LORENZ HOLDER Q+A
Industry Creative Profile: Lorenz Holder
Lorenz Holder is a household name in sports photography, and one of the most sought after snowboard photographers.
He creates images that are visually stunning, unexpected in many ways, highly creative but never cheesy, and all pictures tell a story.
We caught up with Lorenz “Lollo” Holder to talk with him about current snowboard photography, how it is like to work with the best riders, travel constantly and despite a hectic season churn out stunner after stunner.
Q: Are you already booked for the next season? How do you keep up with the pressure of intense working hours and constant traveling during the season?
A: I’m father of two 4 year old sons, so I moved a little bit from traveling the world to shooting more and more product pictures for Nitro. When I’m out in the snow or shooting action, I do now more the conceptual stuff. I have an idea, what could be a great picture and than prepare everything back home. Shooting than, is more like putting the puzzle together. This is a very productive and time efficient way of shooting. Nitro is my main client, so we will for sure do a lot of great stuff next season.
Q: How do you select projects?
A: That’s an interesting question – if I have an idea for some new stuff, I basically never write anything down. It just gets stuck in my head for weeks and months and it develops just in my mind. I found out that this is quite a good way to work on projects, because I have everything with me all the time. When I’m waiting for the bus, I can work on that project. If I forget a project, than it was probably not worth shooting it.
Q: When did you start your photography career?
A: I started to take photos around the year 2000 and became a professional around the years 2004/2005
Q: Where did you study photography?
A: I never studied photography, I really learned everything by myself. I read some books at the beginning and than just used the internet for all my questions, where I couldn’t find the answer by myself. Shooting a lot and analyzing your shots is also a key to improve your results.
Q: What is your favorite camera and accessories and why?
A: It’s the Canon 5Dmkiii with the 70-200mm 2.8 lense. It’s just an incredible strong pairing, when it comes to action shot. I like to be a little bit further away from the action and than zoom in. It gives the pictures the feeling that I like.
Q: Who are your photographer heroes?
A: Peter Lundström, Ansel Adams
Q: What is the most memorable take away of working with professional snowboarders – is there anything specific you learned that you apply to your every day work?
A: Professional snowboarders are not just called professionals, because they are riding really good, they also know when they have to be on-point. Some are slow and always late, but when it’s shooting time, they are there and deliver. That’s a big thing in every business, when it’s chrunchtime your performance has to be on top – it doesn’t matter if you are the rider or the photographer.
Q: Advertising has changed tremendously in the last years, not to speak of differences ten years ago. What are the changes that affect your work the most?
A: I never try to follow a certain mainstream, I’m always trying to create the best possible picture with a fresh look, maybe something no one has done before me. I try to supply Nitro with the best shots, that I can make, but they also have great people who do the Ad’s and sometimes they don’t even need an action shot for the Ad. So I try to work very close with those guys, to support them with the pictures they need for the Ads.
Q: Do you consider social media communication channels already before you get to work? If yes, what are the changes in your approach?
A: To be honest, I don’t give to much about social media. I know it’s a strong part in our daily life and it’s important for the companies. But personal - I don’t think that 100 new followers on instagram will help me to get a new assignment. I try to let my work speak for me and not the amount of followers.
Q: What is the most important message you want to convey in your work to create snowboard designs for Nitro?
A: The main message is that the boards should be beautiful. I want people to be stoked on the graphics. For the last design I did for Nitro, all pictures where not just taken from my archive – I went out to shoot only for the boarddesign and I think it payed off at the end.
Q: What is your all time favorite snowboarding photo taken by someone else?
A: I think that’s the backside air of Ingemar Backman in Riksgränsen from 1996 shot by Calle Erikson.
Q: What would you tell an aspiring snowboard photographer, a piece of advice you wish you’d had when you started out?
LH: Be patient and try to develop your own style. The main goal of every photographer should be that people can tell who shot the picture without seeing the name of the photographer. Ah and get a puffy jacket
A: What is the single most important piece of gear – aside the camera – you need on the mountain?
LH: Probably the snowboard. Without that you won’t get to the locations.
Q: Which camera would you like to own if money wasn’t an issue?
A: That’s a tough question. Ether a digital Hasselbald or a digital large format camera.
Signifcant awards Lorenz Holder owns include:
- Sony World Photography Awards 2009 (winner – amateur sports cat.)
- Red Bull Illume 2010 (top 5 – new creativity cat.)
- Red Bull Illume 2013 (overall winner – two times cat. winner playground & experimental)
- Red Bull Illume 2016 (overall winner)
Lorenz Holder’s photos appeared worldwide in magazines and books.