Literary Orphans

Interview with Manuel Estheim

1. Can you put into words the way you have evolved over time as a photographer?

That’s a tough question to start off with! Lately I’ve been kind of struggling with who I am as a photographer, or more, who I want to be as a photographer. When I started I really only wanted to do very dark photos which were all heavily edited. However, as of late I’ve started to use film a lot more which means less post-processing.

In my opinion I have yet to find the perfect balance between those two. So I think my view on photography as a genre of art has evolved a lot. I still remember looking down on photography which didn’t fit into the typical “Flickr-Conceptual” cliché. Lately I’ve been enjoying simple portraits, landscape pictures and generally more film stuff!


2. What other artists and art forms have influenced you and your work?
One artist that has definitely influenced my photography is the photographer “Francesca Woodman”–if you don’t know her, you have to look her up!
I started with drawing but gave it up because I couldn’t express myself as freely with it as I wanted to, so I think drawing has influenced my work a lot, hence the painterly appearance of most of my photos.


3. You are typically the subject/model of your own photos: Can you describe your process and how you design your shots, execute the shoot, and also a little bit about your choices in Photoshop, etc.
That’s only half-true, lately. I feel like when I started I couldn’t really direct anyone else but me and therefore I had to be the model all the time. Now my boyfriend will typically be the model of my pictures.
When I decide to take pictures, I have a complete idea sketched down, have a loose idea in my head, or just go out with no particular thought and hope to be inspired by the surroundings I’ll be shooting in. As for designing shots, I don’t do much honestly. I usually just use the available forest/landscape/whatever and try to place a human (sometimes also not-so-human) figure in it. When I’m doing self-portraits, I’m using my remote control.
In Photoshop I’ll either completely manipulate a picture or just edit the colours, make it black and white or increase/decrease contrast a bit. I’m trying to stay true to the original image lately.


4. Is storytelling important in your photography?
It definitely is! I’m trying to infuse a little story into each of my pictures.


5. What is one thing about photography/art you have learned that you wish you could travel back in time to tell yourself–or tell someone else just starting photography?
That you should create for yourself and not for the internet audience. And to never give up and know that after a motivational and inspirational down there will always be a big phase of inspiration!


6. Where do you turn for motivation and new sources of inspiration?
Music! I’ve stepped back a bit of looking at other artists because I don’t want to end up copying someone else’s idea. When listening to music I’m usually always get inspired.


7. I read on your blog you are in University–are you studying art? If so how has being surrounded by other aspiring artists influenced and affected you as an artist?

Yes, I’m at the local art university studying Graphic-design and photography. I don’t know if I’ve been actually affected at all by those (amazing) people–I think we are studying the “least-artsy” subject at our university haha! However, it’s great to just talk to people that have the same interests as you and sometimes don’t share your viewpoint. I’m a person that loves to discuss so our interests in different genres of photography always make up some great discussion material!


8. What is a project you are currently working on, and a project you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
Currently I’m just working on finding my own voice for my photography. I don’t know if you can call it a project, but I just want to make a living of off my art and not have to work a job besides it. I also want to be exhibited in a gallery and make a book cover.


9. What do you think is more important for your craft: passion or dedication?
I think if you have passion for something you automatically have dedication and vice versa. For me, one can’t exist without the other, just like light and darkness.


10. Does the place you are from/were raised influence your work?
Up to a certain extent–obviously my pictures would look different if I had a beach available somewhere near (which is something I’m longing for so bad!) or a completely different landscape.Sports brands | Women’s Designer Sneakers – Luxury Shopping