Rockin’ Rhythm Revue: Stephan Creutzburg photographer

Posted by Dee-Ann On October - 20 - 20124,063 views

Stephan Creutzburg

The Rockin’ Rhythm Revue will not be about music only, also a barber, vintage clothing and… a photographer: Stephan Creutzburg. We met him at the Hotrod Hayride UK, last summer. He’s eye for the right subject, at the right moment, angle and place is unique as I may say. It is easy to spot a dropdead gorgous pinup girl and shoot a picture right in her face or other high class qualified parts… but Stephan goes beyond that!

Tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you?

-I am Stephan Creutzburg, a Dutch with Indo roots and born in Amsterdam. I am living in Belgium since a long time.  So just an ordinary guy  who is enjoying life, good food and who loves the Classic style and art of photography.

Can you tell us about the path you took to become a professional photographer?

-My interest for photography  had started quite late. When I was younger I was experiencing with my dad’s analogue camera but at that time with filmrolls and no own doka, it was no match for my pocket money :p Then the digital age begun. I remember my first digital 8 megabit low resolution camera, ofcourse the pictures were not at today’s high quality but then it was a huge revelation for me. With the arrival of the compact  -and half frame camera’s  that I could afford it really started for me by taking pictures of my friends at parties & events.  But soon I photographed the whole party  and event scene, as well as rock concerts .  Friends and the audience  were pleased with my pictures. I became ‘their photographer’.  However I was not satisfied with the quality of the noisy and blurry pictures.  Therefore I started following  photo courses  in order to develop my skills & techniques with an increasing passion for the photography art and the portraiting of persons and models. That’s what I do and what I like the most.

Stephan Creutzburg

Apart from hard work, what would you say has been the main key to the success of your business?

-Always do your work with a smile and learn to know your environment and he people. Become a part of the scene.

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing pinups?

-Many pinups are mirroring themselves to the poses and looks of the first classic celebrity pinups , like for example Betty Grable,  Betty Page, or with the pinup art by Gil Elvgren. That’s what I love:  the classic retro looks of a pinup  and the challenge of photographing them in the correct atmosphere, their beautiful (naughty) dresses, their red cherry lips and the sensual poses to  fit them in the whole classic retro scene of a picture. In World War II on most of the US fighter and bomber planes you had hand painted pin up art on the nose of an aircraft. If I mention the Memphis Belle then everyone knows, or should know to what I am pointing at. Not the beauty of B17 or the movie only but the ‘wonderful pinup art’ on the bomber.  The pinup was hand painted by US Corporal Tony Scarcer who was assigned to the 91st bomb group in World War II. That’s  what I am trying to reflect too on my photos.  All my models are ‘live beauty Memphis Belles’ J

The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

-I am an admirer of Helmut Newton, a German-Australian photographer….Cf Wikipedia: He was a “prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a main stay of Vogue and other publications.” And I love his Glamour and portrait photography.

That’s why I am carrying his slogan: the job of a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain. Those three words says it all when photographing pinups, models

We know that each of us has someone or something, which inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?

-Well first of all my wife Katleen. She helps with thinking ahead, she helps with ideas and gives guidelines.  She does do a lot of research in books and on internet. She always says let me do the research, you are the artist, you only have  to ensure you take the good shots of your and my ideas. And secondly, the passion and the high interest of myself for the classic years, in which everything looks to be easy, simple,  cosy and wonderful  (although we know that this is just a mirror that we want to hold ourselves for true)

In general, during a session, how many pics would you say you take to find “the right one”

-In a session you can take one shot that might be the ‘right one’ or you can take ‘10 shots’  that are all the right ones. A photograph is subject to taste and mind of people. You like it or you don’t’ like it, but it can even be that if you don’t like the photo that someone else like the photo very much.. When is it the ‘right one’ or when is a photo ‘ever finished’? That’s an open question.

Stephan Creutzburg

Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?

-A good and reliable quality lens! The camera body is also important, but if your lens is of a poor quality then it will spoil the moment of capturing someone on a picture. You will notice it afterwards but you can never capture the same identical moment twice. So my recommendation is to invest in a good quality  lens…it is expensive but it is worth it.

Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes?

– I did follow few photography courses but it does not necessarily mean that You have all the knowledge of doing photography. But I am a self taught photographer and I still discover or learn new things to do with my camera.  Reading a lot of photography magazines and photography books helps a lot. From my original student photography class, and including me there are only 1 or 2 photographers still active whom are  actually do something with their photography.   “Playing or writing with light” that is the main topic that keeps me with much passion for the photography.

How do you decide on locations & subjects?

-It depends on what I am planning to do with the shoot & model. The environment should fit in the total idea and picture I have in mind. Quite often I ride to locations and places for finding out if it will fit in the scenes and the  ideas that I have in mind.  I mark the place and take shots with my iPhone.  Besides I can make use of my friends their beautiful classic cars, garages and  their retro gear. They are very open for my photography, which is a great encouraging help for myself. Thank you a lot, my friends J

I  go to vintage flea markets or shops or search in online second hand stores and if  I notice some object that is suitable for the shoot then I buy the object.  I have a room full of accessories and I can start a flea market on my own.

Do you think there is such a thing as someone really having a “natural eye” for photography, or can everybody develop their natural eye?

-Having a good eye for photography depends actually in having a creative vision of your shot. Look at for example a movie at which we are looking at a scene with various actors in various angles and poses. But they all contribute  to a sense of meaning and emotion in that particular scene. It is Identical with making photos.  I believe, in the digital realm, the rule of thirds photography would have more to do with cropping and the angle of the shot. You can capture a greatest moment but you have the model right in the middle of the frame which does make it from a great moment to a bored picture. During cropping, you make sure the dominant subject is either on the right or left of the composition. With a little training and  a bit of creative thinking everyone can develop his skills in photography then rather shooting hundreds of bad to worse pictures and just hoping there is one ‘lucky’ shot amongst them 🙂

Liz Chérie by Stephan Creutzburg

What is your dream picture you want to shoot and didn’t yet?

-Difficult to say but the dream picture would be my pinup model in the old classic Hollywood glamour movie/pinup style in my favourite US bomber plane the B17. But probably for that I will need to move to the USA, home base of the pinup (photography) artJ

 

http://stephancreutzburg.wix.com/portfolio#!

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