Paul Baechtold, the person

How old are you? 30 years old

Who are your influences? Jeffrey Wolin, Alan Schaller, Joel Meyerowitz, Julian Bajsel, Annie Leibovitz, Ed Templeton

How long have you done photography? I was first introduced to cinematography, filmmaking, and photography in middle school through Jeff Rudkin’s BTV program at Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington, Indiana. In high school, I turned my focus more toward photography exclusively as a result of Staci Jennings’ photography classes and working as part of the yearbook staff under Kristin Wintin’s supervision and leadership. Initially a staff photographer, I became photo editor for the yearbook and became immersed in the Adobe software suite. Those early years provided the foundation to become who I am today.

What’s in your camera bag? I shoot a Sony A7RIV and typically use Sony and Sigma glass. Some of my favorite lenses are the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art, Sony 20mm f1.8, Sony 85mm f1.8, and Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6.

Why photography? Without getting too philosophical, there’s something about the way a photo takes the three-dimensional world around us and captures a two-dimensional moment of clarity, emotion, and tension that powerfully struck me from an early age. While the purists may crucify me for saying this, photography is a medium that allows the creator to liberally blur the lines between documentary, art, editorial, and reality. Every shoot, every assignment, every client creates a new outlet for my inspirations and creativity. You really can’t beat that.

What’s unique about working with Paul Baechtold? I’m a straight shooter. I don’t BS people. With that said, everything I do is in the spirit of collaboration and exchange of creative energy. I’m down to try anything, iterate and then re-iterate, until we get it “right.” I promise to always do my best to give you my full attention. I don’t like to take photos from the same perspective as everybody else. I don’t love using presets in post-production; to me, they’re overdone and you can tell. I just want to shoot, shoot some more, and then keep shooting – all in an effort to produce stunning images. I don’t know what it means yet to create an “iconic” image but I hope to one day. I can’t do that alone.

Who are some of your favorite musicians these days? Tool, Bon Iver, Tyler Childers, Deftones, Billie Eilish, Lamb of God, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Metallica, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Drake, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot

What are some of your favorite quotes?

  • “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” – Marc Riboud
  • “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” – Lewis Hine
  • “We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” – Ralph Hattersley
  • “I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.” – Trent Parke