Shooting for the Stars
CEO India|February 2020
MANFRED BAUMANN SHARES HIS INSIGHTS INTO PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITURE

Manfred Baumann was born in Vienna in 1968. The Leica photographer has since presented his works worldwide in the form of exhibitions, books, and calendars. His photographs are displayed in museums as well as in international galleries. Over the past years, Baumann has taken his place among the most influential photographers of our time. He lives in Austria and L.A., and works worldwide, having already photographed such greats as Sandra Bullock, William Shatner, Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Tony Curtis, Lionel Richie, John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Juliette Lewis, Angelina Jolie and Evander Holyfield, as well as many international top models.

Here Manfred gets candid with his personal take on portrait photography…

How did you first get into photography?

I received my first photo camera from my grandfather when I was 10 years old.

Having grown up in Vienna, when did you make the move to Los Angeles? How does working in these two very different cities compare?

I live and work in Vienna with my wife and muse Nelly Baumann, although our sojourns to my second home, Los Angeles, have become increasingly frequent and of longer duration. Vienna is my retreat, whereas Los Angeles is my land of adventure and work. My clientele, however, come from all over the world.

Which photographers and artists have served as inspiration for your work?

Too many to mention all of them here, but some recurring sources of inspiration for me are: Yousuf Karsh, Richard Avedon, Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

You shoot in both black and white and color but which of these mediums do you prefer for studio portraiture? What do you see as the biggest differences between them? How does your process differ?

I love to take pictures at different locations and always bring a studio setting with me so that I have several options. Studios in themselves are boring. On location I can incorporate the surroundings, such as hotel suites, castles, houses, villas but also garages, attics, warehouses or simply the outdoors. A black or white background I can then hang anywhere.

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