Celebrity portrait photographer Frank W. Ockenfels 3 offers a wealth of inspiration, tips and advice in this nine-minute video just released by The Hollywood Reporter. The video is the pilot episode of a series called Magic Hour, which will profile photographers, cinematographers, song writers, set designers and others—“anyone whose life passion is to create,” says Hollywood Reporter photo and video director Jennifer Laski, who created the series.

Ockenfels is down-to-earth throughout the video, starting with a story he tells about a shooting disaster early in his career. The client, he says, “never used me again.” He shows and explains his “eureka” moment as a portrait photographer, and relates a story about how a good idea and the courage to take chances led to his long collaboration with David Bowie. He also emphasizes the importance of listening to subjects.

In describing his creative process and work, Ockenfels imparts useful advice. For instance, he talks about how he keeps his work fresh. And he says, “I don’t want to know, sometimes, what I’m going to take a picture of. I kind of want to find it once I get there. But I’m open to whatever happens in the moment that I can kind of create something out of what’s given…If the light doesn’t work, be open to suddenly change it. Figure out what it is in the moment that you can do.”

Hollywood Reporter has yet to announce a release schedule and subjects of future episodes of “Magic Hour.”


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Gerd Ludwig on His “Invisible Flash” Technique

Posted by on Thursday September 29, 2016 | Lighting, PDN Video Picks

Photographer Gerd Ludwig is a lighting master with TTL strobe lights. He uses them in unusual and unpredictable ways to direct the the viewer’s eye through his photographs, convey a sense of place, and define his visual style. Yet his strobe lights are all but invisible, blending with available light sources. In this video, Ludwig... More