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I started wrking with Denis Wohler in 2004. Before that, i helped him with the realisation of his website. We had some long mail conversations, and the result was the organisation of the first International Shooting Days in 2004.
10 years ago, the internet was completely different. There was no facebook, and the only way to get in touch with other models and photographers was via specialised websites. It was just the beginning of Model Mayhem. Connection with the internet was with a dial up modem using the plain old telephone system. The speed was 9600 baud, 1/1000 of the actual wireless speed.
There was no digital imaging at all and there were no "photographers" with smartphone pretending they were real photographers. A real photographer had his hands stained with development solutions. Professional photographers were reporters working for newspapers, local photographers doing marriages and other ceremonies. There were very few photographers working for modelling agencies.
The style of the photographs at that time was very classic. Models had to look effeminate and wear awfull non-fitting clothes (that was before the fitness rage kicked in). Denis Wohler invented a whole new language of photography, using "boy next door" models posing in old and torn Levis 501 and white t-shirt. His first book “Work and Body” published in 2000 was an immediate succes and gave him international fame.
Black and white photos showing muscular, working style models were an hot item. It was more than 10 years ago and it was something completely new. But they were not only simple black and white pictures. The poses were just perfect, the models looked normal and the lightning was excellent.
Denis Wohler also started with the “Wetlook”, but it wasn't so innovative anymore. Once he started the trend, every model wanted wetlook photos with a white soaked t-shirt.
The photos were directly digitised and there was no post-processing. Models didn't use make up, and that too was a première in an era when most fotoshoots were taking place in a studio (and the models were wearing a heavy layer of make-up).
“Work and Body”
A lot of pictures from this era are reminiscent of good memories. We had many occasions to work together on different projects, in Munich (where Denis lived), in Dusseldorf (where he stayed for some time) and in Belgium and France (when i invited him).[XSSI Error in directive include in line 85: Not Found]
I learned a lot of technical stuff working with him, and a lot of pictures of him are schoolbook references concerning poses and lightning. When i switch back to facebook, i see that a lot of "photographers" really don't know anything about the fine art of photography.
Most of the pictures are from his first book “Work and Body”, but there are also some more recent images taken in Belgium. All but the last three pictures are film positives (the only type of film that was accepted by the trade).
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