top of page

Insider Photography Tips from Celebrity Photographer, Bjoern Kommerelle

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

We were blessed with the privilege of connecting with celebrity photographer, Bjoern Kommerell. He has captured images of artists like Elton John, Chad Boseman, Riley Smith, Danny Trejo, Joe Manganiello and Ellen Hollman to name a few.

Photos by Bjoern Kommerell

Bjoern moved to LA from Germany in 1997, just one year after graduating from Business School in ‘96. This was the start of a very promising photography career for the talented artist who acquired his skills all on his own. That’s right! He is entirely self-taught! Some experience and keen observation on the sets of movies and music videos in the late 90s was all he had to learn from.

So what is the key to getting the perfect shot?

Backlighting!!!!! That's the key to the look. Most of the time I have more lights behind my subject than in front. And sometimes I use a smoke machine in addition to that. It sets the person so beautifully off the background. Second element is to have the background out of focus. A longer lens will help you achieve that effect.”

Here’s a tip to help you select the right photographer for your next shoot!

“Gaining trust of the person you photograph is the most important advice I could give. In order to achieve that you need to be super authentic. The more a person trusts you, the more you can direct them into any creative scenario you want. Props and costumes will always add fun to a shoot and people are more playful.

On the technical side, use a longer lens, zoom in, use portrait mode on your iphone. it will help you to get the background out of focus. If you don't have extra light equipment, here is a good trick to create fantastic light conditions: open the front door and have your subject about 2-3 feet inside on a chair or on the ground. Now you go outside and shoot them with a longer lens or zoom in. Nine out of ten times this will work. If you are shooting your selfie, same way. You can also go to a window (avoid direct sunlight) and hold the phone/camera up right by the window, while you are looking at the window. Make sure it's not too light so that all your skin is completely white. On your phone hold your finger on the display for two seconds until you see a yellow square. Then slide with your finger up or down on the display. This is how you can change the exposure.”

How does he help his clients get comfortable in front of the camera?

“When they arrive I try to create a conversation like a late night show host does; Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon. Chatting about stuff th