Self proclaimed conceptual photographer, Rebecca Handler used both our Daguerrotype Achromat and Petzval 58 Bokeh Lens to create some stunning images in studio. We got to discuss with her, her photographic process and influences.
Hi Rebecca, welcome to the magazine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a NYC conceptual and underwater photographer. I also produce and direct. I have been shooting for over 15 years and have been published worldwide and have won quite a few awards. I work primarily in advertising and fine art.
Your work is extremely entertaining, bringing forth comedic themes and humor, what is it about comedy that you like to capture in your photos?
My work is a mirror of my personality. I am goofy, kitsch and hold nostalgia close to my heart. I like to put a smile on someones face and think outside the box about everyday scenarios and how to reinterpret them in a humorous way.
You define yourself as a "conceptual" photographer, do you see yourself as trying to build more of a narrative concept when you photograph or think about just a subject or concept you're trying to achieve?
I do try to build a narrative when I photograph to communicate a story to the viewer. Though, I prefer to leave my stories open ended to give the viewer room for their imaginations to explore.
Who or what are your influences, I can see a little bit of Wes Anderson, almost a bit of "Napoleon Dynamite" in some of your photos.
I do like Wes Anderson, thank you for that. I also love John Waters. I find inspiration in advertising, art, cinema, color, nature, etc.
What do you think draws you to these concepts, how do you come up with them, what's your process?
Haha, my process is to “go with it”. When I have an idea, I find it best not to question myself too much. Whether the inspiration is from a random thing someone said or from a movie or poster I just saw. My next steps in my process is to do creative research, find imagery online and create a shoot brief to connect the dots for my concept and make sure the ideas are cohesive and will be successful in creating strong imagery.
You worked with both our Neptune Convertible Art Lens System and our Petzval Art Lens, what were your experiences with both?
I loved both the Neptune and Petzval Art lenses. The lenses are sharp and have beautiful color rendering. With the manual controls, it forces you to slow down and focus on the images, focus and depth of field, which is something we are not as patient with in the digital age. This pushed me to be more cultivated in my crop and composition.
How did working with more of a fixed lens affect how you set up your composition?
A fixed lens caused me to slow down and spend more time on my set up and composition. It reminded me of the days I shot medium format film. I enjoyed the nostalgia it created.
What camera body(s) did you work with for these photos?
Canon 5d Mark IV and Mark II.
If you had to pick a photo era to travel back in time to, what would it be and why?
The 60’s would be my favorite era to go back to. I find a lot of inspiration from art and culture from that era. This is when photography was emerging as a more expressive art form where boundaries were being pushed conceptually and through multimedia applications.
Photographer: Rebecca Handler
Make Up: Claudia Oyanedel IG
Hair Stylist: Akira Yamane
Wardrobe/Props: Amy Auslander
written by sarahlindsayk on 2018-07-05