Interview with photographer Dino Mari

“Develop your skills, your style without being influenced too much by today’s visual pollution. Don’t follow trends because everyone does.”

2015 #11 November VOL II D Mari w1Dino, can you tell us about yourself and your photographic background? Germany / Dortmund based. I’ve been in the advertising industry for almost 30 years now – which is way too long. Makes you sarcastic sometimes, most of the times cynical, but luckily noone seems to mind.

What do you enjoy most photographing? I enjoy shooting people. And especially with free work I enjoy the moment prior to the shoot. Everything is set, the MUA is just making the final touches, and everything is going to happen exactly as planned. Well sort of. Most of the times it doesn’t, but this is the fun part of it – plus the sudden inspirations and fresh ideas that are so much better than your boring original plan.

Where do you find the majority of your inspiration? I do find them “in” the models themselves. Usually we have a test shot, which then results in something planned (see above) which I believe would fit into the world in my brain but also into the models’.

What motivates you to do what you do? The chance of capturing one precious moment is what motivates me the most. I would describe myself as a commercial photographer in terms of style; I do usually refrain from what I call a “sensual” style. Getting a commercial looking shot with true emotions is what I chase; and is where I fail the most. Which then again motivates me.

In your opinion, what makes photography an art? Do you think that society would be different if photography was never invented? Photography per se is not art. It is a service, an assignment, fun, it could be propaganda, it is anything really. Which by chance, miracle or time may become a true piece of Art. Think of the work of Karsh, Capa or even the iconic shot of Che by Alberto Korda – all assigned work that turned into art. None of them went out to shoot art, but to document precious moments.

2015 #11 November VOL II D Mari w4

In your opinion, what is the most important skill set for a photographer to have? Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture? You have to love what you shoot. Means: You have to have the ability to love, to be genuinely emphatic towards your subject even when on an assignment on a rainy November day, with cold feet, wet hands and someone (or something) in front of your camera that is trying its very best to be not photogenic. If you are able to cope with that, at any time, any non-glamorous location and on an every day basis you will be good in what you do. Sounds somewhat shallow, sure. But in my opinion it’s the only universal rule that applies for photography.

What are the biggest challenges do you experience in photography field? Develop your skills, your style without being influenced too much by today’s visual pollution. Don’t follow trends because everyone does. Shooting reds gives a good example, as – at some point – freckles were turned into a skin disease by massively pushing them in post. I love freckles, I love reds, but I do my best to stay away from all too obvious trends.

2015 #11 November VOL II D Mari w3

What is your mental checklist before a shoot? Don’t forget anything. And don’t let me mess things up.

Tell us a secret, what does it take to get that one killer shot of the day? To connect with your subject through the lens.

What was your most memorable/favorite project your work on so far? What’s the shoot you are most proud of? I always tend to see my most recent production as the most memorable and favorite one. This way I try to avoid being overly repetitive, even if this is the best thing to do to become most “liked” in today’s social media. To me this is boring, so I therefore try to do the next shoot in a different way, approach things from a different angle and find something that fits to given requirements and the model in an – ideally – unique way. Furthermore, with age it seems that the last shot you do remember the best 😉

2015 #11 November VOL II D Mari w5

What does beauty mean to you? Something precious, tender, sweet – and vulgar in the very next moment.

To your opinion, what role image editing programs play in today’s photography? What are advantages and disadvantages of using it? Saves you time, money and health otherwise spent in smelly darkrooms. It will be interesting to see what CGI will do to the industry over the coming years – a perfectly shaped and retouched image rendered from an ID-photo? Just name the hair color you prefer. Therefore I do like to shoot with film from time to time.

What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started photography all over again? To my younger self? Do exactly what you did. Just more of that. To others? There are some crafts and skills that do complement photography as an art. The dials and figures on your glasses, your camera, flashes – they do all have a meaning that do relate to each other as well as to the final result. These are not just numbers that generate an vague reproduction which then then needs to be made in post.

2015 #11 November VOL II D Mari w2

Where can viewers see more of your works and get connected with you?

Tell us one thing about yourself people might find surprising. I don’t take myself too seriously. But I do take my subjects very serious.

What is your life motto? Other than “Seize the day” I have none.

2015 #11 VOL II D Mari WEB2

Published November 2015 VOL II: BUY NOW