This week we chat with Frankfurt based Multi Media Designer Patrick Schmetzer, in our interview series where we find out about the people behind the camera.
Hi Patrick, Great to have you with us today! What does photography mean to you?
For me, taking pictures is almost my second language. I am always completely immersed in the moment. I try to express a lot of my feelings in my photos, usually in an unconscious way. It helps to tap one's creativity.
What do you think makes a successful photograph?
It needs to create an Emotion inside of you and the viewer. I really believe in trusting your instincts and allowing them to take you any twists and turns to reach a place that ultimately fits your vision.
Are you photogenic?
No, not at all. I am good at making people look photogenic, but for myself, I hardly take images of myself, and if I do, I only let a few selected Photographers take them.
What Equipment Do You Use?
My primary camera is a Canon 5D Mark IV, but I also have a Canon EOSR that I keep on-site as a backup for photography. With Film, I use more Sony and Panasonic Cameras and professional Gear Cameras like RED. As far as lenses, I have TONS, but my favorites are Sigma 35mm 1.4, Canon 85mm 1.2, Tamron 15-30mm 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 from Canon, as well as the Tamron 24-75 2.8. I also tend to shoot more and more with a 90mm Macro 2.8 from Tamron because I love the image Stabilizer, especially when shooting at 1/60s of a second.
Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?
The lens actually depends on the situation, your budget, and your hobbies. Most cameras are pre-installed with a standard 18-55mm or 18-80mm lens. For ordinary users, these should be no problem, but depending on what you like to shoot, you may need a different lens.
How do you handle criticism?
I am always thankful for criticism. I am stressed a lot as all professional photographers who work with multiple clients every week. So there are many things that I have done right over the years, but there are also small things that I don't see at first because you are always busy and jumping from 1 project to the next. When the client accepts the project, it gets out of your head for weeks until you have time to upload some of the work for your Portfolio.
The Pandemic helped me a lot to clear my head and think of ways to improve myself and my business. I'm realizing this now again, where everything is back to “normal” that I find almost no time to think about my Mistakes.
What details that usually pass unnoticed can a photographer notice?
Many many details, especially when you shoot in bars, restaurants, or anywhere where people are working. When you take images, everything needs to look better than new. When I go into places to shoot, the customer already cleaned up, but I still find at least 10-20 things that we need to move, or clean, or reposition.
What influences the value of a photo? What are its elements?
The image needs to have professional standards in sharpness which is very important. Also, it needs to force an emotion on the viewer. It needs to tell the message of the client to the viewer within this image. This is very important but also not easy to manage.
What person can be the symbol of the 21st century, in your opinion?
I look up to great leaders like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, and many more. But any person that makes a difference is a great symbol, in my opinion. They do not need to be famous or revolutionize the world. I love companies like WWF, Greenpeace, Peta, Red Cross, Nabu, just to name the biggest ones, and also all the small organizations and people who try to make this world a better place in any way. I admire those people, and I try to do my part as well.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much, Patrick, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!