Interview with a Pro – Manfred Baumann

We recently had a great chance to interview another one of our PortraitPro users.

Manfred Baumann has been using PortraitPro in his portraits for many years and recently got in touch with us.  We asked him what it’s like to work with some of the biggest stars in the world.

Angelina and Brat Pitt 2012 ManfredBaumann.com

photo by ManfredBaumann.com – Angelina and Brat Pitt 2012

PortraitPro: How did you get into photography, and what lead you to photograph Hollywood actors?

Manfred Baumann:  Sir Roger Moore discovered one of my pictures at an exhibition in Hamburg and bought it for his house in Switzerland. He is a big fan of photography, which is how we got into contact. He was my first Hollywood star, and that got the ball rolling.

PortraitPro: When was your big break in the industry?

I think that it is a bunch of little pieces of the puzzle that combine into the big picture. From the first photo shoot with Sir Roger Moore to the last official shoot with Tony Curtis shortly before he passed away. But also my collaboration with National Geographic and lots of other things

PortraitPro: What advice would you give aspiring photojournalists?

Manfred Baumann:  It is important to continue growing and make sure that viewers can recognize your signature in your photographs. 

PortraitPro: Can you tell us the story behind some of your favorite images?

Manfred Baumann: I think that my picture of Tony Curtis is one of my favorites because he passed away shortly after and because I could see in his eyes during the session that he was very grateful and that he had had a wonderful life.

PortraitPro: Do you do your own photo editing or do you have an assistant for retouching?

Manfred Baumann: I do everything myself all the way to the final image.

PortraitPro: Can you share with us some images where PortraitPro has been used?

Manfred Baumann: Many of my portraits are developed with your software, and it’s a tool that I definitely would not want to do without.

David and Hayley Hasselhoff 2015 photo by ManfredBaumann.com

photo by ManfredBaumann.com – David and Hayley Hasselhoff 2015

PortraitPro: You’ve photographed so many huge Hollywood stars, how does it feel to capture images of such well known and often photographed people?

Manfred Baumann:   When you have worked with as many stars as I have, you get used to it and no longer put them on a pedestal. They are people just like you and I, some of them are complicated and others less so.

PortraitPro:  What equipment do you use when shooting in your studio?  Do you enjoy using any kind of camera, for instance a smartphone camera for more casual shots?

Manfred Baumann:  I work with Leica, Nikon, and Hensel light.  Sometimes I also like taking pictures with the Microsoft Lumia smartphone, it has a lens from Zeiss and 20 million pixels.

PortraitPro:  Your work includes a lot of candid, street photography. What advice can you offer on taking street photography?

Manfred Baumann:  The new Leica SL is my favorite for this; I really love street photography and capturing moments in time that way. The older such pictures become, the better they are.

John Malkovich and Jack Black photo by ManfredBaumann.com

photos by ManfredBaumann.com

PortraitPro: Many of your portraits are black and white. What influences your decision on whether an image should be black and white, or color?

Manfred Baumann: I love black and white photography because it is very reduced and reveals the essence of a picture.

PortraitPro: You’re offering classes on photography; are you speaking at any events, or can PortraitPro blog readers join one of your classes?

Manfred Baumann:  You can find the workshops that I hold on my web site. I also hold workshops at public events like the Photokina 2016, the Skoda Festival in Prague, and a meet and greet in the middle of the year where my latest photo book will be presented at the Leica gallery in Vienna

PortraitPro:  Do you have any exhibitions currently running or coming up?

Manfred Baumann:  “Special” is a project that is very important to me and in which I took portraits of intellectually disabled people. It will be shown for the first time in autumn. My latest best-of photo book will be released at the end of May, and there are of course my current exhibitions Alive, L.A. Stories, and many more.

PortraitPro: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your work and your career?

Manfred Baumann: A technically perfect photograph can be far from a good picture, that is one of my philosophies of photography that I would like to share with your readers.

We’ve had a wonderful insight into the world of a professional photographer, who spends his life photographing some of the world’s most famous celebrities.

Check out more of Manfred’s work on his own page. 

You too can use PortraitPro and create professional, magazine-quality images. Download the free trial today.

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