Stefan Dotter is a photographer and creative director based in Berlin. His work centers around the exploration of shapes and forms around the female body. His cultural awareness coming from his work as the Editor in Chief of WhiteLies Magazine is a quintessential ingredient in his photographs, along with his unique sense of aesthetics.
KALTBLUT: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Stefan: It was numerous encounters and coincidences which led me on this path. It’s not like being a photographer was a childhood dream of mine – hell two years ago I was studying business in Vienna and was sure that I would become a proper finance yuppie. I guess it was the moment I realised that I don’t want to go the usual way and live a very certain life.
Also everything I was always passionate about had something to do with aesthetics. I sat in the library and started studying all these contemporary fashion photographers like Alasdair McLellan, Guy Aroch or David Bellemere. Everything was a little bit too complex and untouchable to me until I found incredibly beautiful imagery shot backstage at the big fashion shows. So I picked up a camera, booked a flight to London and sneaked into a few shows. This is how it all begun.
KALTBLUT: How do you choose who you work with?
Stefan: I try to work with people who have a similar approach on fashion and photography like me. I don’t like it when someone takes this sort of work too seriously on a very pretentious level. After all, I’m doing what I’m doing because it’s fun and apparently I’m not a total failure at it. You have to be very careful who you work with though, because especially when you are just beginning your journey it is easy for outsiders to push you towards a specific direction. You have to take a step back every now and then to get back to yourself.
KALTBLUT: How did you decide to start a magazine?
Stefan: I started working in the online blog/startup scene when I was 17. I was part of a platform called MOSAIC which brought blogs and magazines together on one carefully curated website. I was always fascinated by the symbiosis of journalism and photography and the possibility to express your approach on a specific topic through content creation. At some point I just started WHITELIES as an online magazine basically over night. Everything was a learning process – and it still is – since I didn’t receive formal education in this matter. This year in January we finally got the chance to create our first print publication and in August our second issue will be in stores already.
KALTBLUT: What are you working on right now?
Stefan: Right now my main focus is on the second issue of WHITELIES Magazine where we explore the topic of Revolt with the help of incredible collaborators such as Saint Laurent, Sebran D’Argent and Jacquemus. Furthermore I’m trying to develop my photography work towards a more emotional and less fashion concentrated approach.
Interview by Emma Elina Keira Jones