Model: Sister Sinister.
Belinda Bartzner is a Gothenburg, Sweden-based photographer. She specializes in fetish and gothic themed photography.
Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in photography?
Belinda Bartzner: It was a pretty natural thing for everyone to do when I was a teenager. So it all started when I wanted to just take photos for some of the social media sites that I used. Very early I realized it was very fun to take photos and I started to photograph most of the things around me, and I tried to do it in a little more artistic way. After some years I got my first system camera. And after a couple of years with that I wanted to try to photograph models. And after that I was so stuck in photographing models. Now I almost can’t do anything else with the camera. I love it so much!
Sinical Magazine: Who are some photographers that inspired your work when you first started?
Belinda Bartzner: I don’t remember any particular photographers from the beginning. But I remember some from when the idea about photographing models started to grow in me. And Josefine Jönsson have always been someone I looked up to, for many years I have also followed Sofia Studencki, and she’s so amazingly talented. Other than them I am really bad at remembering names, and I have mostly searched for inspiration without searching for specific photographers.
Sinical Magazine: What type of camera equipment do you use?
Belinda Bartzner: I just have a camera, two lenses, a reflector screen and a remote. The camera I use is a Canon EOS 5d Mark III. It’s my absolute favorite so far, and it’s my fifth camera so far. My lenses are Tamron 24-70mm f2.8, and a Canon 85mm f1.8.
Sinical Magazine: What type of lenses and focal length do you prefer for portrait work?
Belinda Bartzner: Ever since I got my 85 mm lens, I have almost exclusively just used that one. It’s so easy to work with and always give super sharp pictures. And the depth of field you can get with that lens is so freaking amazing. That’s the one thing I really can’t live without.
Sinical Magazine: When creating a composition what is your main focus?
Belinda Bartzner: Of course it’s the model, I always look the most on how my model looks, and I work so that I don’t crop parts of the model in weird places. I rarely have much environment in my pictures, but of course the location is important too. But yet again, how the model looks in the environment is the most important. I always try to not have disturbing things in the background sticking out from the model, and I try to get frames around the model from the things in the background.
Sinical Magazine: How much planning goes into a shoot?
Belinda Bartzner: For me, not much. I rarely plan my shoots much. I just set a date with the model, sometimes I use a make-up artist, and then we inform that person on what we will shoot. I always set a date first with the involved persons, then we discuss on what type of clothes we will shoot, and then we just set a location that we think will suit the type of clothes we will be taking pictures of. That’s mostly how much (or maybe little) I plan. Sometimes there is more planning involved. Like when we do a specific idea we worked out together.
Model: Miss Loulou.
Sinical Magazine: Do you work with continuous lighting or flash lighting?
Belinda Bartzner: I work with natural light in around 98% of my pictures, sometimes we have to shoot things in a studio, but those moments are very rare. I prefer natural because that light is much softer and easier to work with, and when you shoot latex as much as I do, I think it gives a much nicer and greater shine to the latex.
Sinical Magazine: What are some lighting set ups you like?
Belinda Bartzner: I don’t work with lighting set ups that much, but if I will try to explain how I work in the sun. I prefer working in big light shadows. When working in the sun I really like working with backlight. I always try to avoid working in light where it is lots of spots of light.
Model: Lara Aimée.
Sinical Magazine: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to models or other photographers?
Belinda Bartzner: Oh, I don’t really know exactly what that means, but if it means what I think the only irritating things I’ve met in the business is some trash talk... both between photographers and models. Other than that it’s models that doesn’t do what they say, doesn’t show up, or something like that. The only pet peeve I know I have myself is that I’m always 5 minutes late. I don’t know what it is, but I'm always a little late. It’s quite embarrassing.
Sinical Magazine: What is the most interesting that’s happened during one of your photo shoots?
Belinda Bartzner: Oh, that's hard to say. I have the most terrible memory. But I think that is when I had a photo shoot with Starfucked, at a tourist attraction in Stockholm. A whole group of crazy Asians showed up, and some of them hanged over my shoulders and took photos the same time I did, it felt like they was breathing in my neck. It was a bit creepy, but really interesting how they had the guts to do such thing. Also they asked her if they could take pictures with her, and she said yes to the first one, and then they created a long line. Haha.
Model: Elegy Ellem
Sinical Magazine: Do you have one tip that you would recommend to any aspiring photographer?
Belinda Bartzner: Train as much as you can. Don’t stress. Take your time. You can’t be an amazing photographer over night. Find our what inspires you, and find what style you like and work your way from there. Set small goals, and give yourself a treat when you have reached a goal. And the most important tip, HAVE FUN! If you don’t think it’s fun, it will show in the final results.
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