Digital FeaturesRun the DuneMichael Philipp Bader
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Left: WAISTCOAT Nike CROP TOP Adidas by Stella McCartney TIGHTS Adidas SHOES Nike Right: BIKECOAT Nike TOP Adidas SHORTS Adidas by Stella McCartney SHOES Adidas
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SWIM CROP TOP Adidas by Stella McCartney
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Interview

INTERVIEW

Michael Philipp Bader

michael-bader-photography-about

PHOTOGRAPHY Michael Philipp Bader STYLING Alessandro Romualdi @ Bigoudi HAIR & MAKEUP Alexandra Merk @ Close up MODELS Suri North @ Spin Models & Iréne Amuquandoh @ Place Models PHOTO ASSISTANT Peter Bauer CAMERA Leica S with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 Asph., Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph., Apo-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 Asph.

German photographer Michael Philipp Bader found the perfect location in Denmark for his ‘Run the Dune’ photo spread. He chose models Iréne Amuquandoh and Suri North very specifically because of their contrasting skin types. The outcome was an interesting mix of sports, fashion and portrait photography.

S Magazine: You are a qualified designer. How is it that you now work as a photographer, and has your training in design influenced your approach?
Michael Philipp Bader: I got my design diploma in Dortmund, with an emphasis on photography. The conceptual work that our professors and teachers demanded from us during our studies, is something I now integrate into my photographic work.

You are very involved with the subject of sports. Why this preference for sport-related themes? Are there other subjects you are interested in?
It was through sports that I actually came to photography. When I was young, I was already photographing football fans and the atmosphere in stadiums all over Europe. During my studies, I created complex stage settings for fashion photo spreads. After finishing my studies, I rediscovered my interest in sports photography. The photographic eye acquired from pure fashion photography now helps me to stage new and different moments in sports photography. However, I am not only fixed on sport photography; I also work as a portrait photographer.

The Run the Dune spread was photographed in the dunes in Denmark. Do you prepare a concept in advance for this kind of thing, or do you let spontaneous circumstances guide you?
The preparation for a free series is very important for me. The interaction with the location and connecting with the models, or sports people, I consider particularly important. With this in mind, I often work together with stage designers, graphic designers and illustrators. The exchanges that take place during the preparation are very inspiring. However, chance also plays an interesting role during a photo production. This often results in moments that can be a lot more exciting; this is precisely the interesting thing about photography.

Run the Dune has a recognisable colour tonality. How do you use colour?
With each series I take a completely new approach to the colours. This means that a different colour concept arises for each new series.

What criteria did you use to choose the models for the S Magazine series?
In this case I wanted there to be a contrast between the models. That’s why I opted for two different skin types for the models.

Apart from commercial photography, where else are you photographically involved? What do you prefer to photograph?
Since back when I was studying, I discovered a love for my view camera and for original Polaroid material. I often like to use this equipment for certain portrait series. It is a very static and slow way of working, which, through the expired Polaroid material, leads to surprising results.

Are there photographic influences that are reflected in your work? Are there photographers who have had a particular impact on you?
Older generation photographic artists like Paolo Reversi or Sarah Moon are a great source of inspiration. Their timeless, artistic photography allows their pictures to appear like paintings from an undefined time. Theatre and dance are also always sources of inspiration to me.

What features does your favourite kind of camera need to have?
Apart from its technical possibilities, I need to have fun with the camera. It must built in an uncomplicated and good way.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? Do you have a project that you’re particularly keen to realise? What direction would you like to develop in?
At the moment I’m working on an Olympia project with Olympia athletes, that I’d like to exhibit next year.