Photography: Leigh Schneider | The official blog for Things&Ink

32-year-old Leigh Schneider is an art photographer from New Zealand, who now lives in Germany  with her husband and their cat-dog. Introduced to black and white film photography at high school, Leigh learnt the basics and went on to study graphic design at university. Over a decade later she returned to her first creative loves – portraiture and drawing, we chat to Leigh about her work and inspirations…

Photo: M:KOE photography – Marek Koe

Which creative outlet do you like the most? I love photographic art portraits. I get to start by making things physically – like headpieces, props and backdrops. Then I get to work with the subject and turn them into a new version of themselves, something fantastical. I work with them like they are a canvas – right through to post-production, where I paint over the top of my images.

What inspires your work? I was first inspired by other art photographers, who showed me this new genre of photography that I didn’t know existed. Now my work is inspired by nature and the ethereal – fantasy and the search for beauty. The final works are designed to be one off pieces – like a painting to display, rather than a large set of images to be tucked away in an album. The final images are curated carefully, painted upon and taken to the border of real and other worldly.

How you decide what models you want to photograph? I look at their previous work. I look for a natural, fine beauty – slender features, interesting bone structure – how they move and can use their hands. Good skin, long hair and alternative details like beautiful tattoo work or piercings are something I look out for too. I also love to work with models who have access to animals.

You feature tattooed women, do you have tattoos of your own? Yes. I have a fair few, but not nearly enough! I’m still working on a sleeve I started five years ago and have others on my legs and other arm, as well as one tiny finger tattoo.

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Models: Elena + Cat 
Hair/Makeup: Theresa Roick
Headpiece/Styling: LS Creative

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Model: Giulia Diana Frosi
Makeup/Hair/Headpiece/Styling: LS Creative
Dress: Model’s own

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Model: Laura Leuner
Animals: Eduardo & Gonzalez
Headpiece/Makeup/Styling: LS Creative

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Model: Liz van Oz
Makeup/Floral: LS Creative
Dress: Models own

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Model: Mandy Scherzer
Hair/Makeup/Styling/Headpiece: LS Creative

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Makeup/Nails/Styling: LS Creative
Model: Paula Lippert

Assistants: Hanna Zels, Theresa Münzner
Floral Dress (Idea/Design/Production): Hanna Zels (Student Apprentice) with Hechtblume
Headpiece: Theresa Münzner

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