It was a great pleasure and honour for me when I received an invitation from Jean-Claude Van Damme to photograph him in his house near Los Angeles. Fighting and weight training also has a lot to do with successful photography - the discipline, endurance, accuracy, ambition, vocation and goal!
In addition, professional photography is so much more than just pressing the shutter button, because learning to see properly also develops our own consciousness!
The shooting with Jean-Claude was scheduled for later in the evening. We met with our assistant very close by before we drove to his estate. His son opened the gate for us and asked where we would most like to photograph him!
Well, my mobile studio requires quite a bit of space, so from experience, his garage seemed to me to be the best place for it. A dark & a light background, some softboxes and light from Hensel were set up by my assistant shortly. Meanwhile Jean-Claude showed up for the first time and we got to know each other, chatted about mutual friends, about my home country Austria and I noticed that he liked us quickly and so nothing stood in the way of a relaxed shooting!
A warm up or personal conversation before the shooting is of great importance to me. Because photography is what we see, our perception of people, objects, landscapes etc. reduced to a moment of a second! A moment where time seems to stand still. Space and time is stopped here! Invisible and not perceived things become visible.
Photography also means participating in the changeability and vulnerability of the people you photograph. As a photographer, one quickly recognizes the flow of time.
Moments like those with Jean-Claude are very special, especially when you meet stars and role models from his youth in person, photograph them and get a glimpse into their souls. Too often we believe that what we see. But unfortunately we see far less well than we think we do!
Jean-Claude is a kindhearted person and we quickly became friends with him, his wonderful wife and all his dear dogs, which they rescued from the shelter. We are looking forward to seeing him again when we are back in L.A.!
Only a few more weeks until we start our NAT GEO tour through Europe with this year's motorhome partner "Bürstner"!
We are really looking forward to it and hope you will be there to learn more about my tips and tricks in travel photography!
See you soon,