All images and text by Dominique Seefeldt. Used with permission.
My name is Dominique Seefeldt, and I’m a 28-year-old photographer from Duesseldorf, Germany and I almost exclusively do people-photography. I’ve been shooting for almost ten years now and long time only lived it as a hobby going through various stages and genres, from still-life over automotive until I found my passion in people-photography. I switched from Canon to Fuji a while ago and now exclusively shoot with my Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I use 23/35/56mm lenses, with my current favorite being the Mitakon 35mm 0.95 II. For outdoor shots I almost always use available light only. Just indoor some flashes may make an appearance!
Why did you get into photography?
For me, it mainly started as a hobby and a release from working life back when I worked an office job. It quickly became so much more than that though and developed into a real passion.
What photographers are your biggest influences?
Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton. While I adore their works and styles I always try to only pick up minor nuances and develop my own style!
How long have you been shooting?
The coming winter will mark my ten year anniversary!
Why is photography and shooting so important to you?
It developed into a real passion when I saw people’s reactions to my works. I realized not only is the process of creation in the image already fascinating, but you’re also creating reactions and emotions in the people who take a look at your work. Plus, being in the field made me get to know a lot of amazing people, which is an enormous enrichment as well!
Do you feel you’re more of a creator or a documenter? Why?
I often ask myself this question and I never really come to a decisive conclusion. Especially in staged people photography, you can’t just observe, so I tend to go for a mixture of creating a start and observing what comes out of it!
What’s typically going through your mind when you create images? Tell us about your processes both mentally and mechanically?
My main point when shooting is to establish a connection to the person in front of my lens. Operating the camera becomes almost a background task while I work towards creating a flow of emotions. I aim to capture raw styles and expressions. Talking pure settings, I create even but contrasty exposures which I spice up in post-processing.
Want to walk us through your processing techniques?
I try to keep my processing simple! Depending of the vibe of the image I may either go for a constrasty, moody black and white conversion or, especially with sunset shots, I strengthen colors and create a hazy summer mood. I barely do skin retouching except for small touch-ups with dodge and burn. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, no reason to change things in Photoshop.
Tell us about the project that you’re pitching, or your portfolio.
I like people to form their own opinions, so have a look! I think it could remotely be told with a quote from Californication’s Hank Moody: “Thank you, um but it’s really it’s more like pissing out of my ass than anything else you know. It’s just uh, things bother me uh, and I vent, I write it down.”
What made you want to get into your genre?
Seeing the all-time greats and realizing how much passion they have for what they do, plus the desire to create an actual life’s work!
Tell us a bit about the gear you use and how you feel it helps you achieve your creative vision.
I use a Fuji X-Pro 2 with various fixed lenses, at the moment the Mitakon 35 0.95 is a big favorite! If you nail your focus it gives you incredible renderings. After all, though the camera is just the tool, it’s a tool I grew very fond of!