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Frank Lothar Lange: Master Portrait Photographer

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

In today’s Lucid Thoughts post I am going to introduce the amazing German portrait photographer, Frank Lothar Lange. Also, today’s post is livicated to my father, Leslie Alan Schere on his birthday, who has always supported my photographic journey.

Frank Lothar Lange is another incredible photographic soul that I met back in the wild cyber west days of Myspace.  We took an instant liking to each other, and each others photographic expressions.  Frank was probably the first professional photographer I had come into contact with.  Frank was able to see into my images and feel my expression.  For that respect, Frank will always have a special place in my heart.

He has come to take on the role of my spiritual photographic big brother.  When I mentioned this to Frank, he responded with an animated laugh.  But it is completely true.  I have come to him for advice, as much as to admire his beautiful portraits.

Frank has an gifted ability to interact with his subjects through his lens.  He is able to show a facet of the sitter in a new way, and cause the viewer of the photograph to connect with them on a lucid level.  It doesn’t matter whether he is photographing a super star like Yoko Ono, our his über-ultra-superstar, Karlchen, his tomcat.  All of his images let the viewer into the world of who he is photographing.

I personally go through phases when I want to engage in photographing humans, and there are times that I become more interested in the traces, and clues that human beings leave behind.  When ever I gaze into one of Frank’s portraits, they always give me the encouragement to go out and communicate and engage in interaction with people through my camera.

We are living in an image driven world.  In this global society we are constantly bombarded with mediocrity.  Frank consistently creates images that provoke emotional responses from the viewer.

Frank first interacts by digging into his soul to be able to reach into his subject.  Next, he extracts something that we have never seen before.  After editing he then selects the images that are shown to the world.  The viewer then is drawn into Frank’s view of the subject by provoking an emotional response.  This is the key to a successful portrait.  Does the portrait show us something of the soul of who the image has been created?

Frank’s images have the ability to communicate with us, his viewers.  The images communicate soul slices of the subjects that he photographs.  One click of shutter.  One pop of the flash, and bundles of emotion allow us to enter into human being’s sphere.

I was fortunate to engage Frank in some Lucid Communication on the topic of himself and photography, to find out more about his masterful expression using photography.

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Frank, please introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community.

My name is Frank Lothar Lange, I have been working as a people and celebrity photographer for 28 years. For my work, I have travelled all around the world and have met many fascinating personalities. I live with my family in Essen, Germany.

When did you start taking photographs?

I have always loved to take photos, even as a kid. I started to look into photography professionally at the age of 15, when I got my first darkroom and developed my first prints by hand.

What was your first camera?  Do you still have, and or use it?

I still own all my cameras, I would never sell any of them. For my first sacrament, I was given a Kodak Instamatic 50 by my aunt.  I was eight years old then. Later my father allowed me to use his Kodak Retina Reflex. At 15 I fulfilled my dream of a Canon AE-1.

(author’s note: I am now convinced that Frank is my spiritual photographic big brother.  I too was given a 126  film cartridge camera as a birthday present.  In my case it was a Magimatic X50, a cheap plastic knockoff of the Kodak Instamatic 50.  Although we are separated by some years in our ages and by many thousands of kilometers, we have a bond.)

Why are you attracted to photography?

I just loved to look at magazine covers from all over the world. I used to collect them and hang them up the walls of my room as a kid. I always wanted to create something like that myself.

You have some amazing portrait photography. You have photographed Lady Gaga, Phil Collins, will.i.am, Karl Lagerfeld and many more, How do you approach a new portrait? Especially when photographing a celebrity?

Before shooting I look at every picture of that person that I can possibly find. In the end I try to do something entirely different from everyone else before me.

What has been you most memorable photo shoot?  Why?

That would have to be one with Usher in Cologne. I still sell those pictures, although they are more than ten years old. He is such a fascinating artist with great body language and a big love for the camera.

(author’s note: The Usher photograph is amazingly tender and soft.  You can see it on Frank’s website in his works section.)

What is key to capturing a person’s persona, personality, and soul in a portrait?

Deliberate provocation!  Seriously!

What should someone feel when they look at your photographs?

Suspense, curiosity, and polarization.

What would you like to accomplish with your photography?

It would be cool to know, that somewhere on this earth in one hundred years, there will be a photo that I have taken up on someone’s wall.

Collaboration, and communication between photographers is important to you, Why is that?

To me this only applies to business maters, I never speak to any other photographer concerning artistic matters.

Why is the One Day One Photo Facebook group useful for communication between those that love photography?

This group does not cohere to my work directly, it is an independent web project. You do not even have to be a photographer yourself to join. It consists mainly of daily expression photographs taken by members that they post in the group. This mosaic forms a work of art in its own right.

How has digital photography, and the Internet changed the photography world?

The amount of bad pictures has tremendously increased. Unfortunately good pictures are worth much less nowadays.

Many young people have become interested in photography since it has become digital. What makes a good photographer?

A good photographer sees the invisible. I advise young photographers to go to a lot of galleries and museums to learn this. Photography is Greek for “Painting with light.”

(author’s note: I can’t agree with Frank more.  A photographer must be able to see the world that others are not able to see.  It is though this site that the viewer who gazes into the photograph is able to visualize the photographers eye.)

For me, editing, is one the hardest parts of being a photographer. Can you tell me a little bit about your editing philosophy?  You once told me that you put your work up on a wall for weeks, and if you got bored of an image, it was then discarded for an exhibition.  Could you tell us a little bit more?

Usually I work for magazines and I don’t have so much time so, it’s quick and dirty.  You can be sure  that 90% of the time they they choose a picture to print that I don’t like so much.

That has happened to me too.  What if you were getting photographs ready for an exhibition?

Then, it’s a long process for weeks.  No joke,I need weeks to find the works for the show.  Some pictures are the same as food, after some weeks they lost their spirit.  They are like spiritual food that must nourish the artist.

What is your internet presence? (website, Facebook, etc?)

www.franklotharlange.de

Franks Lothar Lange’s Facebook

Thank you so much Frank for taking the time to talk with the Lucid Communication family.  May you keep on producing the beautiful and expressive works.  Frank curated a selection of his portraits to share with Lucid Communication.  I strongly encourage you to drop by his website, and Facebook page to see more of his images.

will.i.am

Phil Collins

Rihanna

Plassmann

Lady Gaga

50 Cent

Karl Lagerfeld

Bill Tokio

Karlchen

All images in this blog posting are courtesy of Frank Lothar Lange, and are Copyrighted Frank Lothar Lange, All rights reserved.

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere