Behind the Editorial : Daniel Sannwald

Karlie Kloss and Daniel Sannwald on set | Images courtesy Daniel Sannwald

You see the finished stories in magazines but what really happens on set, before the cameras start snapping? Photographer Daniel Sannwald (Paris: Management + Artists, New York: Management + Artists) is known for his arresting images, but the methods used to create those beautiful photos may surprise you. Daniel guides us through his latest story, a kinetic visual explosion starring Karlie Kloss and Sean O’Pry for Le Monde M Magazine and opens up about his process, where he feels fashion photography is going and just how an old flip phone helped to create one of the most striking stories in ages.

Karlie in M Le Monde

Karlie getting her makeup done pre-shoot.

MDC: What were your goals for this particular editorial – what kind of mood did you set out to create?

DANIEL SANNWALD: Aleksandra and I started wanting to create an editorial with different times and feelings. I reworked all the techniques I had been mastering in the past and went on journey, not just with my own work but also a trip through my favourite time periods and art heroes. Man Ray’s Solarisation, RockaBilly, Robert Longo, Blade Runner etc.. all my favourites in one story. I had so much fun working on this story and the team was just wonderful. Everyone on set was so excited and maybe the most excited was my New York assistant Pavel, who let me borrow his old school phone for the shoot.

Sean in M Le Monde

A trippy behind the scenes shot of Sean

MDC: Tell us a little bit about your use of those old school phones on this project- how did you come up with that idea?

DANIEL SANNWALD: I love to find new tools and techniques to create my images. My latest obsession is an old school Samsung phone; I love the way it captures light and colors, it is quite magical. Sean and Karlie were a bit confused when they arrived on set to find this “German” photographer holding a really small phone in his hands and telling them with his strong German accent,  “I am going to shoot you with this phone!” Sean and Karlie got really into it after they understood what such a little magical camera can do. Karlie was joking the whole day about “Samsung World.” I just did another shoot with that phone – cant wait to show you!

Karlie in M Le Monde

MDC: What was it like working with Karlie and Sean on this? We hear you have a little Karlie crush…

DANIEL SANNWALD: It is really nice to work with two such amazing models. I love both of them for different reason, but yes since the shoot I kind of have a teenage crush on Karlie. Karlie and I are big Hip Hop and R’n’B fans. If you ever have the change to come to one of my shoots you will hear everything from A Tribe Called Quest, J-Dilla to newer things like Lil B and Frank Ocean. Karlie and I had been dancing the whole day and we really just had a good time. I cant wait to take Karlie out on a night in London.

Sannwald hard at work on set

MDC: Your pictures always stand out from the pack in terms of creativity – what grabs your eye in terms of photography these days?

DANIEL SANNWALD: My eyes are all on the future – future of technology and future of image making. These days I like to look at my generation of image makers who try to push visual boundaries and it excites me to see how the industry is slowly understanding again how important it is to be creative. Since the recession there are too many advisors, consultants and such who think playing safe means selling. These advisors are not the creatives so they are not sure about the new. It’s nice to see how the industry slowly remembers again what fashion stands for : “Excitement and Dreams,” it’s all about 2013 – I tell you!

MDC: What’s next for you?

DANIEL SANNWALD: My lips are sealed about future projects but let’s say more phones, more images, more video works and I highly recommend buying the next issue of i-D ;-)

View the full story in the database. 

  1. It´s very interesting what he´s saying
    In fact it´s true: pictures should suggest “Excitement and Dreams” but the contemporary world of fashion and photography doesn´t seems to understand it…

    Daniel Sannwald is one of those photographer who is really doing something new.

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