This year we received a huge amount of fantastic entries in the Fashion Photography category of our Spotlight Awards. Our judges: Jamel Benjemaia, Image Director at GQ, France; Emanuele Amighetti, Photo Editor at Esquire & Harper’s Bazaar, Italy; Anna Verkholantseva, Creative Producer at Top-Beauty Magazine, USA; Daniel Kent, Creative Director at Urban Outfitters, USA; Nick Bologna, Production Manager at Ralph Lauren Digital, USA; and Jérémie Atlani, Senior Art director at CHANEL, France all had their eyes and hearts set on a beautiful shot by Astrid Obert.
Astrid, an experienced and versatile photographer, creative director, and the winner of the 2020 Spotlight Awards for the Fashion Photography Category tells us the emotional story behind ‘Rainbow Rocks’. Keep reading!
Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?
Astrid Obert: I usually work for commercial clients and fashion brands. Whilst in Cape Town, I always shoot inspiring stories. The idea for Rainbow Rocks was to create something beautiful, emotional, intense, and support Black Life Matters.
Olivia’s beautiful dark complexion accentuated the vivid colours of the styling. Elegance Magazine Netherlands published the story “Rainbow Rocks” in August. The vogue style editorial provides impressive couture as well as a stunning, energised model. Creative Petra Tielmann did the styling, art directions was led by Riaan Kleynhans, hair & makeup by Anja Fichtenmeyer c/o Bigoudi. Production by 1st Productions, Cape Town. Retouching by Markus Broenner. Dresses by inspiring designers include Valentina Braun Couture, Danny Reinke, Hannah Isabo, Jessy Stuchly, and Stefania Morland, and Kat van Duinen.
Our star model Olivia Sang from Boss Models Cape Town was centre stage as she won over everyone’s hearts. We shot with available light and reflectors.
Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2020?
Astrid Obert: I was excited and pleased with it. Especially when you put a lot of love and effort into a story, winning the award is a great success for the entire team. Thank you again to the judges.
Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?
Astrid Obert: I think my style is still kind of pure with an analogue aesthetic. I love to create beautiful, emotional, and authentic images.
Production Paradise: Name three photographers that have inspired you.
Astrid Obert: Peter Lindbergh, Ellen von Unwerth and Sante D’Orazio.
Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.
Astrid Obert: I got my first camera from my father when I was 14 years old. I attended a photography class at school, and since then, I was hooked and not confined to the norm those days. Since graduating from school at 16, I started my apprenticeship with a renowned advertising, car, and still life photographer in Munich and learned photography from scratch. We’ve shot big campaigns for car brands, where I learned the art of composing light and processing film as well as planning and organising large scale productions.
I knew that I wanted to work with models, and I specialised in lifestyle and fashion photography, which included a wide range of productions.
Studio Munich, a photo and rental studio, accompanied my life for 15 years where we specialised in advertising, fashion, lingerie, and lifestyle photography.
My style today exudes a modern Danish design aesthetic that is in line with new trends. I call Munich and Cape Town my home. I love to travel, meet new people, cultures, and adventures. Today photography is still my passion, and I love my job.
Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?
Astrid Obert: It’s essential to master your craft which includes light, equipment, people, and organisational skills. Everything is about light and a delicate mix of composition, creativity, and aesthetic to create your unique style.
Large productions for advertising clients requires a lot of experience, responsibility, and budgeting.
Understanding the needs of your customer and working with professionals is vital. Trends and styles should be part of your repertoire.
Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?
Astrid Obert: I always loved working with flowers, arranging bouquets around my home. Colours and smells influenced me, so being a florist would be a natural second choice.
Running a small boutique hotel is what inspired my latest business venture.
Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?
Astrid Obert: I always have creative stories in mind, and I try to mix them into my assignments and travels. I spend the European winters in Cape Town producing, whilst working on my latest venture in the luxury space.
Production Paradise: Spotlight Awards had a judges’ panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?
Astrid Obert: Naturally, the judge’s opinions are evaluated. I choose my images because I stand behind every one of them, and appreciate the recognition and rewards for the team effort.
Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?
Astrid Obert: Production Paradise offers a great platform to showcase my work to an international professional audience, and the awards allow me to present my passion.
Production Paradise has published a special edition of the Spotlight Magazine featuring all the winners and their images. Make sure you subscribe to our blog and Spotlight Magazine so you won’t miss out!