Interview with photographer #9: Sarah Trummer (Austria, Creative photography)Artem Beliaikin
Name: Sarah Trummer
Location: Austria, Linz
Style: I don’t have a specific niche, I like to call it „creative photography“ or „visualing my thoughts“.
Gear: I’m working with a Nikon D5200 and a 35mm 1.8 lens.
Experience: I got my camera about 4 years ago and for the first 2 years I only took a few pictures without really thinking about it. Then it bored me to shoot only pictures in automatic mode and I decided to learn more about photography and ended up where I am now.
When did you first become interested in photography? What sparked it and when did you decide that it was what you were going to do? Tell us your story 😉
Funnily enough, I’ve always been interested in photography. When I was a kid, the best thing about a family trip was when I was allowed to have the analog camera and take a few pictures.
2012 we visited my uncle in the summer and he had dslr camera. And I was allowed to take some photos with it. I was really happy about it and since these holidays I knew that I like to photograph.
Four years ago my parents decided to give me a camera for Christmas (my Nikon D5200 which I still use today) and since then I do what I do. It started with taking nature shots and ended with taking creepy mask photos. (But I still love my work, even if it’s kinda creepy sometimes.)
Were you formally educated in photography, or are you self taught?
I’m a selftaught photographer. That means a lot of YouTube Tutorials and even more patience.
What is your ways of income from photography? Do you sell your photos on microstock sites? What else?
I have no income from my photography. But that’s okay, I am a photographer out of passion and not because of the money.
What else do you do besides photography? 😉
I’m working as a webdeveloper / webdesigner.
But I also love making photomanipulations, drinking coffee (a lot of coffee tbh) and being out with friends.
What mistakes did you make when you started taking pictures?
I wasn’t thinking about what I’m doing or what pictures I’m shooting. I was just taking hundreds of pictures without a message and without any thoughts behind them.
Describe a typical shoot.
There isn’t something like a „typical shoot“ for me. I mean yes, sometimes my sister or some friends are like „Heeeeey Sarah, I need new profile pictures for Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp (we all know, they need them for Tinder, but that’s ok haha) and then we’ll select some outfit styles and then look up some locations (I already have my favorite locations and these are the ones we’re literally going everytime.) And then we just shoot some amazing pictures.
When I have a shooting like this, I like to create some moodboards with different pictures of different models and poses fort he person in front of the camera. As a non-model, it’s not easy to pose in front of the camera and with these moodboards, we firstly don’t run out of posing ideas and the „model“ feels kind of more comfortable. Another tip: always bring a mirror to a shooting. When people see themselves in a mirror, they get comfortable in front of the camera really fast.
But if I’m working on my photoideas, a shooting looks like this:
I call a friend and say something like „Heeeeeeeeey, you got time for photos?“ And if somebody got time, we’ll meet and then this conversation finds place literally every time.
Person: What are we doing now?
Me: I don’t know exactly what we’re doing, but trust me.
And then we’re shooting some dope pictures.
But I’m also visualizing my ideas alone. Always remember: a tripod and a remote release are your best friends.
Who have you learned the most from?
Photography is about trying and failing. You learn the most from yourself.
Do you take part in any photo contests? Tell us about your experience, if you have.
No, I’m just sharing my work on social media and that’s it.
When did you start sharing your photos on Pexels and Unsplash? Many photographers prefer not to share their photos for free, but sell them on photo banks. What is your reason to do that? Does it helps you to attract new customers or you have some any other reasons?
I’m sharing my pictures on these platforms for a year now.
I make a lot of photomanipulations and my main source for these are images from Unsplash and Pexels. And one day I thought „Why not giving something back where creative souls can profit from it?“ and then I uploaded my pictures. Live is about giving and taking and so we have a win-win-situation.
There is no need for charging money on everything you do. And you reach a massive audience with sharing your pictures. I’m not looking for any clients but I think if you’re for example a portrait photographer and you’re looking for new people, this could be a great way to grow your audience and gain new clients. But even if you just like to take pictures, you can get inspired, talk with other creative people who have the same passion and also learn something new from them.
How did you find your photography style, and what can you recommend to other photographers trying to find their niche?
I always hear that it’s super important to find and stick to a niche. But that’s not what I think. Photography should fullfill you and if you feel like going for a walk, you should definitely photograph those amazing flowers. But on the other hand, if you feel like doing some dope streetphotos, you should do them too! Only when photography is fun for you, you’re images start to be outstanding.
And after a few months of photography, you’ll have your specific stuff that you prefer to photograph (for example portraits, landscapes, flowers, coffee, …). And after a while the niche will find you. So don’t waste your time on looking for your perfect niche. It’ll come from alone.
Definitely masks. I like the fact that they’re so mysterous and the viewer has so much interpretation space.
Prime or zoom?
Prime. I like the fact that the possibilities are limited and you maybe have to think about a picture twice. (That’s also the reason why I only have one lens.)
Favourite photography book?
I don’t have one.
Favourite photography website?
www.fotografierend.com (Yeah, that’s my homepage, I know. But I have a great gallery haha)
But a main source for photography, no matter if it’s about inspiration or technical stuff to learn is Pinterest.
Top tip for any aspiring in your niche photographers out there?
Don’t stress and create. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
To what degree do you retouch your photos, Photoshop? Lightroom? Aperture? Anything that you like to do in your photos in particular, such as add certain curves?
For my photographs I’m using Lightroom. I’m doing the base adjustments and then I see where the creativity drives me.
Do you use some photographer’s facebook groups/forums/subreddits/medium to share your experience or discuss something?
I’m in a few Facebook groups but mainly to get inspired. I’m more like a passive member on them because there are SO many posts a day and people on Facebook don’t like critisicm and get offended easily.
Recommend some blogs or instagram profiles about photography you love to read.
www.fotografierend.com (Again, self promotion, but I also have a blog on photography topics haha)
But as I already mentioned, I love Pinterest and read a lot of articles I found there. And here are some Instagram Accounts, I truly love:
What promotion methods do you use? How do you find customers for your photo shoots?
No customers, no promotion methods. (That’s the easy way I’m going here haha)
What apps do you use to organize your work? Maybe there are some interesting services that our readers would be interested to know about?
With staying organized, I’m kind of oldschool. I’m using a little book where I write down actually everything. But a service I really love (mostly used this for school) is Notion. You have a lot of opportunities such as taking notes, having your dates and events in a calendar, making todo lists, etc. 10/10, would recommend.
Share your favorite presets if you don’t mind. I think it will be a great help for newbies. And give some prompts about using them.
I only use my own preset and you can download it on my homepage.
Final words of wisdom you would like to share?
Do not compare your work with the work of others. You are an individual and your pictures are just as individual. And as already mentioned, don’t stress yourself and just create.
Thanks a lot Sarah! I wish you the most juicy shots!