Paul Ripke, a professional photographer from Hamburg, likes sports – not only privately, but also professionally. And he likes the action that any photo shooting may involve. We asked him about the fun of producing making-of videos, posts in social media and the thrilling photo shootings he has experienced.

Q: Paul, you are widely active as a photographer in social media and let your clients or potential clients share the experience of your shootings through various content including videos. How important has social media become for you?

A: The positive feedback to my videos and other posts on my website has been a surprise to me really. This success had not been planned. I have been using Facebook professionally, and that results in many more direct contacts and personal relationships. Art directors know from my Facebook profile or my videos on the web where I am shooting. The communication with shooting partners has also become more relaxed by the openness of the web. Also, my clients have the opportunity to use the videos for their own purposes, such as showing the shootings to their clients. The important thing is just to have them seen and that people like them.

Q: What do you post in social media apart from your making-of videos and your Facebook updates?

A: Quite early on, I started a blog on my website. I began with my Sunday Link feature where every week I post a link to a photographer I like and whose work has been an inspiration to me. I have done this for about three years and this link is now clicked by around 4,000 visitors. After starting my blog, I began showing the videos and presenting my work on my website.

Q: You have built up your reputation as a creative photographer not only by your activities in social media, but also by your shootings for renowned companies and brands. What are the core themes of your work?

A: My main interest is sports and landscape photography, which is partly due to the fact that I have been a rather active sportsman. Other important fields of my work are, of course, people photography, advertisement campaign shootings, as well as productions like the one I did for Conley’s. These jobs are fun and they are also important from a commercial point-of-view. I am certainly not the a typical fashion photographer.

Q: And that certainly must not be a downside. For many companies and brands, the combination of sports and people has been a very important feature. One example is IWC, the watches label from Schaffhausen for whom you, rather spectacularly, have shot the “Portugieser” series.

A: That was partly due to the fact that I had a lot of freedom during the IWC shooting and the preconditions had been ideal. The photos had been shot during three days in the area of Monaco while I sat in a helicopter. The fitting colours, with respect to the watches, had of course been planned beforehand.

Q: At  photokina you used the S2. Did you like it?

A: At first, the Leica S2 had to be integrated in the existing workflow, at least that was the case with us. To me, as a photographer, the Leica is a camera that exercises an emotional impact on a shooting. The reason is that it is real fun to hold this camera in hand; this fun is also felt by the model and thus reflected in the pictures. By the way, my father had a Leica R4 that I could use, so I have known the ‘Leica feel’ since childhood. Now, thanks to the Leica S2, I once again have experienced that ‘Leica feel’, and in a professional setting for the first time.

Paul Ripke, thank you very much!

-Leica Internet Team

You can see more of Paul Ripke’s work and watch his making-of videos on his website: