Our photographers come from all sorts of backgrounds. Markus Spiske made a bit switch to pursue a more creative career. It goes to show that it’s never too late to follow your passion. Here are some things Markus has learnt, including his stance on the future of advertising and what it will entail in the coming years.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience as a photographer.
My name is Markus and formerly I worked as industrial clerk. In the year 2001 I made a career change and pursued education in media design (print & web).
Since 2003 I have been taking pictures; I’m a self-taught photographer. Interestingly, before working as a media designer/photographer I never acted on my creativity.
What is your creative process like?
Go out, relax and open your mind and above all, open your eyes.
Who or what inspires you and where do you get your ideas for photoshoots?
Everything around me. I observe people, nature and things and then I shoot a picture.
What is vital for a successful stock photograph?
Good question. I only illustrate my everyday surroundings, no more and no less. You won’t see images for glossy magazines, models, or anything grandiose. There is no perfect exposure and posing in the real life. Everything else is a deliberate deception.
Could you take us from start to finish of producing one of your top photographs?
I see an interesting motive, make some different shots (different prospects etc.), and I’m done. For me, most importantly is the image section process, not the exposure or sharpness in a photograph.
How does social media influence your work and your career?
Not at all, because I use it indirectly. I work with a fake account for some of my customer and for my three Creative Commons pages.
In your opinion, what are some important topics and themes that perhaps aren’t represented well in stock photography and need to be developed further?
The way I see it, it’s very clear: authentic photography, real life imagery and just not too glossy. It has been done time and time again by some companies in some advertising videos or print ads.
What is your favourite photograph that you have taken and why?
I like to see my natural environment from a bird’s eye view with the balloon. I’ve done this many times now.
Most interesting was taking the hot air balloon in the alps. We were gliding at 5500 meters over the mountains, away from Stubaier Alps over to South Tyrol near to Adriatic Sea. Here are some of the photographs.
How should one go about creating more original content for stock photography?
I think (and see) that this is the next level of advertising.
And how do you achieve this? Leave out things like perfect lighting, posing and manual arrangement.
From your experience, what helps a stock photograph sell well?
If you want to sell mass, look the images from the bestseller.
Your #1 photography tip or words of wisdom:
Be authentic, be careful, be suppliant.