Fashion photographer Muriel Liebmann’s work has appeared in Vogue, Stern, Annabelle and L'Officiel and has been described as „ultra feminine with just a dash of grit tossed in to keep if from being too sweet“ (Lone Wolf Magazine). She composed a series of photos, each one dedicated to one characteristic she attributes to less®. Following up on her visual character sketch, we met with her in her hometown Hamburg.
Muriel, you just just got back from a photoshoot.
Yes, the theme was „transparency“, which can also be used as an element of hiding. You can use light and shadows to focus on certain things or shoot through something, a fabric or whatever nature provides. We shot outdoors with the last rays of light. We had this beautiful, elfish model from Finland with long, red hair and pale skin, the kind of skin that also feels transparent.
You like to be very much involved in the selection of the models. What do you look for when casting?
I do like girls that are not classical beauties and I actually welcome little „offs“ like jug ears or a gap between the teeth. What I am essentially looking for: someone who draws my attention and makes me stop and look again. It's more a subjective feeling than an obvious attribute.
You travel a lot. What’s your favorite destination?
One of my absolute favorites is California. During German winter, the light in California is very beautiful, very low with long shadows that create interesting shapes. And California offers so many great locations: beautiful mid-century design and diverse nature sceneries from the desert to snowy mountains and lucious greens. You often get the feeling of walking through a film set, that’s very stimulating.
„Outdoor“ seems to be a very important element for your work.
Yes, nature inspires and calms me. It provides the most interesting locations and the most beautiful light to work with and a good portion of the people I draw inspiration from have something to do with plants or nature. I like the fact that nature can not be influenced — it sets the conditions, weather and light, and you have to react to it.
Many of the pictures you selected for the lessXmurielliebmann series display water or nature. It’s all very down-to-earth and simple.
I honestly feel very much connected to the values and products of less®: the reduction, the naturalness and the quiet awareness that can be found throughout. It reflects not only in the images and the attributes I selected, but also my personality and the way I work. I am a rather quiet and reluctant person and prefer a calm and intimate atmosphere during the photo shoots. I am not a provocative, „flashy“ or jump-around photographer — I want the models and everyone on set to feel comfortable. I try to capture this one moment, when the model is not in pose, but herself, free, maybe a bit distracted or in thoughts. This often results in pictures where the model is not looking directly into the camera. For me this moment of quiet anonymity and purity is very much what I see in less®.