I wanted to start this project with a post about the event that actually motivated me to write a blog, the Red Bull Rising Talent 2018.
I'm not totally sure what you guys are interested in reading about yet, so I thought I would just tell you a bit about what was going on during the four days I spent in Berlin and some thoughts and ideas I took away from that experience.
So just a quick insight into what the Red Bull Rising Talent event is all about. It's a new project by Red Bull where they invite young photographers, in this case from all over Europe, to come to a city to connect, learn from amazing lectors, get to shoot awesome athletes and get an insight into the world of Red Bull.
In our case they invited eight photographers from England, France, Germany and Austria so it was a quite international group. I always think it's amazing to meet other young photographers that are kind of in the same situation as I am because you can learn so much from each other.
So let's just give you a quick overview about what was going on during the event. If you're not that interested about that, you can probably skip a couple of lines and go further down to the end where I plan on talking a little bit more about what I learned and what I liked about the whole experience. I'll try to keep the overview short though (insert from the end: I failed at keeping it short, sorry).
After arriving in Berlin on Tuesday, we had an awesome day with different lectures from amazing Red Bull photographers such as Little Shao and Lorenz Holder. There was also a motivational speaker and Lucas Hoffman taught us a ton about social media and what we could work on when trying to build a personal brand. For me that was really interesting as I feel like social media has gotten really important as part of a photographers brand and appearance. For that reason it was amazing to get some insights and some new inspiration for social media marketing as well.
The day after that was the big shooting day. We were split up into groups of two and got the chance to shoot four different Red Bull athletes. Our group started off shooting BBoy Roxrite. For me that was a great start into the day as I'm used to shooting BBoys so I was pretty relaxed during the shoot and we could get some really nice shots.
Next up was probably the biggest challenge of the day. My task was to shoot a double exposure of pro e-gamer Mustafa Akcakaya aka Ice-Fights. First of all I have never shot any e-sports and I feel like shooting it needs a totally different approach than shooting other kinds of sports. So that was my first struggle. The second problem was that I have never really shot a double exposure so I didn't have the experience on what works well for that kind of a look. Luckily, by talking to the athlete, he told me about the character he is playing and I came up with the idea of trying to connect the athlete and the character by using the double exposure and I'm pretty happy with the results, considering there were a lot of firsts with this one.
Third on the list was amazing flatland BMX Rider Matthias Dandois. I have been following this guy for quite some time on social media and I didn't think I would be able to shoot him that soon in my career. We got along well and banged out an action shot and a nice portrait quite fast. For me it was a great experience to shoot a new kind of sport with such an amazing athlete right there.
Last but not least was awesome parkour athlete Norman Lichtenberg. As we were talking in the beginning of the shoot he told me about how most photographers usually shoot similar kind of shots when working with parkour athletes. That's why we decided to try out something a little different. It might not be the shot with the greatest action or the hardest trick but I feel like it still shows the sport nicely and in a little different perspective.
After the shooting we had around 1:30h time to import all pictures, make our selection and edit at least four of them. I think that was the most stressful 1:30h for most of us during that week as editing four nice pictures in such a short period of time isn't ease, at least it isn't for me. Luckily we still made it though.
So here are just a couple more behind the scenes form the shooting day, the stressed out editing session and the feedback round (keep on reading for that).
For the shooting day I set myself two personal challenges I wanted to achieve just for myself. First and the more basic one was to get one great action shot and one nice portrait of each athlete. I have realized that I often forget to shoot a portrait, even if that is an essential shot to tell a story for me. I feel like a portrait shows the athlete behind the action, gives it a face and makes the story more personal.
The second challenge I wanted to achieve was to improve my communications skills with the athletes. I feel like I can be more of an introverted person on set quite often so I thought this could be a possibility to try and work on that. I think realizing that I'm able to achieve this second challenge gave me a lot of strength for the future and for upcoming personal challenges.
On our last day we had a little feedback session. Everyone showed their best pictures, the Red Bull team and the other photographers gave some feedback on what they liked about the shots, what we did well on set or what we could improve in the future. Last but not least the Red Bull team choose one winner for the best performance of the week. I have to admit I'm a little sad I can't tell you that I'm the winner but I will next time.
The winner was actually Miriam Lottes, an amazing fellow Austrian photographer and I feel like she really deserved the win as she took one of my favorite shots of the week.
So to round this whole thing up I thought I would talk a little bit about what I took away from this whole experience. I think the aspect I appreciated most about this whole project was the fact that I was able connect with fellow young photographers that are in the same situation as I am. I feel like I learned something from every one of them.
It was also incredible getting the chance to talk to an amazing photographer like Little Shao about his experiences and his business advice, getting a drink with Lorenz Holder on the rooftop bar at our hotel and talking photography stuff and getting to know some of the amazing people that are part of the Red Bull Team and behind all these amazing projects.
All in all I feel like I realized how much it means to have a community of likeminded people around you. That's one thing I want to start to build up in Vienna and maybe other cities as well. Just bringing together people to get to know each other, learn from each other and just motivate each other.
I think that's it for my first post here. I'm not sure, if this post got a little too long (I totally understand if you're too lazy to read all of it, I probably would be).
I still hope there was something interesting in here for all of you and more is coming soon for sure.
Btw let me know what you would like to hear in the future so I can get interesting stuff out there for you.
Huge thanks to the whole Red Bull team for making this whole experience possible and to all the amazing photographers I got to know during this time. I really hope to see you guys soon.