There's more to photography than meets the eye. Every professional photographer knows that it's almost never as simple as just snapping an odd shot and then editing it in post-production. A scene and setting must be well-thought out, then there are intricacies like lighting, composition, angles, pose, and other things that make the picture pop.
The slight nuances are very subtle and hard to wrap one's head around, and it's very easy to underestimate the gap between amateur and pro photography. Luckily, there are people like Kai Böttcher who lend us a hand and reveal how the process looks behind the scenes. The pro photographer uses all the tricks available to create his own photos: from lights, improvised reflectors, to unconventional angles, and strange compositions.
Kai is a pretty well-established professional photographer, and the quality of his pictures is proof of that. His social media presence is also proof, as he has 687k followers on his Instagram and many more on other platforms. His success as a photographer and the techniques he uses go to show that these details, however insignificant they may seem at first glance, make all the difference.
It isn't the first time the photographer's sneak peeks have been shared here on Bored Panda. If you're hooked, take a look at the previous post, for which you can find a link here. And if you want to see the author's finished product, we suggest checking out his website and, of course, his Instagram. You can find the fully edited works that you see here, or see some pictures which still have a little bit of mystery about how they were done.
Kai Böttcher is a talented self-taught 27-year-old photographer and retoucher. When he was twice as young, he found his passion. At only 14 years old, he began editing pictures and creating brand logos. Later he became more interested in surrealism and photo manipulation and applied at the University of Kaiserslautern, which is specialized in Digital Art and Virtual Design. There he started focusing on portraits, as he found a new passion in working with models. From that point onwards, he became what he is today.
Love the behind the scenes post such as this? Bored Panda has a lot more similar posts that you may also like. Here's a post by a conceptual photographer who gives a sneak peek into his process. Or another one, that shows cute behind-the-scenes moments of this wildlife photographer. If you want to know "how the sausage is made?" in movies, these posts here and here are just for you. And here's a completely random bonus post about how a guy does his LEGO miniature photography.
The artist gave an exclusive interview to Bored Panda. Here's the whole story in his own words: "I discovered my passion for photography in 2016 when I was on an excursion with my university class in South Tyrol, Italy. We got the task to do street portraits of strangers and I really loved the communication and the reaction of the people when they saw their images and actually liked what they saw. After one or two years of shooting only friends and family, I decided to contact agencies and models for more professional kind of shoots."
"I get a lot of inspiration from just location scouting in an interesting area. When I see the colors in those places, I'm already thinking about the possible outfits or looks in general. The creative aspect really comes spontaneously while I’m doing the shoot. But for those concept shoots like my Corona Series, I plan everything beforehand and work a lot on the direction I want to go.
One of the hardest shots to set up was definitely one picture from my Corona Series, where a model was placed in a big plastic ball with flashes inside of it. Removing all those reflections from the surface of the ball and directing the model through it while she didn’t have unlimited oxygen inside was very complicated."
"Last month I finally finished my bachelor thesis in Virtual Design and right now I’m living in Italy, where I’m unfortunately really restricted when it comes to planning shoots because of the strict Corona measures here. But as soon as things loosen up here, I want to travel again and plan all kinds of different shoots."
And here's a few last words of wisdom by the author: "In the beginning, try out as many things (for example, different lighting, environment, editing styles, etc.) as possible, and eventually you will find the niche of photography that fulfills you. Over years of practice, you will develop your own style, so be patient and try to shoot as often as possible."