you like best. If you say, “I’d rather take bright pictures” then obviously, you need more light. If you say, “I want moodier pictures” then find the best weather conditions for that.

When you’re trying to refine your style, look at who inspires you and try to figure out why. What is it about those other people’s work that you like? How can you translate that into your own work without copying them? Try out new things that you haven’t done before, especially ones outside of your comfort zone. Give yourself a prompt or try different equipment. You can shoot at a fixed aperture the entire day or try a different location.

Q: How do you take meaningful photos of places that don’t have any human subjects?

Josefine Hoestermann: Find a focal point that isn’t a human being if you don’t have people. If you have a mountain, that can be your focal point. Personally, I like to play with lines and layers. If there’s a street in the image, how can I frame that street so that it leads to an interesting direction? If I’m traveling in a car and see a spot that looks really nice but that I can’t leave my car to shoot, I can use the framing of my window as a foreground.

You can get really creative with layers. Maybe you have a tree, your car, your suitcase, or a traffic light. Whatever it is that you have that you can use as a foreground, that immediately leads the eye to the focal point in the image. That really helps me.


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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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