Digital FeaturesFaóBenjamin Kaufmann
Total Look: Leather Jumpsuit and Boots Hermés Horse Euipments and Polo Strap Hermés
Shirt, square shirt under Beaurivage Paris Square shirt, top and Shorts Alexandre Vauthier Leather Gloves Chanel
Square Pants Beaurivage Paris Silk Dress Didit
Horse net Hermés
Saddle blanket and saddle Hermés
Dress skirt and earrings Chanel Horse net and ergonomique dressage flange Hermés
Rainbow Pants Balmain Shoes Chanel
Skirt Victoria Tomas Belt Didit Long Coat Carmen March Net bra Fenty by Rihanna Shoes Chanel
Wool Top, Silk dress and wool high socks Acné Studio Shoes Dice Kayek
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Benjamin Kaufmann


PHOTOGRAPHY Banjamin Kaufmann STYLING & ART DIRECTOR Sarah Cazeneuve HAIR & MAKEUP Tanja Kern MODEL Kris Gottschalk @ Iconic Management PHOTO ASSISTANCE Kristian Sunder, Antonia Reiter HORSE DIRECTOR Eva-Marie Strecker CAMERA Leica S (Typ 007) with Summarit-S 70 f/2.5 ASPH. (CS) and APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120 f/2.5 (CS)

Benjamin Kaufmann took photos on a remote beach in French for his ‘Faó’ series. The outcome is a meditative, minimalistic fashion story about a harmonious relationship between a horse and a person.

You and your team travelled to France to photograph a new series for S magazine. Why France?
The ‘Faó’ series is based on the enthusiasm of all those involved. Fort Mahon Plage is pretty much at the mid-point between Paris, Berlin and London where my team came from. The photos needed to be taken in a special location – the sea and the endless expanses were exactly what we needed.

On certain projects you like to work with a well-established team. Why?
To achieve something special you need a lot of energy and the will to go all the way. In my opinion this works best when all those involved are interested in the end result, each contributing their own talents, while also supporting each other. Especially in cases where the budget is tight, you need a lot of extra strength and motivation. That’s why I like to work with well-established teams. In this case, the coming together of the different people and their generosity meant that we were able to produce particularly beautiful photos.

What’s the story about?
It’s about the feelings in a relationship between a person and a horse. The endless landscape reduces the elements to heaven and earth.

You were working with horses. Was it the first time you worked with animals?
It was not the first and hopefully not the last time. Animals are fascinating and definitely have a mind of their own. This makes it impossible to plan, in fact, which adds a delightful, spontaneous element to the work.

Your fashion photography feels meditative to me. Is my impression right?
I’m glad to hear it, as it could mean that people might enjoy spending more time looking at the pictures. The time frame captured in a picture always tells a longer story, which is only perceived by looking at it for a longer amount of time. Of course, if the viewers are able to recognise the original story or not is only secondary: if their own thoughts are triggered and they dive into a fantastical world, then I’ve done a good job.

You have a tendency towards minimalistic clarity that makes your pictures seem powerful and strong… What do you think about that?
There is an idea out there that men are rarely able to do more than one thing at the same time. Without a doubt I belong to this group, and I’m extremely satisfied if my pictures make a clear statement, with one element pushed to the forefront and nothing, or very little, to distract from it.

The S has the reputation of being one of the few medium format cameras that can be used effectively on location. Now you were with it in no man’s land, so to speak. Did it live up to its reputation?
The S is a delightful and extremely precise piece of equipment, which had great advantages in this setting. In typical Leica manner, you’re obliged to photograph consciously, even though you experience no limitations.

Did you work with available light or did you use any additional light sources?
I only used available light for this series. We were incredibly lucky and it was a wonderful day.

What photographic travel plans do you have for this year?
Last year I went to Chile and Bolivia with my girlfriend, where we saw the fascinating Atacama Desert. This year I would like to explore and photograph a forest. I don’t have a definite destination yet, but I’m already doing research.