Milestones: Jistring fashion campaign for Vogue Italia, Campaign for Farouk systems USA
Current Location: Gronau, Germany
Can you give us a little intro as to who you are and how you got started?
My Name is Ivo Rikkert and I am a Ducht photographer. During my study as a graphic designer one of my subjects was Photography. As I became more and more interested in photography I switched to another academy to study photography full-time.
The first 2 years I worked as an assistant for several photographers. Mostly shooting advertising campaigns. After that I started my own studio and specialized in fashion beauty and hair. Since then I have worked for several national and international designers, magazines and hair & beauty companies
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
I have a classic analog photography approach. I love sensual. feminine, sometimes erotic, graphic and strong images. Lighting is very important. Retouch is getting less and less.
I like to direct the choreography of the shape and body, so the model becomes even more beautiful than she already is.
How did you get into fashion photography?
My first fashion shoot was at the art academy. Backstage for the fashion designers that where graduating.
I liked working with models and started out testing for different agencies. From there on I specialized in fashion-, hair- and beauty photography.
What are the biggest challenges of working in fashion photography?
You work with different people, character and attitudes everyday. That is also fun. But the trick is to respect them and also push them to get to the high level at the same time.
Always stay open minded and recognize the newest trends. You also have to push yourself and stay ahead of the crowd every time.
How do you get yourself inspired for a photo shoot?
I watch a lot of magazines and always ‘read’ the light of an image. Also in real live and everyday surroundings.
I don’t think a photographer can watch a movie commercial or an image without wanting to know how the atmosphere and image is created.
I also listen to music and watch art or designers. All kind of things. After the inspiration you have to translate into your own style. Never copy. Create you’re own handwriting.
From your experience, have your most successful shots come from perfect planning or accidents? Any experience to share?
You have to make accidents when you want to learn and grow. Sometimes it brings out new creative and wonderful pictures, styles and perspectives.
But accidents can only happen in tests, not when you shoot on a real set for a costumer. After the ‘accident’ you have to learn how to control it and turn it into a skill or a controllable technique.
There is no room for mistakes in a real shoot. Here you have to perform and know how to create the image.
I experiment a lot with photoshop filters and light. There are so many ways to get to the image you want to create and develop a way of working.
Many photographers work alone. So if you want to stay up to date and develop new styles, sometime you have to shake yourself up a bit.
What qualities does a good photographer possess?
Knowledge and control of lightning and technical skills. Passion for the object. Know what you want to create. And know a lot about make-up, hair and styling so you can easier explain the people you work with what kind of make-up hair and styling you want and correct when wrong. It saves all lot of retouch.
As a photographer I think its very important that you also control the atmosphere at the set. Always stay calm and know how to solve problems without them escalating.
And people skills are needed.
What are the must-have in a bag of a photographer?
Camera 😉 Deodorant, mints and a good mood!
What photographers have influenced you to create your own style?
A long list. The usual photographers like Richard Avedon, Mario Testino Peter Lindbergh, Sante D’orazio, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerht, Rankin, Steven Lyon and many more.
I also love black & white photography. And a high quality in managing the techniques of printing in greyscale. So I got a lot of inspiration from Ansel Adams, Albert Watson.
How often do you step out of your comfort zone to be creative?
Very often. I work alone so I have to keep myself sharp. In order to do that, I try out a lot of new things. Mostly in lightning and filtering in Photoshop.
There are no rules in photography. For example: sometimes sharp is good, sometimes blurry is good. It is a choice what to show and how to get the right kind of picture. It is different for every client; you have to know a lot of solutions to translate the feeling or story into the picture. If you only work in save-mode you won’t find that many different techniques to transmit that.
What is your favorite thing to shoot for yourself?
At the moment I am shooting a lot Hair and Beauty, but I would love to add more Fashion and Lingerie to my work. I like lingerie. I love lace and transparency and how it accentuates the body lines. I think it has a lot to do with the design, the beauty and the sensuality of the body.
Lingerie gives a women control, strength and confidence. Luckily I have the reputation for making both women and men feel comfortable when they wear lingerie and at the same time make them look good as well.
You could have anyone take your portrait, who is it and why?
Andy Warhol. A great creative Artist. Always surrounded by good musicians and cultural icons who shared his vision. I wonder how he would have seen me and how he would have expressed that into a picture.