We speak with photographer Marcus Hennen on his recent Area 51 series, and also on how he shares and promotes the work in his Picfair Store to his audience
Describe a little about your work and the type of images you like to create
Photography is an escape from my work as a software developer. I love the art of creating a different imaginative feel, to explore the unusual and seek out new places.
I capture hidden moments with a brief glance or remain undiscovered in the hustle of everyday life. I like to create atmospheres with the art of "photography" that appear unusual but reflect the peculiarities of nature and unique, everyday moments. Artistic freedom is very important to me because, often enough, a simple photo becomes a miniature work of art.
Where do you usually get inspiration for your photography? What drives you to create images?
Creativity is the key to a photo that grabs the viewer’s attention. To be creative, it’s all about getting inspired. I do this on social media, but then I try to make my own thing out of it.
Your Area 51 shots are fantastic. Was this a planned shoot or something more spontaneous?
My last vacation is just a few weeks behind me. My family and I had spontaneously decided to spend a few days in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These were exciting and eventful days in the USA, and since we were only 10 days on-site, we had a tight schedule.
Among other things, the area around Area 51 was on our list. With our rental car, we drove to the village of Rachel. Approximately 2.5 hours from Las Vegas. We wanted to be surprised and had no idea what we would find on the way. So it was very spontaneous. We missed a lot on the way to Rachel and found a lot of highlights on the way back to Vegas from a slightly different perspective.
How did you choose which images appeared in the final edit?
After the first review of the pictures, I knew which I would like to edit and publish first. As a photographer, you usually know right away from the first look at the photos which photos have potential. So after the trip, I focused directly on a particular selection of photos.
Your images have a beautiful aesthetic throughout; how do you keep consistency across your work?
Not every photo works the same way and delivers the expected result. Of course, a lot depends on the circumstances. The light, the daytime, the scenery, the situation itself. Many things come into play. The colour scheme of the Area 51 photo series played a significant role. Because these photos were taken in the same area and in a short period of time (within 3 hours) and the lighting conditions didn't change much, it was easy to use the same kind of post-processing for the image selection.
What places or channels do you usually share and promote your images once you finish editing?
After editing my photos, I usually post them on Instagram and Facebook. I use these social media platforms to determine how good a photo is and if it has potential. But I must be honest and say it doesn't always work. Then I decide whether to offer and sell them on the market. Depending on what kind of photo it is, a sale is possible. Property rights of objects, land and people are crucial.
Do you have any tips for other photographers, particularly beginners, for choosing which images to feature on social channels?
It has become difficult to present pictures to a large audience on social media channels if you are not regularly active and do not have some followers.
Instagram's algorithms change regularly, and only through regular and active use and constant new posts can it reach an extensive range of people. But please don't give up: If you have no specific concept, be prepared for anything. Keep your eyes peeled and look for new things new angles and take photos. Be creative and post it. Don't be intimidated by failures or lack of interest in your images.
"Don't be intimidated by failures or lack of interest in your images."
How do you choose which images to feature in your Picfair Store? Do you have any tips and advice for photographers just starting to make the most of being on the platform?
As mentioned, I determine a particular trend in my photos via social media channels. Then I decide which photos to make available in the Picfair Store, for example.
For starters, it is essential to ask yourself: Will anyone be interested in this type of photo? Is there a market for it? Does anyone like to hang this photo on their wall, for example? Does this photo have the potential to appear in a magazine or on the cover of a magazine? If you can answer yes to just one of these questions, then you should do it.
Even if you can't answer these questions, publishing your pictures in the Picfair Store is worth publishing because it is an excellent way to offer pictures to acquaintances or friends.
What has been your most commercially successful image so far?
My most commercially successful image is "Family Portrait", see below.
On several platforms, I sold this picture many times. I'm surprised that this photo is so successful because this photo was just as spontaneous as the Area 51 picture series.
What are your future plans for your photography?
I want to keep traveling and experience new things. I'm interested in new countries, new cultures. I want to see and experience the world, and I want to do it for many years. I just want to take photos, and when I see that my photos are successful, I'm happy.