Linda Leitner: Fashion behind the lens

She is a 26 year-old photographer, born and raised in beautiful Austria. As a very artistic person, Linda Leitner gained interest in photography in her teenage years and started taking first shots at the age of fifteen. Growing up in a winter sports resort filled with picturesque scenery defined her first photographs that captured people in skiing and snowboarding motions. Her early works resulted with very successful collaborations with brands such as Red Bull, Atomic, Armada and Burton. At the age of eighteen, Linda was already traveling the world with some of the world’s best athletes.

By the time she finished her studies and obtained a university degree in Management & Marketing, Linda got more interested in fashion photography. Switching from sports to fashion felt natural to this young and enthusiastic photographer. In her creative world, fashion felt like an outlet through which she can fully express her aesthetics. She started working in the photo department of one print magazine, but still felt like there is more to pursue in her career. After leaving that position, she started working as an assistant to some of the leading international fashion photographers such as Andreas Ortner, Louis Christopher, Gorka Postigo, David Oldham and many more. This gave her the opportunity to learn, grow and establish herself as an individual. Three years ago, she moved to Munich which she now considers to be her base. In Germany (and homeland Austria) she pursues her own editorial work, produces various lookbooks and does campaign shootings. Learn more about Linda and her work in the interview below.

New York Fashion Week 2016

Is there anything specific that you can recall that made you want to become a photographer?

No special occasion comes to mind. I have always known that I wanted to pursue an artistic job, whether that was painting, illustration, graphic or interior design, or photography. Honestly, I just kind of got into photography and I knew from the very beginning that this was IT.

Why fashion photography?

I love the way fashion photography allows you to be creative. You can create your own world. You can do whatever you want, and it’s neither wrong nor right.

Are there any influencers/photography mentors whose advice helped you grow as an individual?

Yes, absolutely! The best mentor and the most supportive person I have in my life is Andreas Ortner, for whom I work as an assistant for more than two years now. He is supporting me throughout my career and helping me grow my skills and go further. I’m very thankful for that!

Design Scene Magazine

Is editorial work more challenging and more inspiring than advertising?

I wouldn’t say it like that. The fun part about editorial work is that you can play, you can try out different things and just go with the flow. Even if you have a certain concept or theme in your mind, the end result can often turn out very differently. However, it can turn out to be even more beautiful than you originally envisioned. Every single person in your team creates a little piece of the story and, as that happens, the story develops on its own. On the other hand, following a very certain concept and creating images that represent a certain brand is a very interesting task, and also a very fun job to do. So, I wouldn’t want to choose between the two. The mix of doing both is quite fun!

Is print still of value in the digital era we live in?

I am totally into print. I will never stop buying print magazines. For me, flipping through a print magazine has much more value than simply scrolling through a website.  I really, really hope print never dies!

The Book Magazine

What is your most exciting work so far?

I’ve been to a lot of places all over the world, did shootings whenever I could  and wherever I could – in the beaches, on the top of a mountain, in the city streets, in the snow etc. Every shooting is still so exciting for me in a special way, and I hope this stays like this forever. But, there is a very special shooting I would like to emphasize and that was New York Fashion Week in 2016 when I got invited to shoot for a couple of designers.

What do you owe to social media, does it provide more visibility?

Social media became a very important part of the industry. If you do it right, it definitely helps to get more reach and visibility. I’m spending a lot of time on social media, also looking for inspiration and looking for new and amazing contacts. Anyways, my very own social media profiles are kind of a mix of personal travel stories and my work. I don’t feel like only showing my work, without letting people know who I am.

In your personal opinion, what is the connection between fine art and photography?

The purpose of fine art is aiming to show aesthetics or beauty, not only in terms of body or appearance. Dancing, theatre or poetry can also be considered as fine art. And. I think this is also what photography is aiming for –  to show beauty beneath the surface of what you are seeing at the first glance. You can even include forms of fine art into your photography. Also, you can get a lot of inspiration from fine art.

QVEST #5

Are there any boundaries in your work? Is there something you would never agree to shoot?

I think you have to set those boundaries yourself. I would never agree to shoot something where animals have to suffer just to get unique images.

How does fashion photography help in promoting fashion?

You can express SO much with images. And, that is the true power of fashion photography. You can make your viewers and buyers actually feel the idea behind a certain brand. I think that is the exact way that one should create. You should transport the emotion onto the viewers who will, hopefully, identify with the brand.

Are there any fashion individuals whose work you admire?

I love very minimalistic designs and brands, such as Jil Sander, Celine and Alexander Wang.

ID MASTERED

Are there supermodels today, or did that era end with the ’90s?

I think there are short-term supermodels. There seem to be times where only a handful of models are considered to be important and IN. And, then the spotlight goes on to the next handful, and so on… The term ‘supermodel’ definitely solely determines the girls from the ’90s!

Any advice for fellow fashion photographers?

Just go for it. Work your as* off, and keep creating and trying out new things. Never stick to much to your style, as it might set your boundaries.

Photo Credit: lindaleitner.com