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Interview with Fashion and Advertising Photographer Andreas Gemperle

Photography is like writing, you can tell a very detailed story with a single photo. I talked with fashion and advertising photographer Andreas Gemperle who tells different stories at his every project.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Andreas Gemperle

Andreas Gemperle


by Melisa Kaya

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His photography career has begun with his part-time job in an advertising and still-life photographer David Kempinski's studio. He founded his own studio in 1998 and since then he has been working with his clients in advertising and fashion photography projects. He aimed to raise awareness in different subjects with his non-commercial 'fashionhomestory' project and to present a different perspective to both photography and fashion industry. I talked with Andreas Gemperle about his career and the importance of photography in business.

Andreas, before talking about photography, could you tell us about yourself?

I am a positive thinking 45 years old Swiss photographer, husband, and father of 2 girls. Besides family, photography, and video I’m most interested in self-development and traveling.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Commercial work - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

When did you get your first camera, and how did you decide to pursue a career in photography?

Age of 10. Used professional camera at age of 16.

Met a professional photographer through a friend, able to use the photographers' studio for my (hobby) projects and joining him for assignments. After finishing my studies to become a high school teacher I soon started to work part-time for David Kempinski, advertising and still-life photographer from Zurich.

You have worked on projects with different concepts. What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?

If interesting creative people are involved besides me.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Common Destiny - Cappadocia - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

How did your interest in fashion and advertising photography begin? What is the most special aspect of fashion for you?

It’s all about telling a story within one image or a small series of images. And I’m the director of the story.

What are the key points that you pay attention to most before accepting a new project?

Are my skills fitting the needs of the client?

In your projects, do you work in a previously defined concept or are you creating your own concept?

I do both and I love changing working environments and conditions that keep me challenged.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Mihoko H., 26, Office Clerk, Tokyo / Yokohama, Japan - Photo by Andreas Gemperle and Oliver Rust

Could you tell us about your non-commercial project 'fashionhomestory‘?

The ideal was born together with my friend photographer Oliver Rust. We did smaller non-commercial projects together before. That time we wanted to travel and dive into different cultures even more. So we decided to visit the homes of girls around the world since the directing and styling part should be part of the concept. Even if the photoshoots per person were limited to half a day or less, we learned so much about the girls, their families, habits and living conditions. Finally, it’s very interesting to see similarities and differences around the world. Therefore we asked every girl the very same 4 questions about their idols, dreams, and goals.

What do you think about the effect of a good photograph in the buyer's decision?

Images can stimulate emotions to fare quicker and wider than words. The video is also interesting but takes more time (to produce and to watch).

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Moves - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

What is the most important component of a spectacular photograph?

It’s best if I can tell a complex story in a simple way and of course to grab the viewers attention as fast as possible.

What is the effect of the equipment used on the quality of the photograph?

Technical quality: the higher the resolution of the image (better equipment) the reeler the image.

Content quality: the equipment has to transport the mood matching to the topic of the image. This can be high end or low end equipment.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

What type of services do you offer to your clients?

I offer with my team mostly advertising and corporate photography and more and more video.

Beside this, we have a large variety of clients ranging from fashion to private portraits to stills to interior to sometimes documentary.

Is it possible for abroad clients to work with you for their products' photo shots?

Yes, of course. They can send the product or we travel anywhere.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Business owners want to solve their problems with the lowest possible costs. Despite this, could you explain to them that why they have to work with a professional photographer for a satisfactory result?

Not in every case you need a professional photographer. Though if you want to present your goods and services of high quality as such quality you have to work with professionals of at least the same level as you are. Therefore you need a photographer with expertise in quality and creativity, but also someone how can match deadlines and avoid pitfalls of any kind.

Which factors determine the project budget?

Timing, talents involved, efficiency, teamwork with the client, clear goals > no detours needed, equipment and other resources needed, location, photographers and models fame.

What are your expectations from your clients for a successful collaboration?

I see the client as a team player able to articulate his or her goals and to take decisions quickly. Pragmatic thinking is super important.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

How do you protect the rights of your photographs in this online era?

It’s too complicated for me. I rather use my energy to go forward.

If I see detect some miss-use which happened before I try to solve the problem in a practical way: speaking first with the involved people.

Could your clients use the photographs in any publication, catalog, website, ad or other platforms in the future?

I am very happy to offer a flat rate for unlimited use depending on the project and the expected distribution of my work.

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in product photography?

Find what you like, just start and be willing to learn every day your whole life.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Reconquest of Angkor - Cambodia - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

What is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken?

This is very hard to decide and for sure there is not a single one because I’m into different styles over the years. One image I’m coming back to is the very first picture of "The Reconquest of" series. It was shot on a windy December morning on the most western point of Brittany in France on the Island Ouessant. The series went on for years visiting abandoned places in 6 different countries.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Reconquest of Ouessant - France - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

This particular image incorporates everything I personally like about working as a photographer: Working in and with a creative team, exploring new ideas and places, creating a new world, talented character, and dramatic bold appearance.

you can check out the full series:

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Reconquest of Sperrgebiet - Namibia - Photo by Andreas Gemperle

What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?

It’s a good way to interact. But I’m not using it uncritically.

instagram @andreasgemperle_photography

What is next?

One week work-together with interested photographers on Spanish island Lanzarote.

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?

Recently I started to work more intense on art photography with co-artist and stylist Julia Grunz:

We call it overpowered photography because we work physically on the photographic print and produce unique art pieces.

Currently available at HOFA gallery London and Mykonos

It’s important for me to reinvent myself from time to time and explore new ways.

Thank you Andreas for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please click here and visit the website of Andreas Gemperle