About two years ago, I came up with this idea which was to give a face to Germany’s most famous voices. In the meantime, an exhibition tour, an illustrated book and an app have resulted from the long-term interactive project entitled ‘Faces behind the Voices’.
I am a portrait and celebrity photographer from Berlin, which photographed the 30 best- known voices and finally gave anonymity a face. Everybody knows their voices from films, series, audiobooks or advertising – yet hardly anybody knows the true faces behind the voices. It signals to all the international readers that synchronisation in Germany is of an extremely high standard, in fact, in my view, it is of the highest standard worldwide.
My approach and way of thinking had always been big, and I was only prepared to use the best possible equipment. I communicated with broncolor and PhaseOne for precisely this reason and was supported right from the beginning. I thought long and hard about how I, as a detail-loving studio photographer, was going to communicate the theme of the message into the portraits. It quickly became very clear to me that I had to convey this solely through expression and light.
The voice actors were to look neutrally at the camera. In addition, they were asked to wear a plain black top. The intent was that the visitors of the exhibition were not to be distracted from the essence of the image by facial expressions or clothing, i.e. each voice actor could really be anyone.
Due to the fact that the close-up face is the most important feature of this project, I put a photographically strong focus on it which is why I chose to change my usual lighting structure somewhat. Portraits live from the expression in the eyes, and, for this reason, I set a subtle, but very important eye reflection, from below using an Octabox 150cm.
The main light comes slightly from the right and is created by a Para 88, driven by the Move 1200L with the MobiLED flash. To better emphasise the cheeks and shoulders, I brightened them up from the left and from the right – this was the advertising photographer in me coming out. In addition, I continued working with shadow to make the whole close-up portrait even more alive – after all, an image lives from light and shadow.
I lit the portraits using a PhaseOne IQ280 and the Schneider Kreuznach LS 80mm.
All the information on the tour, the app, the speakers and the private viewings can be found at: www.facesbehindthevoices.de. You can purchase the illustrated book here: www.shop.facesbehindthevoices.de
Marco Justus Schöler was born in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. After discovering his love for photography, he decided to move his life and work to Berlin in 2011. There, he rapidly built up a viral network. Marco is an autodidact – he learned everything about his craft by “doing it.” He takes the bold approach, tackling tasks without fears or reservations.