My name is Ben Obst, I am 30 years old and I live in Duisburg, Germany.
How long have you been taking pictures?
I started taking pictures in 2014. In the beginning, however, mainly things that do not complain when photographed... nature, landscape, mountains, ... In 2015, I started taking pictures of people and since then I have not been able to get away from it.
When did you get into photography and why?
In 2015 I quickly realized that I wanted more than only nature and landscape. So, I started to do what I enjoy the most: cultivating contact with people to create cool photos. Casual, easy, without pressure! Just spend a nice day together, to which you can positively remember when looking at the photos. Knowing that the time spent together was not wasted.
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years?If so why?
I would describe my style as follows, I move somewhere between lifestyle, travel and portrait. I always try to convey feelings and moods, so that the viewer can think of a picture as a story. This is the beauty of photography, everyone sees the created differently. Everyone has their own point of view. And for me, as the one who took the picture, every picture means freedom and enjoying the moment. I love traveling and creating stories with people. I like to photograph that.
How do you approach a shoot? Do you pre-plan or is it a click and run?
Definitely a click-and-run!
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
As already mentioned, it is always my goal that first, the beholder gets transported to a certain mood and can think of the picture like a story. Secondly, when looking at the finished photograph, me and the model are reminded of our good time together. It is most important that these photos and their mood are honest. Otherwise you are just like any photographer.
Do you have any influences you can share?
Honestly if you want to capture authentic moments, have no exact plan of what you want to photograph with the model. A shoot is not a meeting of a model and a photographer. There are two human beings meeting. People with different emotions and different expectations. The aim is to create a mood that connects both people on a common level. This includes so much but this does not include pressing the trigger. It starts with how I exchange emails with the model before the shoot and how I communicate with her during the shoot. The girl has to get involved with you. A big vote of confidence is key. But this is the only way to create these honest photos.
What inspires you?
Man being himself.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph?
Yes, there is. You think the photo is great. The pose of the model, the light, gorgeous! The colours, wonderful. This blur, great. But the model does not like it. Then it's a bad photo.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
Photography and its technology are developing so fast. Everyone has a camera or a smartphone and takes pictures with them. I think my goal is, despite this development, continue to remember the people when taking pictures.
Which social media platforms do you use and why?
I use Instagram and Facebook, but also other photography platforms like 500px or Gurushots to show my pictures. I think it's the easiest way to get in touch with other people. Furthermore, one always receives new inspirations there.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media?
I follow some photographers that I either know personally or whose work I appreciate and which inspire me. Two photographers who inspire me are Paul Ripke and André Josselin.
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless?
It is the well-known passage of time that the technology is getting better, smaller and more portable. That's nothing bad. You can with a recent smartphone, take amazing and gorgeous pictures, ... if you know how. But you can also make really bad photos with a Leica ...;)
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice?
I photographed at the beginning with a Canon 600D. However, when I tried a Sony A7 Mark 2 afterwards, I did not miss it anymore. I like this compactness and still have the full-frame sensor.
What is your dream location to shoot at?
With the right model and the right mood, the smallest apartment can be the best location in the world ...;)
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it?
Unfortunately, I have too many "favourite pictures" ... sorry.
In three words how would you describe your photography?