Igor Panitz is a german professional photographer based in Stuttgart, Germany.
How long have you been based in Stuttgart and worked as a professional
I was born in Stuttgart and never moved. Since I’m travelling so much for my job I always enjoyed having a strong base where I belong to. I started my first studio in 1990 as a photographer for stills and people. In the first years I worked mostly for Stuttgart based agencies and companies, later my jobs became more and more international.
How did you get into photography?
My father was a camera mechanic. So, when I was a boy I often stayed with him in his workshop and cameras were around me constantly. I soon started to feel a strong interest in these mechanical masterpieces. To freeze time by pressing a button felt magic to me.
Can you describe the first picture you ever took?
I remember a magic moment in the garden of our home when I was six: My brother was sitting on a swing under a blooming cherry tree. I had a little Kodak Instamatic and to avoid blurring I shored up the camera on a fence post. My brother smiled at me and I pressed the button. I believe in this moment there was a not only a click in the camera, there was the bigger click in my head.
Which photographers have inspired you?
I was always inspired by photographers with a strong and unique style. There are many, too many to list, for sure. With some styles I can identify, with some I can’t.
Does an underlying theme run through your style of photograph?
Key to me is reduction, a graphic strength and a brilliant thought.
Are there similarities between a shot of a car and snapshots of homeless you take on streets?
Maybe yes… I’m trying to carve out the character of everything that’s in front of my lens. What does this person stand for? And this specific product? They are both the sum of their history and they have their own vibration. The challenge is to get their swing as deeply and as quickly as possible.
When did you start photographing cars professionally, and what do you like most
about shooting them?
I started shooting cars in 2000. I was just thrilled by the key role car photography has in the world of product imaging. It’s very multifaceted. Cars can become shot statically or performing. They usually have a strong design language and sometimes they are really pretty. I love cars. They differ so much and they all have their own personality. To find their perfect angle is a challenge. To transport this angle in the location is another. To create or catch a mind blowing lighting that reflects the impression you have in mind is pure art.
Before a photo shoot, does a conversation with the automotive designer help you compose shots?
Do you have a favourite subject or two among the various topics listed on your
This for sure is art. The older I get, the more I understand that art is the key to be successful as a photographer.
What other areas of art inspire you — architecture, fine art, furniture design?
Mostly painting and music. Painters are not bundled to perspective or reality. They have the opportunity to find their personal path through realism and abstraction. This is the platform for surprises, for the sudden. The sudden is also what I love in music.