Video: In Vogue: Fashion Photographer Max Papendieck | MAKERS WHO INSPIRE

A portrait is probably what I love the most; whether it’s fashion or just bare skin, I love just getting an emotion out of it.

Therefore, if I can translate that to clothes, and if you might look at many of my recent pitches, you know, what I’m trying to do is have a lot of life in it and see the person behind it.

You know, rather than oppose something, I love to bring out the person.

Moreover, if that can tie in with a fashion brand, or beauty brand or a fashion magazine, that’s what I love to do.

My name & Origin

My name is Max Papendieck. I’m originally from Australia, but I am a New York-based fashion and beauty
photographer.

The first big client that I ever worked for was Maybelline.

And they helped jumpstart my career; I got to work with girls like Adriana Lima, Jordan Dunn, Gigi Hadid.

And, you know, as a young photographer to work with such an established brand and big talent, I was very lucky.

Since then, I’ve been working with Australian Vogue, V magazine, W magazine. I like to know that the person I’m shooting
for is most comfortable, and then cater to their needs.

As far as they’re happy to be there, they’re having good, that’s the main I always seek for.

If we are shooting a fashion piece, or if it’s about the eyelashes, or if it’s about the lipstick, you have to focus on certain things, and you have to focus on certain details of the clothes.

Types of Photographers

There are different types of photographers, I think they’ll be very posing, you can’t move, and then they’ll move the light around that pose, and they have it.

But I’m more like, okay, will you want to jump on the couch Johnny Cash, you know, let’s have a bit of fun with it.

I love free movement and just having the time and getting those real moments.

I wouldn’t say I like it being too static and posed. No, sometimes yes, for the right shoot.

However, it’s come a long way to get to that point, which might bring a different facial expression on the girls, you know that we would remove them around and get them jumping and spinning and you know, shaking their hair out a lot and that sort of thing.

So it’s directing. Nevertheless, as I said, I work with many professionals today; they can do it better than I direct them most of the time.

What really Inspire me?

As far as things that inspire me, it’s, to be honest, it is mainly other photographers that you know, that planted a seed in my head and maybe a different direction.

Moreover, the City, New York, is very inspiring. You might just be walking down the street, and some light will be hitting a fire escape beautifully.

And like, gosh, it feels like a movie set. I have a collection of photos in my head that I haven’t taken.

What is the interesting thing?

The interesting thing is there’s no real right and wrong. It’s all its subjective-objective of what someone else thinks, which I struggle with.

I just struggle with it when what I do, oh, whether it’s good or bad depends on what others think.

So you can get down about it a lot. And you can be like, Man, this editor didn’t like these pictures, but I love them.

You know, I think they’re beautiful. So you just have to stick to your vision. You just have to have confidence, and it can be technically wrong.

The light hitting in the wrong way to be overexposed. You can do whatever you want to as long as you have confidence in it and you just have faith in yourself and what you’re creating.

Whether you’re an actor or you’re a photographer or a painter or whatever, if I’m just going to have their opinion, many people are going to hate it.

If you have faith in yourself and what you’re doing with confidence and patience, I think you know it can turn into something nice.

Spend time with it because nothing good happens quickly. That’s the one problem I run into.

I’ve only picked up a camera like four or five years ago, and I want to shoot everything.

Now, I want to shoot more Vogue things and these people and everything, and I’m like, wait, I’ve only really been shooting for two, three years now.

All right, well, don’t rush into it. Because when you rush into it, you make the wrong decisions.