His credo, shown in the headline, says a lot about photographer Andreas-Joachim Lins, who never understood the way of taking more than 2000 photos a session just in hope to find after all the best picture. Read our interview with this amazing photographer, who is based in Hannover, the capitol of northern Germany's federal state Lower Saxony.
Andreas, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides photography?
I was born 1969 in my hometown Hannover where I still live and work. I am still in love with Hannover. The city is not as big as Hamburg or Berlin - but we have here so many interesting locations you will hardly find in other cities in northern Germany.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
I tried to paint but don't ask...
I really love to work with female models and visagists. It's about fashion but not only fashion. Good portraits do speak and I am still attracted by interesting and beautiful faces. To keep creativity up I sometimes change my photography and do landscapes and industrial nightshots. I often find new places where I will later shoot with women fashion and/or emotional portraits.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
I had my first experiences with photography at the age of 7. My - photoaddicted - father gave me a very simple Agfa-Camera and I started taking pictures. This first camera was a kind of mixed bag. It was an all-mechanic construction and the shutter did whatever it "wanted" to do - so no reliable exposure was the lame result. Even with this experience I was addicted and attracted by photography and my father gave me his Fuji-SLR cam. I was allowed to install a small darkroom in our cellar and I started to process my films from the beginning up to the final photo. Even with these brilliant results in digital photography - if you see for the very first time a photo developing under red light in a dark room - that is pure magic and will change a lot. Don't ask me how many times I saw the movie "Blow Up" by then.
In school I got in touch with one of the art teachers and he taught me many things about cutting rules, how to improve my point of view, my camera technics and the way to plan a shooting and so he pushed my photography to a new level. Later on after school I decided to go to a private photoschool to prepare myself for studies in photodesign in Hannover.
Final word: at least I was disappointed about what the students had to learn and to do later on and I changed my professional carreer to something completely different.
For people photography I love to use my canon 5D Mark III and my Sigma 35mm ART 1:1.4. Even though I have my own photostudio I love to take my photos outdoor. The sigma and my 5D produce highquality pictures with great rooms and soft blurred bokeh. My second cam is my Olympus M1 with some additional lenses. The Olympus M1 is quite light and small and it makes a lot of fun to work with.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
First of all I have to plan, where I want to shoot my model. I think it is really important that the location will work with the fashion attitude / portrait mood. Next I get in touch with one of my visagists and finally we all (my model, visagist and light-assistant) meet in my studio. The model is styled (makeup / hair) by the visagist whilest I check the available outfitcombinations. On location we shoot and my light assistant (in a way he is important like Caddy Bagger Vance ;-) ) helps me to adjust my light (strobe, bouncer) to get the maximum out of the scene. Back home I import all my work into Lightroom, get myself a coffee and do the first checkup after all photos are imported. I mark all (for me) good or perfect pictures and delete bad ones. Then I start editing in Lightroom and do all the beauty retouch later on in photoshop. Check out for good tutorials about frequency separation and Dodge & Burn technics. ;-) At least I export my work to Flickr, 500px and/or instagram with 2048px max. length.
I really love what F.C. Gundlach, Helmut Newton and David LaChapelle did. Incredible works for a century of photography.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other photographers?
One of the best things I learned from expensive analog photography - first think about your subject and than press the shutterbutton down. Ask yourself: is this photo / this moment worth it to be captured? I never understood the way of taking >2000 photos a session just in hope to find after all the best picture in the mass. I think the real art is NOT to press the shutterbutton unless you are convinced to catch the right moment when everything will be perfect. And: I normally don't wait for the right moment in my photosessions. I really try to create them.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
I really don't have one fav in my work. I really like some of my pics a lot without having the one and only favorite. People photography has two sides for me: technically and emotionally. If both sides are close to perfect I would say I got a new favorite. You see some of my favs here in this magazine :-)
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
“Fine Art Nude” workshops do have a lot of funny potential. At the beginning male students - men (age 38-50) - are talking about cameras, their experience and I often think whilst listening to them: wow - they must be really good. This "male show" ends the second, an (almost) naked female model comes in. Out of the blue these strong and "malebehaving" men get silent and sometimes you can hear a needle fall. Awesome ;-)
Forget about technology. Buy a good camera (maybe go for interchangeable lens system cameras !) and TAKE PHOTOS. In my books lots of hobby- and amateurphotographers like to talk about photos much more than taking them. If you listen to them they all seem to be gods of photography as long as they don't have to lead a photosession.
Watch and learn, how other photographers work. What do they use for equipment, light and so on. Ask, what they do and - more important - what they DON'T DO.
Don't care about likes in social media. Likes doesn't tell about quality. I have seen incredible, awesome pictures with 10 Likes. So what? Forget about Likes - concentrate on improving your skills. Photography is compareable to languages. You have to speak them to get better. Therefor you have to take photos to keep and improve your skills.
As long as you use digital photography, take all your photos in RAW. Again - TAKE AND USE RAW FILES ONLY. Only with RAW-photos you will be able to correct exposure, color temp. and much more in highquality editing later on. All my cameras never shoot JPG - just because I want to edit all of my works in Lightroom / Photoshop and I need the highest quality I can get from start to end.