DesignerMercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin 2012: Interview with Photographer Alex Pranger (english)Von Kim Ernst
Alex Pranger hat ihr Hobby zum Beruf gemacht: Die 32-Jährige arbeitet als Fotografin - und das sehr erfolgreich. Ihre unkonventionellen Fotografien stellte sie bereits in mehreren Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen zur Schau. Auch in der Modebranche kennt man Pranger. Sie war in der Septemberausgabe der Vogue mit der Strecke "Lofty Ambitions" vertreten und fotografierte die Frühjahr-/Sommer-Kampagne 2012 von Bottega Veneta mit Karolina Kurkova. Im Interview schildert sie ihre Eindrücke des Shootings mit Mercedes-Benz.
Frage: We‘re here to shoot the new Mercedes-Benz key visual, and this season‘s theme is 'Icons of Style'. How do you interpret this concept yourself?
Alex:To me, 'Icons of Style' just stands for timelessness and classic beauty — something that lives on in any time period.
Frage: Is it specifically related to fashion or the movie business? Can it be anywhere?
Alex: Anything that you see repeated over and over throughout history in similar ways, because it‘s just such a classically beautiful thing... because people like it.
Frage: Do you have a personal icon of style?
Alex: The theme for this shot was Wizard of Oz, and I constantly reference the Wizard of Oz and the red shoes and the Fellini characters in all of my shoots since I started. And Hitchcock, as well. All these things are icons of style.
Frage: You live in Los Angeles. Please tell us about how a car relates to your lifestyle in this city.
Alex: Well, I live in LA, as well as other places. Part-time in New York. Anyways, the car is really important to being in LA, because you spend a lot of time in your car. So, I guess people pay a lot more attention to cars in LA than they do in other parts of the world. In LA, a car is the same thing as like, when you think about what you‘re going to put on clothing-wise for the day. A car has to really represent what you feel about yourself, because that‘s the first impression people have about you.
Frage: What car do you drive?
Alex: I drive a Mercedes-Benz! (laughs) No, I am kidding...
Frage: Today, you‘re working with Lara Stone, who‘s one of the most popular models right now. How has it been working with her?
Alex: Honestly, she‘s... I don‘t want to say 'the best model I‘ve ever worked with', because I don‘t want to invalidate who I‘ve already worked with... but she‘s really impressive, and her abilities as an actress are really great. We‘re getting each shot done so fast, and I wouldn‘t be able to do that without her at all. She‘s gorgeous! I love her!
Frage: How is the atmosphere on set today?
Alex: Everyone‘s got a great attitude on set today, and Lara‘s doing an amazing job. She‘s not complaining at all. She‘s doing everything I‘m asking of her. It‘s really great. It‘s going really well, considering everything.
Frage: Your work is often obviously inspired by movies. What kind of role do you think a new Mercedes-Benz might have in a movie?
Alex: James Bond! (laughs) I don‘t know. It‘s definitely got that sophisticated timelessness — that sleek, sexy vibe to it. And fast. Yeah. I can imagine there being buttons for like flying powers and bullets! (laughs) I mean, my imagination could go wild with that car. It‘s pretty cool.
Frage: You‘re an artist who usually works independently of client briefs. What‘s it like to be working for a client like Mercedes-Benz?
Alex: To be honest, it‘s not been that different today, because everyone‘s been so cool. I mean, I had total freedom in the creative concept area. It seems like, as soon as the concept was approved — which happened very smoothly and quickly — everyone got on board, and now it‘s just been really fun collaborating with everyone in the various areas that they‘re good at.
Frage: You‘ve already worked with actresses. What‘s the difference between working with a model and working with an actress?
Alex: Yeah, I mean normally, to be honest, it‘s not my favourite thing working with models, because I‘m usually going for a very emotional character, and models are often used to focussing on the shape of their bodies being a certain way. It‘s more of an exterior beauty. Lara really impressed me, because she does work more like an actress would. She already has a stunning figure, so I guess she doesn‘t need to think about that at all. So, it‘s been a very emotional... She‘s just given me a lot of expressions today. It‘s good.
Frage: How did you become a photographer?
Alex: I became a photographer, because I liked taking pictures, and I liked knowing what other people thought of those pictures that I thought were good. So, I started showing them, and people started buying them. And then it was just one thing after another. It was a very organic process of wanting to get my work seen by people. And so I just kind of did everything possible to get it seen by as many people as possible.
Frage: What is the most interesting aspect of your role as a photographer, and what are the possibilities?
Alex: There are so many fun things about being a photographer, but I think the one that keeps me wanting to do it — regardless of crappy weather, jobs that don‘t go as planned, and all the terrible things that can kind of go wrong on shoots — is that I think it‘s just so beautiful and interesting that I can come up with an idea alone in my room and really imagine it exactly so, and then a week or a month or six months later I am looking at a picture that was only in my head before — that didn‘t exist in this world. And I can show it to people, and people can respond to it. That‘s really cool.
Frage: How does a picture come into your head? Do you dream of things that you then want to see realized?
Alex: No, it‘s just like, an image will pop into my mind, or I‘ll see something and then imagine something. I mean, the imagination is always working. It‘s just constantly going. Pictures are constantly floating around in my head.
Frage: You will be coming to Berlin to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in January. Have you ever been to Berlin?
Alex: No, I‘ve always wanted to go to Berlin. I saw this movie once by Wim Wenders, I think it was. And that‘s always how I picture Berlin to be, even though I know it‘s not like that anymore. I‘m hoping that there‘s a little bit of that left, because I really love that look of Berlin.
Das Video zum Interview:
Interview: Alex Pranger, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week