Digital FeaturesLeisureAlex Lambrechts
Ella: dress, jumpsuit & belt Temperley London sunglasses Black Eyewear
Willie: shirt & trousers Basic Rights boater Lock & Co Hatters
Lea: dress Borgo De Nor sunglasses Black Eyewear
Ella & Lea: sunglasses Swarovski swimwear Solid & Stripped
Willie: sunglasses Louis Vuitton swim shorts Solid & Stripped
Ella: dress Borgo De Nor swimwear bottoms Emma Pike
Willie: shirt & trousers Basic Rights boater Lock & Co Hatters
Willie: sunglasses Louis Vuitton swim shorts Solid & Stripped
Lea:swimwear Solid & Stripped
Willie: shirt & trousers Basic Rights boater Lock & Co Hatters
Ella: jumpsuit Temperley London
Willie: scarf stylist's own
Ella: dress, jumpsuit & belt Temperley London sunglasses Black Eyewear
Lea: dress Borgo De Nor sunglasses Black Eyewear
Ella: dress Borgo De Nor
Ella: jumpsuit Temperley London sunglasses Black Eyewear
Willie: swim shorts Paul Smith
Lea: dress Borgo De Nor sunglasses Black Eyewear
Ella: sunglasses Swarovski swimwear Solid & Stripped
Ella: sunglasses Swarovski swimwear Solid & Stripped
Lea:swimsuit Solid & Stripped swimming cap Speedo
Willie: swimming cap Speedo sunglasses Louis Vuitton swim shorts Solid & Stripped
Lea: swimsuit Solid & Stripped swimming cap Speedo
Lea: swimsuit Melissa Odabash
Ella: swimsuit Melissa Odabash
Lea: swimsuit Melissa Odabash necklace Giovanni Raspini
Ella: swimsuit Seafolly necklace Giovanni Raspini
Ella: swimsuit Melissa Odabash
Lea: swimsuit Melissa Odabash necklace Giovanni Raspini
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Alex Lambrechts


PHOTOGRAPHY Alex Lambrechts STYLING Olga Timofejefa HAIR & MAKEUP Selina Beutler PRODUCTION Rogues Agency MODELS Willie K. & Ella R. @ Scout Model Agency Zurich
Lea @ Visage Management CAMERA Leica M2 und Leica M6 with Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH., Leica Leitz Summaron 35mm f/2.8 and Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8

Picnics and bikinis at Lake Hallwil in Switzerland, analogue to the core and convincingly retro – Alex Lambrecht’s ‘Leisure’ is a refined example of a modern, vintage look.

‘Leisure’ is a completely-staged, retro-style story: both the fashion and the images’ analogue look. Why this step into the “past”.
This wasn’t intentionally intended to be a very ‘retro’ story… the fashion pieces are actually all current season fashions from a variety of designers, who I believe compliment each other well in this story.
They may be influenced from past and archived pieces, but, I shot them because I wanted to place them in an environment we don’t see many fashion shoots being executed in.
I guess I’m a big of a fan of classics, and I can see where you see retro looks: the boater, for example, comes in and out of fashion regularly; this and other pieces were introduced because I felt they fit the characters I was portraying. I guess there’s a lot of me in the characters here. Yes, looking at it, the styles are very ‘me’…  I guess I am retro :)
I will discuss the photography in the next question.

You shot ‘Leisure’ for the S magazine. What’s the story about?
‘Leisure’, is a playful story about the traditional past time of picnicking and swimming in Swiss lakes and lidos, but with a modern twist...

