Late nights spent browsing the web can end in inspiration or exasperation; for J. Konrad Schmidt it was the former. He discovered the phenomenon of corset piercing, where a woman has piercings down the surface of her back to emulate the back of a corset. He became determined to document this in a photoshoot and one Sunday in August with a Leica S2 in hand he finally realized this goal. You can watch this process come together in the video above and see and read more about the work of J. Konrad Schmidt in the photos and interview below.
Q: What are your main fields of activity as a professional photographer?
A: Fashion, editorial, advertisement and music.
Q: Since when have you been working as a professional photographer and what is your method?
A: Fortunately, I started working as a professional photographer not so long ago. So I still have a lot of time for pictures that need much time. I always do my work intuitively and passionately. With respect to technical matter, I often try untrodden paths, but I am always graphically centred in my quest for aesthetical thrills.
Q: During your career, which project has left deepest marks on you and maybe have even changed your method?
A: A key event to me was the Jaguar production in the Nice area last year. I had to handle a great brand, an Italian top model and fascinating locations. Altogether, this amounted to a highly intense experience during which even more good pictures were shot than originally planned. I somehow had the atmosphere to surpass myself as a photographer. These are moments of true inspiration.
Q: You have been working world-wide for international and renowned companies and brands. Which shooting has been the most fascinating so far?
A: Strangely enough, the most fascinating are pictures of the girl next door. For without team, without client, and without artificial lighting, being alone with the model in your room you may shoot photos that create an eternal bond with that person. That happens softly and almost imperceptibly. In those moments, there is an excitement in the air you can hardly describe. You see this kind of inspiration in the resulting pictures.
Q: Your shooting “The Corset Piercing” has received great recognition. How did you get the idea for this project?
A: During a much too long night on the internet I became aware of the existence of this kind of “kink”. Though for a long time I doubted whether I would ever find such a girl. So I am somewhat proud that I succeeded in the end. No one had ever done such a thing in the context of a fashion production. That made it much easier to get a high profile team for the project. The day of the shooting was quite exciting. It was Sunday and we were a team of 14 people. But the gigantic effort paid off – it paid off very well indeed. A London fashion editor recently called these pictures “a visual miracle”. Wonderful! That the pictures are now shown in temporary exhibitions worldwide is the greatest reward for all the efforts.
Q: In the shooting you used the Leica S2. What was your experience with that camera?
A: The S2 proved itself surprisingly. Almost everything that I have always disliked in medium format cameras has been avoided in the S2. It was wonderful to hold in hand a really convenient gadget with a quality of beyond 37 million pixels. The optics is incomparable without any doubt. But the real revolutionary thing in the system is the freedom of the diaphragm. With the S2, you can work with f-numbers 2.5 to 22 without ever spending a thought on image quality. This experience is aptly described as an emancipation.
Q: What about your current projects?
A: A lingerie production in Paris is planned. This city has fascinated me whenever I happened to be there. So, this is a project I have long since wanted to realize and one that I am quite thrilled about.
-Leica Internet Team
You can find out more about J. Konrad Schmidt on his website: http://www.jkonradschmidt.com/.