‘This is how I became a pro photographer by 21’

With a distinctive, ethereal style, Lia Konrad is already a professional photographer at just 21-years-old. Making photographs that capture people’s attention so much that they can’t look away, has always been her end goal. How did she manage it?

Mixing nature, smoke bombs and perfectly made-up models, Lia creates iconic images which are both beautiful and completely breath-taking. Here she tells us about how she got to where she is, her advice for aspiring photographers and how she thinks her photographic style will evolve.

1. How did you get into photography?

I started with compositing in 2013 but except for a few commissions I did it as more of a hobby. Photography was at this time only a means for the purpose, and mostly I have done self-portraits. Then I joined a incredible cave photoshoot from Benjamin von Wong in Germany. He had beautiful designer dresses by Agnieszka Osipa Costumes and his model, Jen Brook did an amazing job. Overwhelmed by the set and the possibilities of photography, I decided to try out more epic fantasy/fairytale and surreal portraits.

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Image Credit: Lia Konrad

2. What happened from there?

My first photoshoots were organised quickly after that. More photoshoots then came off the back of the enthusiasm of my models. Armed with my Canon 550d and the 50mm 1.8 lens, I shoot mostly with natural light in nature. Nature has always inspired me the most.

3. Did a photography course help you a lot?

In my first year of photography I have met many incredible people, worked with professionals and got my first magazine publications. I am grateful for every moment and everyone who has walked the path with me.

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Image Credit: Rex Features

4. What would your advice be to aspiring photographers?

Don’t do photography for fame. Don’t do it for money. Do it for you. Express yourself through pictures and do the things you love and create what you want to create. Do it so well that people can’t take their eyes off your photos.

5. What makes your photographs unique? Describe your style 

I would describe my style as romantic, feminine and mystical. People recognize my photos because of the fairytale themed, natural, surreal beauties and the usage of smoke. I love working with smoke bombs, it makes everything super mystical! However I also think style changes with time! I don’t know exactly what kind of style I will have in five years but I’m excited to find out.

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Image Credit: Lia Konrad

6. Is photography a difficult career to get in to?

I’m new to the business too but I can say it’s really helpful to have good contacts and a good communication. Convince people with your work, so they want to work with you. Be in contact with professionals for help, questions and other things.

7. Do you think it’s tough for young people to know what to do for careers? 

Yeah! There are so many things we young people don’t know and nobody talks about it. There are so many guidelines and laws which you have to pay attention to. It can be really frustrating, but you are not alone in this. Seeking help from someone who has made it into the business is the best thing you can do.

Now what?