How analogue are you? Or, to put it differently, how deep do you go into analogue to achieve your particular look?
Recently, I’ve decided to make a sharp departure from my recognised style (I’ve archived my entire body of work shot prior to March this year) and to experiment with analogue quite a bit; and, in particular, more colours!
I try to play with the limits and extremes as much as possible when shooting analogue film. That is to say, I begin with very intentional but unconventional exposures, and then again more unconventional scanning techniques are used to achieve the looks I’m producing. I definitely try to zig, whilst everyone else zags… I want to create my own analogue look, and I think I have started to achieve that. It’s all about understanding how your film will react to varied lighting conditions: for example, I might backlight a lot, but then underexpose intentionally to produce effects with varied films; I have a number of varied combinations I use in different situations. There are so many possibilities if you break out of the 'box speed’ + ‘safe’ boundaries. I try to break all the rules: that is where I find freedom, where I can create.
I don’t actually do much to my images once scanned: a little photoshop to remove dust or a blemish here and there; but otherwise no more adjustments. From the scan I leave it pretty much as it is: as I mentioned it’s scanned a certain way; but more importantly, it’s all about the light and the initial exposure. Light is so different in varied locations and at varied times. This cannot be understated.

How is your relationship to “digital”?
I think digital and I are having a ‘complicated relationship’. I think there are so many possibilities to explore with analogue which I’ve only just begun to enjoy. It’s safe to say that I’m focussing on analogue for the foreseeable future. I have some many ideas and projects in my mind and being planned: I’ve only just begun.

In Switzerland you travelled with light baggage, working with an old Leica M6. Am I right in assuming that you didn’t use too many different lenses either?
I have lived in Switzerland now since December 2017. The lake I shot in is where I go most days to walk my dog :) I knew from the first time I saw this location that I wanted to shoot something special there. I shot using one M6 and two M2 cameras, with 35mm and 90mm lenses, but with different film in each camera. So that I wouldn’t need to stop the flow to change lenses or film, I just swapped cameras. It’s very quick and I love working like that. I have different settings on each camera also, so I shoot a variety of feelings from the same scene.

If you work with the M6, this also means no AF, no zoom, no long focal lengths. Why does this appeal to you?
I also use no light meter: I meter with my eyes; I love having everything be completely manual. On my M2s I often forget to set the film count, so I don’t even know when I’m running out of film :) 35mm and 90mm are my favourite focal lengths, as I like to be close to my subjects. I also prefer manual focus on the Ms because it just sets me in the right mood: something about the whole experience just suits me. I believe I produce very different-looking work with other equipment. I can’t explain what it is. I guess it’s like asking me about driving classic cars: there’s a different feeling, a different emotion, concentration, focus…

Do you go on this kind of excursions quite often and why?
Since March, I've been to Cape Town to shoot on the beach and also Lithuania to shoot stories in the countryside, using a local stylist and models; then also Menorca, in May. I love to travel for my work: seeing new places and creating stories there is exciting...

I am planning a trip to Buenos Aires and Montevideo later this year, if I can get away. It's often hard to plan long trips with work often coming in unexpectedly at the last minute; so I try to do it at the same time as travelling for commercial work.

You also photograph with the Leica SL, but you still often use lenses without AF. Why?
To be honest I use both. on the SL I do Love the 24mm to 90mm zoom, is sublime!  

What do you think about studio work? This time you had three models on location. Do you plan a lot in advance, or do you go with the flow and allow the situation to influence you?
I do a lot of planning, with detailed moods. I brief my models very well. The casting process is so important! This crew was awesome! They were so on it. Once the mood is set, you can just stay in the moment and shoot all day: the styling, location and I guess the photographer’s vibe helps to achieve this; but it also takes effort from the models, which I appreciate. It’s definitely a team effort!
I do very much prefer shooting on location. I think there’s way more room for experimentation, and achieving something different you don’t see every day, specially with analogue film. People are too ‘safe’ and don’t explore enough, which I guess is good for me, as it allows my work to stand out a little. To have my own look and feel is very important for me, not just with the subject matter I choose, but also through how I use the media. Choosing the right location, timing the shoot, the light, it’s all about the light! I’m fortunate to have found something where I feel I can create my own style. It’s exciting.