Shirley, in my view, is an exception. I always ask myself who that person is, what makes her different and capable of winning two Olympic Gold medals in a row?
I know there are plenty of athletes who have more than two gold medals, but in my view sailing is unique as the complexity of this sport is superior than in many other Olympic disciplines.
The world today is superficial. I see the tendency of running after the quick win, the low hanging fruits. Competing and winning two Olympic Gold medals requires the complete opposite, long term commitment, dedication, the energy to get up again and again after a defeat, isn’t that incredibly inspiring?
Will I be able to see and experience this during the shooting with here?
The portrait project with Shirley was not a short one. We have been talking about it since months; soon we realized we need many different photos, we need a series of images, each of them for a different purpose. It clearly would take a day to get this done.
It would be an intense day, and at the same time, I felt the weight on my shoulders: responsibility and a privilege. I cannot only spend a day working with her, ultimately what I see through my lens is what the people, who do not have the chance to meet here in person, will see of her.
We all know the expression: A picture says more than a 1’000 words…So let’s get this x-thousand words right.
At the end of the project, we selected 20 different photos, each showing Shirley with here many facets, each with a different message.
It turned out to be an intense day, a potpourri of colors, ideas, a combination of clothes, expressions, lights, coffee breaks and much more. It’s tough to stay focused for so long in front of the camera, but she did it, and how she did, was terrific.
Not only is she a good sailor, but no wonder why she works at CNN, BBC and much more. One set after the other, she always came back on the set with outstanding positive energy, motivation, and commitment.
Even more, we could guide each other, she trusted me, and then we executed those ideas one by one, until the end of a long and intense day.
Is that one of the secrets and reasons why she can win two gold medals in a row? Did I had the chance to experience what makes the difference of losing or winning? Probably yes!
I have not experienced this with many people such a persistent focus and commitment over a long time in front of the camera.
Thank you, Shirley, it was more than a moment, it was a precious time with you and your partner Tim.
A few days after the shooting I got an email from Shirley:
“I know I have said it ten times already – but I’m chuffed with the images, they show oodles of personality.”
Portrait session with a leader
I took a deep breath after hanging up the phone receiving confirmation to photograph Kristine Braden for the next Sphere Financial Magazine cover. I had the feeling this portrait session is going to be special, very special.
This is neither the first time I’m photographing personalities in the financial industry nor the first time taking a portrait of a woman. This time, it will be the first time I will be photographing a women e leader in the finance industry: Kristine Braden, CEO of Citibank Switzerland, she is also the first and only board female member of the over 100-year-old Swiss Bankers Association.
Doing online research and getting to know the person is the first step in the preparation process. For every Sphere magazine cover, we feature a CEO of a Swiss bank on a an Eero Aarnio Ball Chair, and I always challenge myself to find a way to combine this chair with the personality of the subject and the brand that he/she is representing to make the cover portrait a “Wow”. Working on color scheme is never easy – finding the color scheme that fits with the personality of the subject and the brand behind. American contemporary graphic designer Paula Scher created the current Citibank logo after the Citicorp-Travellers Group merger, blue is the key color but the red coming from the umbrella of Travellers is also important.
In the mean time I contacted Citibank Switzerland PR head Yvonne Chan to schedule the time slot and to share the idea. We had a great conversation and even discovered our common love and passion for China. Taking a portrait is teamwork, and the moment when Kristine Braden and Yvonne Chan walked into my studio I felt all the essential elements were present. Reciprocal respect, openness, commitment. I knew I’ve got two very good team-players to make it happen. This is not always the case, taking a good portrait is such a fine balance on letting it go, influencing, guiding or interfering.
It was a one-hour portrait session (but think about how much it means to have one hour from such a person). I would like to sit on a couch and talk with her about the world, the unusual political situation, impact and consequences of digitization, or even block-chain because this is an interesting moment we are living in. The reality is we discovered we are both sailing enthusiasts, but soon afterwards we had to start shooting – time is always short. One hour seems long, but it was just right for what we had to do.
