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Fashion and beauty photography with Christel B

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Christel Bangsgaard is an award-winning Danish born fashion and beauty photographer, currently based in New York.

Her stunning images have attracted many admirers and fans, and her photographs can be found on numerous websites and blogs across the web.

FACTORY311, which licences Christel’s images worldwide, caught up with the photographer for a quick chat about the big move to New York, choice of cameras and how to train your eye to take good photographs.

Q. Was it a culture shock to move from Denmark and Copenhagen to the US and New York?
No not for me. I have travelled so much in my life, and am used to and love changes. And my move to NYC happened gradually, I started with 3 months a couple of times, going back and forth, then six months, and then I finally made the big move after I got a special talent visa in 2008.

I found NYC to be very friendly an easily adapted to it. For some it would probably be a big shock, it is very different from Copenhagen. I think there are advantages and disadvantages in any country, no place it perfect. But I do Love NYC, and it is one of my favourite places in the world.

Q. Did you feel you had to move to further your career?

Yes and no. The main reason I moved to NYC was for the adventure of it. I have been seeking adventures my whole life, and travelled to so many different countries for that same reason.

So when it came to my career I just had to make yet another adventure of it. And what better place to be for Fashion, beauty and photography? I just knew I had to try living in NYC.

Q. How much of the work is done in camera and the studio and how much is post-production using Photoshop etc?

In my work photography and retouching is equally important. You need to have a great picture which makes the base of the final image. Good photography means high quality files, good lighting, model, makeup, team and so on.

That makes the base of the image, then I finalise the photo with retouching, and this is where I take it to the next level. There are endless possibilities in Post, and you need to know what you want with your photo.

Beauty photography and retouching is very detailed work, you need to be able to see how you can make the most of every shot. I often do a lot of drawing and colouring in post.

Q. Do you tend to use the same camera set-up for each job or does it vary depending on the brief and client? 

I have setups that I just know works for different things, so sometimes I choose that easy way out, and I know what I get. But I also like to play around and experiment if I have the time and freedom to do so.

Q. Was it a case of trial and error finding the best camera for you?

I tried different cameras when I was assisting back in the days. So I had a pretty good idea of what was out there when it came to choosing cameras for my own shooting.

I use different cameras for different shoots, depending on where and what I am shooting. Canon, Nikon and Hasselblad.

Q. Finally, what advice would you give to any budding fashion and beauty photographers?
You have to love what you do, cause you need to spend a lot of time doing it. If you have the passion and patience for photography, my advice is to keep trying, keep experimenting, keep testing.

Every time you create something, you learn new things, and train your ¨eye¨. Look at photos that you like and try and understand why you like them. What is it that makes those particular images interesting? Be innovative and don’t be afraid of trying new things. Finally, believe and trust in yourself.

See more of Christel Bangsgaard’s work here.

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