Bio: Photographer Tina Eisen was born and raised in Germany and has been living in the UK since 2004. Her passion is to create beautiful photography that inspires people to stop for a moment and dive into the story she’s telling.
Recent clients include Harvey Nichols, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, ITV, Amazon, Barbour, Spring Studios, Facebook and numerous other well-known brands. Eisen’s editorials have been featured in magazines and front covers across the globe and a recent shoot with David Beckham achieved coverage in many countries.
Being a guest speaker on Canon UK’s Live Stage during all 4 days of the 2017 Photography Show as well as sharing my knowledge during Canon’s Experience Days, giving talks and beauty demonstrations are some of the highlights of Tina Eisen’s 2017.
I would describe my style of photography as…
Control freak meets child on a sugar high. The urge to go wild, be bold, colourful and fearless, paired with the need to keep it all neat and palatable.
What was your first camera, and how’d you get started in photography?
I first discovered my passion for photography in 2009. Stuck in an unfulfilling, soul-destroying job, I found a second hand Canon 400D (complete with the legendary 18-55mm) on eBay and started chasing my cat around the garden for practise. Once I managed to get willing human subjects in front of my lens, mostly friends and aspiring models from my town, I was soon driven by the enjoyment I could give to people.
Why did you want to become a photographer?
During the early stages of trial and error, the sentence “I didn’t think I could ever look this nice!” by one of my subjects gave me the ambition to become a “proper” photographer. When I realised that my excitement was in the transformation of people, which is the essence of makeup and fashion, I nestled myself into the beauty photography genre. As much as I admire great portrait photography and fearless, raw photojournalism, for me the joy lies in creating illusions of perfection often found in fashion and beauty images. I’m fascinated how makeup and clothing can completely change the way a person feels.
What’s your most memorable shot or shoot, be it challenging to capture or interesting subject?
I had a little moment at the end of 2015. I thoroughly evaluated who I am as a person, why I do and like certain things in life and as a photographer. Realising what personally drives me forced me to step away from trying to be someone I’m not. As a result, I pulled together a personal project inspired by my upbringing and childhood, based around (don’t laugh) …mould. The resulting images are very close to my heart and the process of discovery makes this one of my favourites shoots to date.
What image are you most proud of from your photography portfolio?
Pictures make me proud for different reasons, sometimes it’s the story they represent, sometimes the hard work it took to achieve them. This specific picture was taken only a couple of weeks ago and it makes me proud simply for the spontaneity of it all. Myself and my team went from “let’s shoot!” to the finished image, including team brainstorming and mood boarding, model selection, getting props and outfits and actually shooting it, in only about 24 hours. So this one has a special place in my heart under the “less faffing, more creating” category.
My dream gig would be…
An editorial fashion story featuring Yolandi Visser… I think Elle is ready for this!
My favorite piece of gear is…
Canon 100mm f/2.8 for all your beauty and macro needs.
Do you shoot tethered?
Yes, every day! Clients need to be able to see results the moment they are captured.
My favorite piece of Tether Tools gear is…
It has to be the TetherBlock and JerkStopper… the amount of loose and broken USB ports prior to discovering these little lifesavers still makes me cry!
What’s on your photography gear shopping list?
The Canon 135mm f/2 has recently caught my eye… besides that some B1s might have to join my Profoto family soon!
The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be…
Never stop learning. Never stop testing. Know your worth, don’t sell yourself short but NEVER stop doing test shoots. The free kind. The kind where you get a team together and try new equipment, new setups, new ideas, new poses, makeup, people, techniques. Don’t get comfortable. Collaborate. That’s the way to find your perfect teams, push yourself, find your passion. You are NEVER too good to learn. It’s not “free work”… it’s an investment in your success.