If you’re into moody lighting and moody models, the work of Andre Scheidt is sure to catch your eye. His signature involves a heavy use of contrast and color to set the tone for his productions. It adds a sense of mystery for his viewers and turns his subjects into something almost otherworldly. When he directs his models he keeps one mantra in mind: “borderline unflattering but never ugly”. This unique attitude and perspective is what not only catches your eye but keeps you engaged. To find out more about Andre’s process read the full interview below.
1. What is the earliest memory you have of yourself doing something creative?
I remember being around 10 and messing with my dad’s old film camera and harmonicas. Fast forward a few years and I got into music and grew up to be an audio engineer and now a photographer.
2. What kind of creative work do you do?
My main bread and butter is audio engineering actually. Recording, mixing, and mastering music, video, etc. But as a photographer I enjoy portrait, street, and fine art work. I genuinely enjoy the more conceptual and weird stuff as well.
3. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was born in Brazil and was raised in New York most of my childhood. Now I’ve been in Miami for the last 10 years. I’ve got a pretty crazy mix as well. My mom’s of Japanese descent and my dad German, but we were all born in Brazil.
4. How would you describe your specific style? What makes you unique?
I believe my use of light stands out a little here in Miami whether its spots of natural light and shadows or the colored lights. Generally my photos are moody and super contrasty, and there’s no real reason I do that other than I like that sense of mystery I guess lol. I also really believe in getting people out of their shells, like making them express themselves differently from what they’re used to. I always tell myself “borderline unflattering but never ugly” when directing models and that’s just to add more interest to things. Whether its ugly faces or just some serious boss vibes from the subject there’s gotta be layers to it.
5. What has been some of the biggest influences and sources of inspiration in your work?
Honestly, I wish I took a photography class or something so I were more knowledgeable of the old greats, history and stuff. But some greats are Fan Ho, Guy Bourdin Vivian Maier, Hiroji Kubota, and honestly there’s so much good content on Instagram nowadays (and a lot of bad stuff too) that if you spend 15 minutes on the explore page you’ll find some inspo.
6. Do you have any rituals to help you get the creative juices flowing?
No nothing specific, I usually just go straight into it. I actually don’t eat the entire time I’m shooting until I’m done with all my shoots for the day hahaha. It’s terrible but it’s become a habit for whatever reason.
7. What have been some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on? Any current projects you’d like to mention?
Some of my favorite “projects” would have to be the big trips me and a few other photogs take. We get together, find a bunch of models, an AirBnb, props and stuff and just shoot the ENTIRE weekend. So far we’ve only been to Tampa but we’re hoping to get out more.
8. What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned while developing your craft? What valuable advice could you offer to other Creators like you?
Be humble, take advice, give out advice. Just share. This isn’t a competition. Support and collab with each other more and work together so everyone gets that come up.
9. Where can we find more of your work and follow your journey?
Most of my work is on my Instagram @ikigai_foto