We had the chance to interview Berlin-based photographer Rob Lüthje about what he does and how he does what he does.
All photos © by Rob Lüthje.
Well Rob, how old are you?
I am Robert Leonard Lüthje, and I am eighteen years old.
What equipment do you shoot with? What is your favorite lens to use and why?
I shoot with Canon 6D. I own a few Canon L-Lenses, but my standard lens for Instagram is the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L. For commercial work my usual lens is the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L.
How long have you been shooting photos and how did you get started in photography?
I started doing photography as a hobby about four years ago when I noticed how boring “normal tourist photos” were becoming for me. Hence, I asked my mother how a camera works, and she explained all the settings and things like image composition. Since then, I have never stopped wanting to learn new things about photography and going out on the streets and studios to improve my skills.
I have been making a living with photography for about half a year now. My commercial work mainly consists of shooting lookbooks for companies, doing advertising photography for brands like Dom Perignon, and concert photography.
What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
My favorite part of being a photographer is meeting new people. By linking up with other photographers and working with so many different companies and people, you get to know a lot of people that boost your career and get you somewhere. Also, being a photographer and having a ton of photographer friends to show you around their cities (or even your own hometown) is a huge advantage.
Your work is very urban, is that just because of what’s available in Berlin, or do you enjoy shooting urban the most also?
I enjoy shooting urban a lot more than shooting nature. It is just personal taste. Because I was born and raised in a megacity, I am more drawn to urban work, and I am generally navigating towards big towns. When I’m not shooting urban, I am mostly working in studios to do advertisement photography.
What does your editing process look like? Your edits are very distinct and similar throughout all of your photos.
I created my own color preset for my photos that I almost always apply to my Instagram photography. After that, I always adjust things like exposure, contrast, or saturation manually; hence, the look only varies a bit in each photo. I like my work to have a recognition value.
What are some of your favorite places to photograph? For someone visiting Berlin, what would you recommend that they must see and photograph?
Someone that visits Berlin should definitely try to check out some of our lost places. We have a few really sick ones here. For example, there is an old morgue, an abandoned theme park, and a bowling alley that were never finished being built.
If you were to be able to go photograph a specific place for a week, where would you go and why?
It would probably be New York City or Chicago. Both cities just seem like the perfect photography playground for my shooting style. I have been to New York City before and will visit it again two times this year. I am looking forward to linking up with some locals.
Who or what inspires you and your work? Who is your favorite photographer?
One of my all time favorite photographers is James Nachtwey. He did a lot of war and third-world photo documentaries, and he is definitely one of my big inspirations. On Instagram, some of my favorite accounts are @insighting, @ryanmillier, and @vuhlandes.
What are some of your goals and aspirations in your photography career?
I do not have one big goal. I am constantly setting myself new goals. If you set yourself one goal, and you eventually reach it, your success tends to make you lazy and feel secure. Do not get me wrong, having security and being able to just relax does not have to be a bad thing, but they are the enemies of being productive and getting forward with your career. This is why I like to get out of my comfort zone and explore places I do not know and do things I am not good at.
What tips or advice do you have for people either entering the photography world or for those trying to find their creative style and niche?
Everybody that wants to get into photography should start very basic. The key to success in photography is to not start out with super expensive gear. Every high-end smartphone camera nowadays, or a fancy DSLR, allegedly makes everyone a “professional photographer,” but there is a lot more to being professional and being able to get the results you want than owning proper gear.