The search for the perfect picture is what drives the Viennese photographer Lukas Gansterer. His images have one thing in common: the combination of authenticity and credibility. His focus lays in the areas of fashion and music combined with a touch of porn. We asked Lukas to contribute to our December FACIAL. Find out about his fascination of skateboards and naked women in the interview.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?
I like to catch the perfect moment. A photo works better when the moment is right. Even though the lights are set up and everything else is fine, the picture can turn out to be shit. A few days ago I was at the airport, on my way to Berlin. The clouds looked very beautiful. I took a picture of the scene. One second later a private jet took off and made the perfect picture, but my iPhone was too slow, so I failed. Just one second later would have been the perfect moment, but these situations happens in life. For instance a landscape image looks better with the perfect light or with some nice clouds. Basically for me, it depends on authenticity and credibility. Even when I look at pictures of other photographers, I expect them to be authentic too. I’m more flexible with my ideas and only focus on the moment. Before I start shooting, I always define the conditions and within this the magic can happen.
MAYBE IT DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE SITUATION, WHETHER IT’S CREDIBLE OR NOT. I ALWAYS LIKE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT EXACTLY MOTIVATED THE PHOTOGRAPHER, EVEN IF IT IS JUST THE HAIR OR THE LIGHTING, JUST A LITTLE DETAIL. THIS VERY SPECIAL MOMENT NEEDS TO SHOW. WHAT DOES THE IMAGE WANT TO TELL ME ? THIS IS SOMETHING I MISS IN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY QUITE OFTEN.
Photography is a constant search for the perfect picture. Sometimes you come up with a different story than the photographer intended to tell. Or at least how I would define it. From time to time I succeed. And then, the next day I have to start all over again. It’s like skateboarding. You try the same trick over a 1000 times just to optimize your skills, whether you pull off the trick and land safely on your board, you keep on trying. Maybe you increase the level of difficulty. Because once you succeed, it feels so fucking amazing, and that is the feeling I want to repeat constantly. Actually it’s a kind of an addiction. At first it kicks in quickly. The next time it takes a bit longer. But if the stimulation is getting lost the impulse or attraction might have ended.
WHAT WAS YOUR IDEA ABOUT THE FACIAL-STORY?
I like the combination of beautiful girls and skateboards. This is a good mix that works well for me. It’s like boys who like the connection of girls and cars.
SKATEBOARDS AND WOMEN ARE THE TWO THINGS YOU LIKE THE MOST?
Skateboarding is an important part of my life. Since I was twelve years old I have been skateboarding. In the past I used to do it every day. Today unfortunately I’m too busy. But it’s still an important part of my life and the connection of women and skateboards gives me a kick.
NAKED WOMEN AND SKATEBOARDS?
Yeah, that’s what I like. This was my first shoot with girls and skateboards. I don’t need to tell a story which makes sense or is deep. I am fine if people get irritated or need to think about it. But finally I don’t care what others think of it.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FASHION?
Sure I am.
WHEN YOU SHOOT FASHION. DO YOU STAGE REALITY?
There is always a story or a topic. For instance the production I did with the fashion brand Wendy & Jim. From the beginning on, we knew that we would distress the images later. Together with the designers Helga and Hermann of Wendy & Jim, we have been shooting the whole day. Each person with a different camera. Helga Ruthner with a digital compact-camera, Hermann Fankhauser with his cell phone and me with my own camera. Finally we exposed the pictures and Helga and Hermann started to modify them: They scratched, tore and cut them. Afterwards they re-glued them. I think fashion photography is very spacious. Pictures without showing fashion could be fashion photography as well.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE IT?
It depends on the overall context. In a series, for example, there could be a landscape image which transports the mood of the story only. But all together as a series, I would define each image in this story as fashion photography. However, I would not consider just a single landscape image as fashion photography of course.
CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE SKATEBOARDS YOU USED FOR THE SHOOT? YOU PAINTED THEM EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE SHOOT, RIGHT?
I didn’t want to pick a graphic that would represent a brand. In the past I chose my boards by shape and width, and not by style. I usually spray them white or in color. In this case I wanted to try out some colours for the shoot. That’s why I decided to make a golden and a pink one. However, the pink one in this context gets a new meaning.
“Give me Pink” or “Show me Pink“ descended from the porn-industry. I like to work with accessories which have porn references. For instance there are a few works where I have integrated a golden vibrator and that’s why I made one board in gold.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW WITH THE BOARDS?
I will use them. The pink one might be too crazy for me. It’s a bit irritating to skate with. Probably I will paint it white again.
WAS THIS YOUR FIRST NUDE-SHOOT?
In my personal projects the topics sex, erotic and nudity repeat continously. Sometimes more explicit and sometimes more hidden. But I like when pictures are provocative and aggressive and in order to achieve it, nudity is a good tool.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE THE GIRLS FEEL GOOD?
Before each shoot I’ll explain everyone exactly what, how and where we shoot. I’m trying to explain clearly what I would like to express and achieve. Then I ask them if they are a hundred percent agreed with my ideas. It’s very important that they have enough time to think about it, I dont want to persuade anyone to anything. If there would be a bad feeling it would transition into the image. It would look kind of tense. If they are agreed, we will have a good base to work with.