Juergen Teller, Self-Portrait with Charlotte Rampling (from Louis XV)
“Charlotte arrived, and I was totally starting to sweat. She said, Now what are we going to do? I said, I’m going to show you what I’m going to wear. So I went into the bedroom, and I came out in these silver underpants. And she said, What the hell is that? I was smoking my cigarette, breaking out in a sweat. I said, Well, I was just thinking I could kiss you and fondle your breasts. She sat down and got herself a cigarillo. She didn’t say anything. The whole room was quiet for what seemed like months. I was, like, Oh my God, that is the most stupid thing I’ve ever said, how stupid was that? She just dragged on the cigarillo and crossed her legs, and she said: OK, let’s go. I’ll tell you when to stop. I thought, Oh my God, genius. I can’t believe I’m getting away with it.”
“Do you still photograph the party scene for media outlets (sites or magazines)? Would you ever share your secrets for taking great event photos?”
I don’t — I pretty much stopped doing it two years ago, for reasons mentioned earlier, posted a bitchy goodbye on my nightlife site, and burned a few bridges just to make sure I’m not too tempted to go back to it.
As for sharing secrets, yeah, gladly: here’s a post on Flickr that started as a discussion of my nightlife technique — my reply is about midway through, and it covers just about every technical aspect of my nightlife photography. There’s really not that much to it!
But what’s much more important than how is what. American Suburb X has an interview with Jürgen Teller up today, and he touches on this quite a bit:
“You have to know why you want to take a picture in the first place. And that’s a hell of a difficult question. If you don’t know, don’t start. There needs to always be a reason why you take a picture in the first place. You have to think very hard before you want to take a photograph. At certain moments, if you are insecure, then it becomes exciting. You don’t know where it’s going. That’s the interesting bit. You have to push yourself where it’s unsafe. It’s very exciting.”