Q&A with… Cora Büttenbender

Cora Büttenbender

I immediately fell in love with Paris-based Cora Büttenbender‘s photographs when I spotted them on Pinterest. Her compositions are perfectly balanced, depicting still lifes, lazy mornings in bed, or simply beautiful interiors. She even makes a group if children’s dinosaur toys look pretty, not to mention a bleak rainy window on a train! I had a chat with her to find out a bit more about her work…

Whats your background? How did you end up doing what you are doing now?
I became a photographer because of a good friend of mine. My plans to go to France as an au-pair failed, so I asked her advice. Become a photographer! she answered. And she was right.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I work, live and travel between Paris, Milan and Germany. I like airports, being a nomad, discovering, communication, design, exhibitions, minimalism, fashion, small things, food, family, friends, the desert, the sea, the horizon, simplicity and every colour.

Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender

What is your favourite thing to photograph?
It was soon clear to me that I would become a stillife photographer. Until today I love everything about it. I love objects, light, colour, composition, texture, teamwork and timing.

What camera do you like to use?
Every camera is fine to me. It’s not the camera making the photographs, light is much more important to me. I like the sound of the shutter and the flash, I like to work with silent daylight, soft and crisp at the same time. Everyone must be present and decisive. I like to work in a huge dark studio, the light from the HMI’s pointed on our set as if it would be the only thing that matters.

Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender

How does your design process work, how do you normally set up a still life for example?
It always depends on the demand. In the beginning of my career I was a ‘control freak’. Now I love being surprised, little accidents and improvisation give my photographs the more natural feeling I am looking for. So generally I like to show up in the studio without knowing everything even though I am involved in preparation if there is an important scenography.

Do you mainly find your own subject and compositions or do you get commissions from magazines or websites?
I really like to interpret a brief so I mainly work for commissions. Working in a team makes me happy.

Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender

What does the future hold for you?
Right now I am moving to Berlin. That doesn’t mean that I’ll leave Paris.
Just being more of a nomad.
Looking for a wider horizon, new opportunities.

Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender Cora Büttenbender

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