Back in February we saw Lars Stephan on flickr and featured a photo. He found the post and then was nice enough to let me ask him some questions about photography, his life in New York City, and moving to the United States from Germany.
For more of Lars' photography, check out his flickr photostream!
You moved to New York in the last few years from Germany, what brought you to New York?
I moved to NY in order to be with my then boyfriend Kelley. For a couple of years we had been in a long distance relationship with him being in New York and me in Germany. That relationship didnâ€™t work out, but I stayed in New York anyway and then met my current boyfriend Stuart.
What differences do you experience as an artist between that country and the US? Is New York more condusive to your expression as a photographer?
Since I haven't really spent much time elsewhere in the US besides LA, I can only speak about NY. I find NYC and its energy very inspiring compared to Hamburg where I lived before I moved here. It is easier to express oneself and be oneself without being frowned upon. Although I have to say that NY is more and more ruled by money and those with it, instead of those who are interesting or talented. I kept hearing that Berlin is still interesting.
Your self-portraits get a lot of attention in your flickr photostream, of course. Tell us a little bit about how you handle sometimes being bothphotographer and subject at the same time.
I like the creative freedom of being both photographer and the model at the same time. I can do whatever I want, whenever I feel like it. If I don't like the result nobody is ever going to see it. I also like the fact that I don't need to justify myself to anyone in the creation of my images.
When you walk out your door in the morning with camera closeby, do you know what you're looking for? How does inspiration find you?
I never really know what I am looking for. Most often something just catches my eye, may it be the light on a building, a color combination or a unexpected composition.
You and your partner share a love of photography, is that how you two met?
We actually met while I was riding my bike and he was walking down the street. It was a wordless meeting with me giving him my phone number. We spoke the next day just as he was flying to London for a couple of weeks.
Finally -- some of our silly Random Hunk QuestionsTM!
1) You're on the subway filled with celebrities. Between which two celebrities would you sit down?
Bette Davis and Muhammad Ali
2) You've been given a grant to do a series of self-portraits around the world. Which locations would you choose?
3) Which is your Dreamgirl: Beyonce Knowles or Jennifer Hudson?
4) Better outfit: Spiderman, Superman, or Batman?
5) Team USA Swimmer Michael Phelps, Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and comedian Dane Cook.
Which would you boff/screw/make whoopee/have sex with? Which would you Marry? Which would you Kill?
Dane Cook, who is that?? So let's kill him off, Jake is a very sweet man, I met him a couple of times, so let's make whoppee with him (although I donâ€™t think he would be interested) and as far as Michael Phelps goes, I would kill him too, if I didnâ€™t respect his talent as a swimmer.
Thanks for much for chatting with us, Lars! And good luck in your future projects!