Featured #13: Justus Kraft
What do you think is the greatest power of photography? It is a very limited medium, which makes it great to tell a story. You can’t include motion, sound, smell, temperature, depth — and yet images tell the most powerful stories in the world. I love, that I can include my own vision, my own thoughts and feelings into photography, without actually telling anybody. That’s where I want to get better and better.
If you could give one piece of advice to fellow photographers, what would it be? Get to know the past and inherit it in your work — styles, techniques, stories.
Don’t just follow current trends, but work your way through the stories of those great people that build up photography as an art form. They can teach you way more than any Photoshop tutorial ever will.
What do you carry around in your camera bag? As a wedding photographer, I don’t like to have a lot of gear with me. I like to move fast, get to know people and not stand in the back row with a large telephoto lens. For my reportage work I mainly shoot digital with Sony’s new A7-Lineup, but I rely on manual focussing lenses by Leica or Voigtländer. I feel like manually changing aperture and focus leaves me in full control over the shot. For my portrait work, I also shoot on film and polaroid. It’s what makes photography real to me, working with the chemicals, doing prints — I really enjoy the handcraft. But I think it’s great to get the best out of both worlds, the digital and the analogue. That’s also why I enjoy the Lumu, because it combines the convenience of such a marvelous piece of electronics like your phone, with such a great technique like shooting film.
What did you want to become in the childhood? To be honest, I don’t recall if there was one thing I always wanted to become, or one job I really loved to do. I think I was fairly interested in life, in people, in things we control or cannot control. And I was really good at getting interested in stuff. One time, I remember, my mum gave me an old voice recorder and I spent hours trying to figure out, how it worked — recording my voice over and over again.
Your personal story with photography. Around seven to eight years ago, I got serious with photography. At that time, I changed from shooting moments as they happened to carefully building up a scene and taking specific images. I learned a lot about light and the technical aspects of photography, but I guess right now, my biggest accomplishment is to have overcome that technical playground and make a living out of capturing moments as they happen. What I love about wedding photography is the fact, that I get to know so many people on really special occasions of their lives. I’m kind of becoming involved in their families, just for a brief moment in time. That is still a little weird to me, but one of the most rewarding things.