Our lives without the lens: An interview with Steven Herteleer


Steven Herteleer is a photographer, Hairdresser, and influencer. He is best known
for his stunning fashion portrait photography; his portrait gallery In sixe – features his
ethereal works he has captured over the years. Steven’s method of capturing
remains personal to him and his aesthetic remains truly phenomenal as it has won
him many great awards around the world. Castro has worked with celebrities and
street people, major publications and top industry brands as LVMH, L’Oréal and
others. This interview will focus on his development as an artist.

1. Thank you, Steven, for agreeing to be interviewed. Because readers are always
curious about beginnings, let’s start with some background. Tell us about your
background and how it brought you into photography?

I painted for 10 years as a teenager, until I decided to get my first camera in 2000. I
immediately liked the instant possibility to create interpretations of the world, and I
put a focus on light and colors, inspired by my experience as a teenager. After a few
years discovering photography on my own, I won a big competition for LVMH who
sent me 6 months to India for a report. I sent the images to a French magazine, and
was elected finalist of the biggest student photojournalism prize in 2008.
than find a way to make it work. I was officially a photographer.

But back then, social media almost didn’t exist, and photography was more a dream than a
possible job. So I decided to play safe, and I entered L’Oréal as Project Manager to
create products. And after a few years hiring inspiring advertising photographers, I
decided to give it a try. I started to shoot some campaigns of the products I was
creating. And in 2010, I quit to follow my dream. I had no money, no experience, no
network. And it’s probably the best moment to try. When you have no other option.

2.What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

That the key to unique photos is not to follow the trend, but to discover your true self,
what’s inside you, what’s your life mission. And to try to express it through your art.

3.What’s currently your favourite show on Netflix?

Haha. Well I liked Bridgeton because of the stunning photography.

4.How did you get good at photography?

First : thanks for the compliment. I think I always had the vibe. But I had a terrible level of expression. So I worked on the technical skills until I became technically good. But I didn’t realize at first that during this process I lost some of the vibe. If you want to work on the skills, you have to focus on the “how”, on the process, on the technique. But as you do so, you’ll lose some of the vision, and slowly forget the “why” you’re even creating. So it took me another few years to reconnect with my deeper self. Forget the technique, and express what I saw when I was a beginner. The moment I became good enough for what I wanted to express, was this very moment I was able to use excellent technique in order to express my raw emotions and feelings. The moment I became good enough for what I wanted to express, was this very
moment I was able to use excellent technique in order to express my raw emotions and feelings.

5. Among the photography gear that you’ve purchased, is there something you wish you hadn’t bought? Why?

I never regret to buy toys. The only regret I may have, is to buy one and not use it enough.

6. Which model would you like to work with in the future?

I am lucky enough to work with all the models I could dream of. I see my portraits as a mix of art, and self empowerment. And usually the models I connect with love the vibe behind it. More than photos, it’s an experience. And I believe the more it goes, the more people want real life and true emotions.

7. Which is your favourite project so far and why?

It’s the 60.000 photos I took during my 2 year solo trip around the world in 2011. I travelled with 0 luggage but my camera, stayed in 0 hotel and slept with 700 families, and took 0 plane. It was shot before I discovered Instagram. So they have this genuine touch that social media took away. Before Instagram, the ultimate place for a photo was in a book, for connoisseurs. Today, photos have the power to make a career on Instagram. As they gained power, they lost some of their art. I mean, until you forget about social media and decide to just express what you want

8. To every upcoming photographer…what’s one tip that should take from you?

Discover what you’re good at. What makes you resonate. And only work on this aspect until you become the best at it. Also… Show your work. As much as you can.

Talent: @stevenherteleer

Interview: @Badefuwa

Independent fashion and art magazine for creatives world-wide

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