Début Daily Exclusive: Q&A with Fashion Photographer Reto Halme
Début Daily sits down for an intimate Q&A with fashion photographer Reto H lme. Reto's work defies limitations and moves against the stylistic tid al waves of the industry. Melding a photographic European aesthetic with American components and a original eye- Reto's work is distinctive, se ductive, and engaging. Take an up close look at the man behind the lenses...

DèbutDaily.com: Brief bio of your background.
Reto Halme:  Born in Finland, started shooting fashion In Madrid. After brief stay in London moved to NYC, then to Los Angeles.
DèbutDaily.com: What or who influenced you to be a photographer?
Reto Halme: I kind of grew up in very visual arts dominated environment. Besides that, an adventurous character and curiosity of life influenced my career choice.
DD: How long have you been working in the industry?
RH: 17 years.

DD: Describe your photography style and what influences you?
RH: Most people describe it as sexy, dark, and moody. However, there are

many different ways to do that. I would say: sexy and sensual, and moody with character. Dark with any amount of light goes, as long it is not anything telling.
DD: What are some of the changes you've seen in fashion photography and the industry?
RH: The ultra commercial clean was replaced by underground. After that there have been different schools at the same time.

DD: In your opinion, have they been for the better or the worse?
RH: Breaking of the ultra commercial barrier sure was healthy. But just doing so, is not enough in the long run.DD: Please share with us any personal struggles you have had in your career and how you overcame them.
RH: It is tricky to be European, kind of an outsider in US market which is fighting its own struggles. US is a volume based market, it takes time to figure out how to combine soul with commerce.

DD: After spending a substantial amount of time in New York, you moved to the Los Angeles. Why?
RH: Seven years is a long time to spend in New York, and the city also changed a lot
from ‘96 to 2004. Subjectively, I didn't feel that change as productive or inspiring any more.

DD: How's is New York vs. Los Angeles?RH: New York has more structure, preparation, planning, and things are under the surface. Los Angeles is more transparent. Some people say surface or superficial, but that might not be the right term for me- crazier.
DD: What do you love and loathe about both cities?
RH: New York has the dark mood which could be exiting in the beginning. L.A. is more sensual, more hedonistic, which is important element of fashion photography.

DD:Where do you see fashion photography heading?
RH: I am interested in that question. Is it possible to go back to the European roots added with the American elements? I am trying to process everything seen at this time. Combine soul (Europe) with the American movie set qualities with technical and storyboard standards.

DD: What photographers have inspired you and why?RH: My list doesn't make sense, as they are all different for different elements: Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, and David Lynch (film stills). I often get inspired more of film then still photography. Maybe of the reason that photography talk is so much fixed to technical questions. Movie directors mostly talk about what they lived through, not what film stock or light source they were using.

DD: What magazines and clients have you worked for?
RH: Present ones are kind of commercial secret. Some past ones like Ragazza, Tendencias, One World, Honey, Gloria, and Dèbut. Commercial clients: Nokia cell
phones and Sony music.

DD: What are the essential ingredients for a great picture and a successful shoot?

RH: Understanding what the magazine or client needs, where it stands to its audience, and at the same time being inspired by something in your own life. Then you have to combine those two currents in the shoot, to get things moving.

DD: What are your most memorable shoot and favorite picture?
RH: I don't want to go back to the past. The audience has the right to make some pictures "iconic", but the creative should be thinking of the next shoot, not the past one. Maybe the most memorable ones are the shoots which almost turned to adventures themselves.

DD: What can we expect from Reto in the near future?
RH: Some more fashion shoots....