Photographic Team Rene & Radka’s Work in Children’s Fashion Editorials and Beyond
Creative Mapping met up with award-winning photography duo Rene and Radka. In Part I of our interview series, we spoke with Radka and found out what it’s like to devote your entire creative career to collaborating with another photographer. In Part II of our series, we find out more about Rene and Radka’s collaboration, their work in film, and and photographing children’s fashion editorials. René hails from Cologne, Germany and Radka from Prague, Czech Republic, and together are known for not just their stylistically unique fashion editorial, but also for their outstanding international exhibitions such as “Moonage Daydream” (2006), “Comme Play with Us” (2007) and “Under Water” (2009, which have been celebrated in such magazines as Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, French Photo, Art Actuel, Connaissance des Arts, Palace, Exporama, Zoom, and Beaux Arts Magazine. The team is highly regarded within artistic circles, with an Arte TV Channel documentary, “L’Art et la Manière” to their name.
"Nowadays with digital photography and technology, photographers take a camera and just shoot - and if it’s not right they fix a lot of things in photoshop. It’s really nice to see somebody manage to work the lighting and stuff like that because (these days) not many people know how to do these things." Rene and Radka
In this second half of the series, we find out more about their projects, work in film, and gain insight into what it takes to succeed in photography from the point of view of one of the industry’s most respected creatives.
CM: How would you describe your photographic style?
RADKA: That’s difficult (laughs)... it’s changing and it’s growing. There’s evolution, I hope, in our work; if you looked at (our work) five years ago, it would be different to our work today. Also we have a few different platforms with which we’re working – there’s fashion photography but we also have our art photography if I can call it that. We also work with kids so that’s three different fields we’re working in.
CM: What makes a good photographer?
A photographer has his (or her) own vision of things he’s taking a picture of and knows a little bit about the (technical) work; the lights, the technics etc... because today, with digital photography and technology, photographers take a camera and just shoot - and if it’s not right they fix a lot of things in Photoshop. It’s really nice to see somebody manage to work the lighting and stuff like that because (these days) not many people know how to do these things.
CM: How did you start photographing fashion for children?
Again it’s coming from the movies – we just thought it would be fun to bring children to the advertising world and let them play in it – let them play adults, not become adults. So even if they had wigs and had sophisticated hair and are in sophisticated environments, we still wanted them to stay children.... and you know, girls at five or six years old, they love to play adults, they love to copy their mum, so it was fun.
CM: What inspired you to move towards moving images?
We did exhibitions in Paris and New York and Florence.... around the world - with the installation of the flying dragons. We started to do film, it’s quite new actually – we didn’t do it before. They were so big and it’s really impressive how they move. When we were taking pictures of them we filmed them as well as we thought it would be interesting to show their movements. We did three huge screens from our last show of two by four metres or something – not lifesize but really huge.
CM: Are you always fully satisfied with the final results of a project or do you wish at times you could revisit it?
You’re never really satisfied 100%, you always think it could be better or you could go further, something like that. There are projects where you’re more or less satisfied and those you’d like to reshoot again.
CM: What would your dream collaboration be?
It’s funny, it doesn’t have much to do with our work but there’d be two different answers from René and I because he’s very much into music and would give you a list of names he’d like to make music videos for. But we’d like to collaborate with some great galleries around the world, in the United States and Europe; I’d like our exhibitions to travel more and more and become bigger and bigger. As we are thinking of living in California it would be interesting to get into the movie world to collaborate on movie projects. You know, a dream collaboration would just be to do the promo pics just for Mad Men (laughs).
CM: What tips would you give to a young photographer starting out?
Go and assist with known people – people you like. Don’t calculate what is good for you to do, but follow your intuition and what you like and work for someone for a long time because this is how you learn and see everything you need to see – and I’d really suggest this to everyone, to assist a known photographer.
Creative Mapping © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Photography © Copyright: Rene and Radka - Kenzo