A Short Profile: Susanne Kindt

o   How did you become a photographer?

I first picked up an SLR camera when I was 17 and it was for a high school project. I loaded the film incorrectly and nothing came out of my first shoot but it didn’t matter, it was love at first sight. As soon as I graduated I moved from my native Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark where I attended a one year photo school.  I moved back to Stockholm a couple of years later I began assisting local photographers and worked in a darkroom as a printer for an architect photographer.  In 2005 I made the big move across the world to Los Angeles. Here I started off going to school at the Santa Monica College.  I then moved on to assisting for photographers like Miranda Penn Turin, Michael Haber, Craig Cameron Olsen and Cliff Watts while shooting my book with the local modeling agencies.

On this image, I ended up using the silver beauty dish and a regular reflector. I first shot the girl, then wheat pasted up print outs to finally shoot her in front of herself. The graffiti is put in there in post. This was obviously the most time consuming shoot but I love the edgy feeling! I really enjoy shooting with broncolor, the quality of light is truly beautiful!

o  Was there one or more life changing moments that helped you move to the next level and become the photographer that you are now?  Perhaps a big break, a perfect mentor, a movie, a mystical moment?

Honestly, its all about working hard and marketing and believing in one self,nothing comes for free in this industry. For me there was never a big break, more small steps in the right direction towards my goals.

o   How do you learn how to do what you do?

I have assisted for years and you often pick up new ideas from seeing what others are doing and getting inspired. I also stay tuned on the latest trends by reading fashion magazines and blogs. The internet is a goldmine of inspiration.

o   Who are your photo heroes?

>I always love the work by Camilla Åkrans, she is truly an amazing photographer but I also get very inspired by Miranda, Cliff and some of the other photographers I worked with.

For this series I used the Para 220 and a head with a P70 reflector for some extra pop, I really love the richness of these!

o   What is the worst part about doing what you do?

Self marketing, it is so hard to sell yourself as a photographer and I really believe that most photographers do or would benefit from having an agent do that work for them. Oh and rejection. It is hard not to take it personally since my photography feels so personal to me.

o   What is the best part?

Taking pictures, it’s such a joy in my life, I love photography and the freelance lifestyle. I am way to restless to work a 9-5. What it lacks in stability it makes up for being such a big part of your life.

o   What have you been shooting lately?

Last weekend weekend I did  two shoots…  two very different shoots, one is a heavily lit and poppy swim suit shot and the other was a harder lit moodier shoot where I wheat pasted images of the model behind the model and then shot her again.

o   How did you figure out how to compose and light your images?

By analyzing other images that have lighting that inspires me and then trying it out. Also, when shooting models they always spend tons of time in hair and make up, that is the perfect time to fine tune and test out ideas!

o   What tools did you use to do these shoots?

For shoot number one, I used the broncolor Para 220 and a head with a reflector for a little extra pop and for the second shoot I used the broncolor silver beauty dish  along with a fill light with a reflector, I really love the contrast this gave.

o   Why did you choose these tools?

The Para has been something I have been wanting to shoot with for a while. Most of the time, since I live in LA, I shoot natural light.  There are endless locations here and the quality of light here from the sun is just breathtaking.  So working with the Para was a natural  choice,  I feel it has a sun type of feel to it and  with the sun in mind it was really fun.

On this series I went for a much younger look. The Para 220 is the main light and then I have two reflectors with gels on to light the background. I really like the doll feeling the Para creates here, it really worked well for this look!

o   What features of the equipment that you use make it easier to do your job?

The fact that I could set up the Para so easily, without assistance is just amazing. So much photo equipment demands so much man power and is unnecessarily unergonomical.  To consider how big the Para is and how smart and easy you can take it up or down really speaks for how thought through the product is.

o   Did you use competing products in the past? What made you change?

Yes, that is another thing that makes assisting essential to any up and coming photographer. You get to test out all kinds of brands and equipment on someone else’s dime!  I really feel that it is a step up in overall quality than most competitors. For someone like me, who often works outdoors as well as in, the way broncolor has designed their products for ease of use in either,  that is something that truly impresses me. I really enjoy shooting with broncolor, the quality of light is truly beautiful!

Susanne Kindt