November 10, 2013

Thorsten Jankowski's interview

 Member of UdA since the beginning

" From the very beginning I had this style in mind, without any doubt. I planned my studio to realize this style and from the first shootings on I tried to achieve my vision of nudes. You can call this addiction. But it's also a result of studying design : you have to think about your goals before using the pencil." 

"Body Tension"

Dear Thorsten, could you tell us how did your devoted passion for photography begin? Do you remember your first experience ?

I studied industrial design – since the age of 14 I knew that I want to become a creative or designer. My first approach was to become an automotive designer, but later I saw the full range of my creative potential.

Even at the age of 14/15 I held cameras in my hands, and I developed my images in black and white darkroom.
With the documentation of design objects which I created during my studies I got contact to photo studios. The wide range of studio lighting fascinated me.

The later beginning of nude and people photography came from the wish to be creative without any customer's presetting.

Art Model Anna

The first real awareness of photography and the importance which it could take for me I noticed with maybe at the age of 15. It was the period when I went around through my hometown Braunschweig with a friend both with analogue slr cameras taking images of people, architecture or only even dust bins. Later in darkroom I found deep satisfaction in seeing my inner images develop on paper.

All the vocations begin early... Before to become a teacher (a Master !) and to organize renowned workshops, where did you learn your art ?

I studied Industrial design at Braunschweig University of Art from 1991 to 1998 – 7 years to find an inner concept for design and my own approach on it.

Later I taught architects at Braunschweig University how to use flash and how to build websites (as I later worked in a new media agency). There I could test my didactic skills and found out that I got a special connection to people – which as I know today is one of my central skills. This knowledge I am still using today in my workshops.

"Still Missing"
Art Model Jessica

Art Model Janina


Passionate as you are, do you think you could make something else ?

I don't do Photography as my main Job, even if it would be nice if editors and art buyers would share my vision for combining my style of photography with product photography for example.

For me there is a visual connection between the purity of a nude human body and some high-end product groups, for example jewelry, cars, food, just to name some.

But to answer your question : I am a creative thinking man.

I have a passion for photography, but I also want to develop other related topics to photography, as you see in my workshops, which I want to expand to other topics next year with my friends Marc Hoppe and Michael Papendieck. I love the idea that things are going on.

Art Model Akira Sun

I want to realize "Star-Workshops" with photographers from all over the world.
I want to realize Exhibitions, and create a cultural/photographic highlight in future.

And, yes, I could think of doing something completely different if I got the option for it.

Art Model Stana

I was so sure of the contrary... But I'm sure your dreams come true, you're in the good way with your future school. Anyway, I insist, you are a compulsive photographer, isn't it ?

Related to my topic : yes ! I can't get enough of human forms. I can't get enough of the scapes of the human body.

There's always a new scape, always a new light on it, always a new reflection.

You could say that I found my Walhalla : it's the human body.

If I just think of dancing poses, of dancers and space in my new studio, I just feel deeply satisfied of future options and images.

Art Model Aneta

Art Model Anne

You make part of what I could call, if you agree, the "Sculpturalist" group (or school or movement...), sharing the same passion for the forms and the light with André Brito, Igor Amelkovitch. What brought you to choose this way ?

You forget Waclaw Wantuch, Andreas H. Bitesnich and the wonderful Howard Schatz !

It sounds strange but it's the only topic which interests me on nudes.

I am not interested in eroticism,
I am interested in forms and light.

From the very beginning I had this style in mind, without any doubt. I planned my studio to realize this style and from the first shootings on I tried to achieve my vision of nudes. You can call this addiction. But it's also a result of studying design : you have to think about your goals before using the pencil.

Art Model Jani

Is there a message you want to express through your so particular work ?

I don't have a specific message which I want to transport.

I want to show the beauty of human forms, that's it.
I want to achieve a graphic impact with my images.


After a long dive in your portfolio, it clearly seems that you have a large preference for BW and studio shots ?... Outdoors and colors don't attract you ?

I really really love outdoors of other photographers like the images of Gregory Prescott or Sylvie Blum in Arizona desert ("El mirage"). I also like the color images of Andreas H. Bitesnich or Bruno Bisang. I don't do this, because I am just not through with studio.

Maybe I will search the rest of my life for the perfect combination of body, light and space. But to tell you the truth : I am planning outdoor shoots next year, and color is always an option, it just don't flashes me so much as BW does.

