How did you get your start in photography?
I don’t recall a specific moment when it all got started – I suppose I had been playing a lot with my Mum’s camera when I was a child, so my parents decided to give me a camera of my own. I have been hooked ever since.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
Nature and travel photography include many different aspects of my photography. It therefore is one of the most diversified photographic genres you can think of. I’m fascinated by the versatility of photography while traveling and the challenge to locate a variety of scenes and themes and then transforming them into an image – be it realistic or abstract.
Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?
For a long time, even longer than travel photography, nature photography was dominated by males. It’s now slowly changing. In the beginning, I was sometimes surprised by skeptical glances, but I don’t necessarily think being underestimated is a disadvantage. Images speak for themselves, no matter if they were shot by a man or woman.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
My biggest success is to be able to do what I love doing – and to make a living out of it. My biggest challenge is me, for example being a perfectionist.
Who and/or what inspires you most?
The nature, the light – and the people I meet while traveling with their stories.
What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?
Most important is to be patient, open and receptive – for the moment that evolves, for the light, for the split second of a movement, an expression. When it all comes together and the photograph works out as planned, you can express the feeling of the moment: astonishment, excitement, happiness, fear, serenity, laughter.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Because I want to make sure the final image looks the way I envisioned it – no matter if it’s a fine art print, an image in a book or on a monitor.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Take pictures of what fascinates you, inspires you, touches you, makes you happy – it’s the pleasure of taking pictures that will help you face the negative aspects in your life as a photographer. Have the courage to take your own shots. Don’t think about career to often.
Bio: Sandra Petrowitz combined three of her passions in one profession: To photograph, to write and to travel. She’s a journalist, offers workshops, guides photo travels and is one of the publishers of a German photo magazine called “fotoespresso”. Her book, “The Traveling Photographer” was published in 2013. She’s most happy in the sand desert, in the African bush as well as being circled by penguins in wonderful Antarctica. She’s so fascinated by nature and the light of these high latitudes that she spends several months a year working in polar regions.