Spotlight: Matthias Clamer

Matthias Clamer.

Matthias Clamer likes quirkiness and humor, but he also likes stealth. “For me, humor in pictures works when you use it in small doses—hints, not obvious jokes,” he explains. “Just one element, not multiples. And subtle enough that some people don’t even see it. It needs to be discovered and ambiguous.”

In his personal work, these preferences play out in his choice of subjects: redheads, low-rider cars and their owners, celebrity look-alikes, and plane spotters at Heathrow Airport in London, to name a handful of recent examples. In his work as a highly sought-after entertainment photographer and celebrity portraitist, his subjects and an overall context are provided to him, but he always finds a way to add a dash of the unexpected. And he goes about this the old-fashioned way.

“I research my subject as much as I can. I look for personal traits and tastes and try to link the context of the story with the subject,” he says. “I like to earn my subjects’ and clients’ respect by being very well prepared with a plan for the shoot that I present ahead of time. I brief my subjects, but then give them space to ease into a shoot, trying not to bombard them with directions and turn them into a still-life object.”

Being sensitive to what his subjects are feeling is one of the reasons Matthias has been so successful at shooting successful people. “I am calm even on the craziest shoot schedules,” he notes. But he does not hesitate to challenge both the celebrities he photographs and the viewing audience who assume they know these people intimately. “Working around someone’s public image,” says Matthias, “is the fun part of what I do.”

Here’s a look at Matthias’ work. To see more, visit stocklandmartel.com/talent/matthias-clamer/photography.

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Betty White. Photo by Matthias Clamer for Parade magazine.

Photo by Matthias Clamer, from a campaign for the CBS series "The Big Bang Theory."

Photos by Matthias Clamer, from a campaign for the FOX series "Glee." Click to enlarge.

Conan O'Brien. Photos by Matthias Clamer. Click to enlarge.

Daniel Radcliffe. Photo by Matthias Clamer for the Broadway show "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Photo by Matthias Clamer for Parade magazine.

Cee Lo Green. Photo by Matthias Clamer.

Photo by Matthias Clamer, from a campaign for the A&E series "The Hasselhoffs."

Photo by Matthias Clamer, from a campaign for Glad.

Photo by Matthias Clamer, from his series "Redheads."

"House" star Hugh Laurie. Photo by Matthias Clamer.

Photos by Matthias Clamer, from his series "Beauties." Click to enlarge.

Photos by Matthias Clamer, from a campaign for the Game Show Network. Click to enlarge.

Photo by Matthias Clamer, from his series on a pet circus.

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