Photographer Spotlight Holger Obenaus
Meet Holger Obenaus
Holger Obenaus is an award winning, nationally published, Hi-Impact Commercial and Editorial Photographer.
He specializes in Interior Design Photography, Architectural Photography, Food Photography and Product Photography.
Holger was born and raised in Cologne, Germany. After 20+ years in the German music industry he decided it was time for a change and moved with his family to Charleston, SC. He started his photography business from ground zero. It was a huge learning curve, but his dedication and love for interior design kept him going. Every extra hour he spent learning was the best investment he could possibly make. In Holger’s free time he is a dedicated foodie and hobby chef.
Holger, diving right into what I call the million dollar question, why photography? What launched your passion?
Being a guitar player and songwriter made me focus on sound, but I have always had a strong affinity for visuals. When I switched careers it was almost a no-brainer to simply shift the wavelength from sound to visual. I started doing videography for a while, but I am a minimalist. A photograph is probably the most reduced version of visuals in our world today. Funny, I still refer to “sound” when I edit photographs. I look for compression, treble and bass…
As a commercial photographer, where do you find your inspiration to create such captivating images for your clients?
I believe my inspiration lies in the beauty of well-executed interior design. When I see a fabulous space, my eyes and my brain immediately start to visualize how I would capture it in a photograph. Huge!
What do you enjoy photographing outside of your work related projects?
I shoot ultra-large scale fine art photographs with an 8×10 Linhof camera and a WWII Kodak Aero Ektar lens.
Out of the wide variety of lenses on the market, what’s your favorite one to use?
Rodenstock 23mm f/5.6 HR Digaron-S Lens for my daily work. Schneider Blue Ring LS 120mm Macro for food.
Lighting plays a major role in telling the story of your image. What are your favorite lighting techniques to tell your story?
Lighting interior design can be very complex. Generally you don’t want it to be noticeable that rooms are artificially lit unless you incorporate existing lighting concepts. I always try to achieve a result that looks like the most beautiful natural light hitting the space. Light has to be ultra soft. The right balance of strobe and natural light will give you the desired amount of contrast and snap. Broncolor lighting guarantees comparable light temperature to existing light. The new Phase One 100MP Trichromatic gives me the best color-rendition I could possibly ask for. My clients love it!
In which ways do you see your work evolving in the next 5 – 10 years from now?
In the last two years I have gone from being a “local” photographer to becoming a “national” photographer. Shooting all across the US gives you a greater variety of styles, architecture and challenges. It definitely keeps you from falling into a routine. It keeps your brain sharp. Good thing! I have shot on several international locations and would love to expand in that direction.
If you could have given yourself any advice when you first launched your career in photography, what would it be?
Never forget, you are running a business! When I first started in this industry, photography was something that I was instantly passionate about which ultimately lead to me giving away favors and deals. After some time, I learned that in photography, when something is given for free, it never really is of value… so I quickly learned the word NO. My advice to myself would have been to always execute licensing and copyrights on every transaction. Also, when considering a job be sure that the job consists of making money, learning something new and is a hell of a lot of fun! The mixture of the those three elements are crucial to the longevity of any business.
What was special about Capture Integration that made you choose us as a partner?
Knowledge – Service – Competence and the best line-up of photography gear available. Simple as that!
Having a career in photography comes with quite a demanding schedule. When I’m on location I’m consistently looking for new ways to make my work standout and get the most out of my Phase One camera system. I do not always have the time to learn all of the key features and techniques so that’s where Capture Integration saves the day. From the moment I was introduced to Chris Snipes, I noticed that the CI Team goes above and beyond to establish a relationship and offer the best technical support imaginable.
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