The latest Sphere Magazine was published a few days ago and I simply love these photos of Kristine Braden, a smart and attractive business woman.
I had the pleasure to photograph portraits of several personalities in the past years, every single time was an unique moment. I feel so privileged to have these opportunities to work with such great people.
After the shooting, Kristine sent me a message, “It was a blast shooting with you.” And yes, this message made my day even better.
Thank you Kristine, and thank you Yvonne. Thank you for making and being part of this magic moment.
Portraits Aufnahmen sind jedesmal eine Entdeckungsreise, speziell wenn man dafür noch in den Flieger steigt und einige Stunden richtig Zeit hat und sich Gedanken über die Person zu machen.
Xie Shiyong ist eine junge Aufstrebende Managerin im Chinesischen “Sillikon Valley” Shenzhen. Was ist das für eine junge Frau die selbstbewusst ein Fotograf aus Europa bucht um Bilder von Ihr zu machen dachte ich mir?
Nach einigen Stunden im Flieger, Zollkontrolle und einer kurzen Nacht ging es am anderen Tag in ein Fotostudio in Shenzhen. Traf sie wie meistens üblich in dieser 13 Mio. Grossstadt in einem nahe gelegenen Shoppingcenter. In Shenzhen Downtown gibt ja fast nur noch Büros, Wohnungen bzw. Wolkenkratzer und eben Shoppingcenters.
In den letzten drei Jahren habe ich gelernt, dass Chinesische Frauen sehr sensible sind wenn es um ihre Portraits Aufnahmen geht. Das Wort Nein existiert nicht, höchstens ein zurückhaltendes “maybe” was meistens genau “Nein” bedeutet und trotzdem verhandelt diese Junge Dame grosse Verträge für ein bekanntes Amerikanisches Internetunternehmen in China.
Der Nachmittag mit Xie im Studio werde ich nicht so schnell vergessen, am Anfang war sie recht zurückhaltend. Nach ein paar Aufnahmen stand sie im Profil vor der Kamera und als sie den Kopf noch hinten senkte wusste ich, dass dieses Shooting ein Erfolg wird.
Vor ein paar Tagen bekam ich via WeChat ein schönes Feedback.
“Before this shooting, I felt nervous and not that confident, but after I saw your photos, I really feel like I’m a strong woman through your camera”
COMMERCIAL FOTOGRAF PORTRAITFOTOGRAF CORPORATE BUSINESS PHOTOGRAPHER THUN BERN ZÜRICH WINTERTHUR LUZERN SCHWEIZ
International ausgezeichneter Fotograf, arbeitet in den Bereichen Commercial, Portrait, Business, Corporate, Firmen, Event, Jürg Kaufmann.
Portraitfotograf, Corporatefotograf in Zürich, Bern, Winterthur, Luzern, Basel, Interlaken, Thun, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Zug, Schweiz Photograper Switzerland
BUSINESSFOTOGRAF, CORPORATE, FIRMENFOTOGRAF, PORTRAITFOTOGRAF, CLELBRITY, BEWERBUNGSBILDER, EVENT FOTOGRAF, PHOTOGRAPHER
International honored corporate and portrait photographer
business, event based in Switzerland
The reason for this day trip to Paris was Bruno Troublé the mastermind of the Louis Vuitton Cup, a very charismatic personality in the international sailing world.
He did spend part of his life organizing sailing events, negotiating contracts, and sailing on many different boats.
Some years ago when I landed the first time in Auckland I saw the advertisement from Louis Vuitton
“To sail in the Americas’ Cup you first have to win the Louis Vuitton Cup” a clear and strong message.
I still remember the days as a young Laser sailor training on the lake Lugano spending every few years the nights in front of the TV watching the Louis Vuitton Cup, followed then by the America’s Cup.
At that time it seemed a world so far away.
Read the Wave article about Bruno Troublé