I’ve never felt so much freedom in a city like in Berlin
Lucas Christiansen is a young photographer who lives in Berlin. Lucas has developed a distinctive style when a character in the frame shines with an attitude, stares into the lens as if bored or at times caught in a moment, just before the actual shot was supposed to take place.
Lucas decided to pursue this career and took several important steps to get closer to his goal. Just to name a few, working with a professional from the sphere to build a portfolio for Lette Verein Berlin. Today, Lucas is a graduate, represented by an agency, working on new and exciting projects with a vision to have a solo exhibition in a near future.
Read on to discover the best places to visit in Berlin, one of the tricks to capture a unique shot, and how to work on set. Being passionate about your art, driven by the end goals, and also knowing how to have fun and seize the moment are the guiding principles towards succeeding.
Congratulations on producing a print version of the beautiful portfolio this summer. Could you describe the process of choosing the right works and the best-suited paper while working on this project?
Beginning of this year, I had to do a portfolio for school. I knew that this would be the portfolio I will show around for the next years, so I wanted it to be flawless.
I chose a really high-quality paper - Hahnemühle Baryta FB because I really like the haptic and the feeling of it. If you take a look at it, you can clearly see the texture.
Also, my bookmaker is one of the best bookmakers for photographer portfolios in Germany. It costs a bit of money, but it was worth every Euro.
While I was still in school, I reached out to various representing-agencies. Some replied, and I knew, that I have to present my portfolio. I updated it during the summer and showed it around. Now I am represented by a really cool agency in Paris & London. So I think I got very good feedback for it!
It was hard to choose the right works, I think, it was intuition. I also communicated a lot with my teachers in school, and now I am communicating with my agency. So it’s not my decision only. I think it often helps to ask for another opinion.
How does choosing a right model go, what are the most important elements for you to ensure the right person for your vision?
Meanwhile, I am very picky with my cast, but I don’t have a specific type I prefer to shoot.
I would photograph everybody who looks interesting to me.
It, of course, also depends on what you want to shoot, what the shoot is for, and what mood you want to create.
How do you create a mood on set for the end product to deliver your initial idea and tell the right story?
Always make the people around you feel comfortable.
In your works, you always play with lights and shadows, while there is also a strong impact a viewer gets from the colors in the scene. In post-production, how do you approach the color grading, what is the usual process?
I always have a vision of the end product before the shooting. I often check out locations before I shoot there, to see how the light reflects on the area and on the colors. The usual process in post-production is to experiment around with the colors in Photoshop, Lightroom and other programs. If I like the look and the vibe of the image, I keep it. At the moment,
I always try to keep my colors warm and soft. Maybe that’ll change someday.
Shooting outdoors or in the studio?
“I used to shoot a lot in the studio. But since I got very good feedback for my outdoor shootings, I really learned to love shooting on location. You don’t have so much control as in the studio but the atmosphere you can create, especially when the light is low, is just super cool”.
What is the most inspiring book or film about photography? Why?
I read many books about photography, and they were all inspiring in their own way. The last book I read, was 'Photography: The Whole Story' by Juliet Hacking. I think it’s a lecture every photographer should read, to get a vision why photography is the way it is. I had to read it for my final exams though, but I am happy I did it.
The film that also really inspired me, was the hand-colored version of the movie 'Le Voyage dans la Lune / A trip to the moon' by George Méliès from 1902. It’s a very technical masterpiece.
I get a lot of inspiration from magazines and exhibitions, and of course the internet.
How do you usually spend your weekends? What is your favorite thing to do?
I don’t really have a usual weekend. I really love to play table tennis in the backyard with my boys, and if the weather is cold, I like to chill in the bathtub. I really enjoy things like that.
The best 3 places to visit in Berlin? What is special about the city?
I’ve traveled and experienced a lot in my life, but I’ve never felt so much freedom in a city like in Berlin. For me, right now, it’s the best place to live.
The best places to visit in Berlin:
Rosi 19 - The apartment I share with my friends. There is so much going on at home. I think I get a lot of inspiration from my friends.
I really like to buy groceries at the Turkish market at Maybachufer. It’s the best place to buy spices, cheap fruits, and vegetables.
And I think everybody should go out in Berlin at least once in their lifetime. You can’t say, that you’ve seen everything before you went partying in Berlin.
Red or yellow?
I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa...
There is this amazing Coca~Cola shot with numerous Coca-Cola boxes in front of the old last centuries blocks focused out with a model strong to hold the photo - with an outfit and an attitude to remember. Tell about this shot, why Coca-Cola and how did you plan the set?
There is no real deep story in this shoot, I am sorry.. :( but Easy,
the guy in the photo, just looked so cool, so I had to ask him if he wants to be in the shot.
The location is actually in the backyard of my studio. There is a beverage supplier on the ground floor. It was a cold Sunday in January, and nobody was working on that day. So we did some photos in the backyard in front of the Coca Cola boxes! I shared the photos with the owner of the beverage supplier - he was really happy as well! Easy is doing music by the way!
What is a trick you often use when taking photos you can share with us?
Always communicate with the people around you. Share thoughts and always be super well prepared.
A fascinating location or a model with an edgy attitude and strong facial expression?
I prefer a strong facial expression. I personally won't be satisfied when the location is fascinating, but the model is humdrum. But with the right light, and a strong facial expression, I think it’s easier to make a boring location look cool.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on many things right now, and many things are happening right now. End of June this year, I graduated from my photography studies after 3 years. And like I said before, I am now represented by the agency, which is super cool, but it also puts a bit of pressure on me, because now I really have to deliver cool pictures, and it’s not just only for fun anymore.
At the moment, I am working on many concepts and mood boards for upcoming shootings, and I try to connect with many creatives as possible. And of course, I am also working on this interview here. A solo exhibition is also in planning, but no dates are set yet. :)
Many things are coming, and I am excited as well!