In ‘It’s Strange’, Tristan Rösler stages a ‘love story’ theme in the style of a road movie with two women. Stylist Heike Held is responsible for the easy-going look of the models, Luca Aimee und Olivia Leonarda.
It‘s Strange is a love story, a theme that has appeared quite often in your more recent work. Is that misleading? What’s it really all about and what makes you play around with this subject?
It’s Strange deals with two women who already shared a little love story once in the past. They had lost touch with each other and, after a long time, met up again on this road trip. The pictures reveal what happens.
How did the idea come about? What criteria did you use to choose the location?
The idea probably came to me during a film and, for aesthetic reasons, I used two women. The locations are dependent on the budget. We had to do this photo shoot in Hamburg, which, naturally, meant certain limitations.
You were decided about bringing a vintage car into the story. Do you have a particular affinity to retro-vintage, or do you prefer modern looks?
I basically like things that mature with time and still function. Patina all over! That includes Leica cameras, by the way!
When you’re shooting on location, how do you deal with the weather? Towards the end, this photo shoot got rather soaked. Are you able to handle the kind of situations that demand a good deal of improvisation?
In general, I try to improvise on non-commissioned series; of course, I have a matrix, but without improvisation you can miss pictures that you don’t have in your head, that you don’t see and, consequently, don’t shoot. That’s why I don’t find improvising particularly difficult, and I don’t let something like rain ruffle my feathers. I am from Hamburg, after all.
What features do the models you choose need to have? Which were decisive for this photo shoot?
First of all, the models need to have something I find interesting, an attitude I can fall in love with. I don’t like some kind of perfect beauty for my non-commissioned work.
You make sure that your models’ make-up is as natural as possible. How does that relate to your style?
On the whole, I discuss the make-up with my make-up artist, and she contributes her ideas. I tell her what I want to photograph, the mood I’m looking for and what it’s about. After that, I mostly just let her do her job, because I believe she’s an artist, and that the best results are achieved when each person does what they like and are good at.
You’re very active on instagram. To what degree do you use this medium to promote and profile yourself? Do you tend towards digital presentations nowadays, or do prints still have meaning for you?
When I take a photo and I think it’s good (which is rare but happens from time to time), then I really want to share it with the whole world. Instagram is a good tool for generating far-range distribution. And, in fact, some jobs actually come to me through instagram.
You make a film for pretty much every photo shoot. Has that now become an integral part of your work? Why?
That’s due to the Leica SL. I like this camera and I find film very interesting. With film in combination with music, it’s easy to create a certain mood, or even to express oneself.
You like to photograph and film with the SL, but also with the medium format S. What kind of photo shoot influences your choice? Or which system do you prefer when?
It really is dependent on each project. I love the S and the special look of its pictures. I like both cameras. It’s somehow hard to compare the two – they are completely different systems and I choose whichever according to the demands of the photo shoot.