Create Your Own World

Personal work is very important to me. It’s a way to control where I want to go with my work.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Personal work is very important to me. It’s a way to control where I want to go with my work.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
Do you remember what it was like the first time you tried Photoshop?

Well, I remember the first time I just opened a picture and went through all the tools, just to see what happens when I clicked certain things. Photoshop is a good thing for just trying to add stuff. So I did a lot of experimentation in the beginning – maybe photograph my hand and add an extra finger, change the colors etc. It took some time but I got quite good at it.

The work you do is incredible!

Thank you. It requires a lot of time (laughs). Photoshop is a tool for me to combine my photos, but I think it’s really about the planning, and capturing as much as possible in camera, and then moving it one step further. That’s why it’s such a long process. The planning takes most of the time actually.

What was it like when you were starting out?

It was not so easy in the beginning. I think that’s the hardest part of going professional. Most clients have their own photographers that they like, so I started doing my own projects just to show what I could do. That’s what I still do.

Personal work is very important to me. It’s a way to control where I want to go with my work. It has always been what people have found the most interesting, and that’s how I got my work. To everyone, I’d say: Start slow and build up over time. It’s only in the past years that I’ve started to get really busy with my work, but before it was up and down.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
What made you decide to start taking on clients then?

As I started to do more personal work, I realized I needed a better camera and more equipment. I thought it would be good to see if I could get some work to finance all of that. I didn’t know if I was ready really; I just had a few images and I thought that I could give it a try.

So I approached some local advertisers for a meeting just to show them what I could do. They gave me some smaller assignments just to start, and slowly it became more and more. But I think it’s important to say that I started with very simple jobs and didn’t have so many clients in the beginning. In the beginning I took all the jobs I could get and it’s only now I can pick and choose a little bit more.

How do you keep yourself creative?

Is it easy to find time for your personal work in between? I try to find a balance between the personal and the commissioned work. I still think that personal work is what’s most important and the most creative, because I can completely decide for myself. Inspiration goes up and down, but I think it’s usually better to just do something completely different than try to force it. I think time is actually the most important factor when it comes to ideas. It’s not good to be stressed about it, so it’s better to just leave it awhile and try to come back again then see what happens.