Werner Philipps: Inspiration in Natural Light Portraiture

All images by Werner Philipps. Used with permission.

You wouldn’t think that despite the way that photographer Werner Philipps got his start in photography, he’d be shooting and creating incredible portraits. “A few years back I was planing an online shop as a secondary income.” says Werner. He purchased Canon EOS 20D; and the idea of the shop failed. Seeing that this happened, he didn’t want the purchase to go to waste. Afterall, it was an investment. “So one day I went on a day trip to Groningen (Netherlands) with a couple of friends and I took the camera and started taking pictures. Thats how it all started.”

Like many other photographers getting their start, Werner began by shooting everything out there. “From the flowers of the balcony to random street photography. At first I was really intimidated taking pictures of people but at the same time it was an opportunity to develop myself through photography.” With time though, Werner gathered himself and faced his fears. Soon, he began shooting portraits and getting out of his comfort zone.

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For Werner, it became a type of therapy and evolved into a full passion. As his work progressed, he started learning and mastering the complexity of natural light. “…I just love it.” he tells us. “Natural light has a very special and dense atmosphere.”

Phoblographer: What gear do you use?

Werner: I use a Canon 5D MK III. For lifestyle photography the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is my go to lense. Sometimes I use it for portraiture too.

My other lenses are the Canon 50mm f1.8, the nifty fifty is my special sense for those lenseflare shots, the Canon 85mm f/1.8, classic portrait lense. The Canon 135mm f2.0 is my bokeh king. I mostly use it for paid shoots. The clients love the dreamy look.

Phoblographer: What do you feel makes your work unique from every other photographer?

Werner: I love to try out new things. While a lot of photographers find their style and stick to it, I get fed up pretty quick and need to push myself. For example: I designed and build a special lamp set up to be in the scene just to have something unique. I need the diversity, this week I’ll stick to sensual bourdoir photography with natural light, next week I’ll shoot flash with colored gels.

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