Model Jani

I'm impatient ot see that ! Except sculptural nude art, I constat that you enjoy B&W portraiture ?

I love taking portraits, but this is a complete different discipline.

From time to time I do a portrait session, but I am through with studio portraits – like in nude photography I have a special vision what my images should look like. This style I only can achieve on location.

Next year will be a good year to expand this idea, then I will have a new studio on a wonderful industry location to realize all my ideas in people photography. Plus : I need a new camera !

Model Henrike

Your images are perfectly composed, and Bryon talks about your perfectionism, but is there a part of improvisation during your shootings ?

The funny thing is : nearly all is improvisation !

You can call it ad-hoc composing or just-in-time-perfection. I never have a 100% idea of where I will go during a shooting. I have a main theme, like you can see in the wooden bar images of Stana, and then I see what the model and I can do with that idea. Mostly the result is that what you can see in my work. You need a good instinct for images to work like this – its about analyzing forms and composing extremities.

"Wooden bar"
Art Model Stana

Art Model Stana

"Ring Ring"
Art Model Madlen

Your imagination is quite amazing... Where do you find this so creative inspiration ?

I am a visual driven person.

I always see interesting details during the day and I want to integrate some of this details into my work.

This can be architectural details, furniture, forms, but also inspirations from print adverts. Due to my genes I want to express myself in a creative way.


"Creative" is your favorite word. And you succeed so beautifully. How do you direct your models to make such beautiful pictures ?

Mostly I let them pose. And sometimes I interfere those movements telling the model to do it again and to differ it. This way I can develop my poses very intuitively.

How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

I feel nothing special, it's a creative job for me and if the results are the way I expected them I feel satisfied.

To be creative is a job that can be learned, so there's not a deep black hole after a shooting, but the knowledge that the next step, the developing in Photoshop is the next very important part in my work. (But to tell you the truth : sometimes I am overwhelmed about the results of a shooting)

"The God of Light"
Art Model Stana

It's what I was thinking. Could you tell us more about your future school ?

Oh yes ! As you know I organize workshops in my studio which found the attention of many national wide photographers.

In 2008 I found partners like Calumet and BronImaging for my workshops which do the fineart printing and the lighting part in my workshops. 2009 will be the year where we (Marc Hoppe, Michael Papendieck and me) want to expand this business.

We will offer various topics about photography from people over nature, table top, and macro to architecture photography. Plus we will offer theory workshops for digital workflow and fineart printing.

Additionally we will organize events around photography like exhibitions and inhouse fairs. But the most interesting thing will be the so called "star-workshops", based on my photography network. I want to cooperate with André Brito, Sylvie Blum and others to work with them also for workshops !

So tell it to the world : Braunschweig is the center of fine art nude photography. But we also need sponsors for our plans, it will be a challenging year 2009 !

Art Model Isatu

I tell it ! And you know how I'm ready to help you ! Thorsten, your next exhibition is planned in Hamburg. When exactly ?

The exhibition starts in March 2009 in Kulturforum am Hafen in Buxtehude near Hamburg – a wonderful place to exhibit photography ! News for the exhibition you will find on my new website which will be launched in near future.

Art Model Madlen

Nice ! I'll check. Have you some other challenges you're dreaming about ?

I am dreaming of getting commercial jobs which let me integrate my vision of body sculptures with product photography, like jewelry or other high-end goods.

Plus I am dreaming of expanding my workshop offers to Spain, which I would like to become my second home base.

What is your best way to promote your work ?

The best way to promote my work ? Publish it ! Tell every editor in the world that I got a special vision on aesthetic nudes ! Tell Agents that I exist. Publish books !

I'll tell it !!! As often as needed ! By the way, where can we purchase your prints ?

I am not a friend of prints, although I offer them by myself. I much more like the idea of high end portfolio cases with 10 or 15 fineart prints. I am offering such portfolio maps by myself, printed on Canon IPF printers on Hahnemühle Fineart papers. Anyone who is interested in this should send me a mail.

Any message you'd like to leave our readers ?

I want to thank all those people who contact me and send mails to me. Thank you for your feedback on my work ! Please never stop it...

Thanks a lot to you ! For your wonderful support, your kindness and your trust.

Art Models Jani and Julia

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