John Wilhem is into the IT profession, but photography is his true passion. John is 44-year-old and is at a Swiss university as IT Director. His passion is for digital art and children photography. He brings to life his fantasy using his images and Photoshop. It is Photo Manipulation that is his obsession than passion that he likes to call himself photoholic.
John always gave importance to photography and his father was a hobby-photographer who founded two photography associations in the local area. So John grew up in the environment of magazines, cameras, selfmade camera-baggages, lenses, and darkrooms. Over time, photography became his true joy as he got his first digital camera in his hands. Thus the journey began with the camera, its techniques, experiences, and the software.
In 2011, February, John took to plain photography and delved into the Photoshop world. His creative photo manipulations are of his three young daughters and Judith, his girlfriend. His eclectic and surreal photos appear cool. He says most of his images are manipulated heavily. He improves the image that comes out of the camera straightly and the improvement involves cleanup, beauty retouching, sharpening, level corrections, tones, colors, and emphasizes on the light. He aims to bring different images and to create something new.
John Wilhem says an inspiration can come from anywhere and he watched TV too much as he was a little boy and played videogames too many. Fortunately he was from a creative family that he worked eclectically from his childhood. It was in the family genes was his belief. He says having emotional connection with kid’s means you can see they cooperate. Sometimes it may not work as expected and you have to give kids candies and sweets. It is necessary to get a 2 year old put diving goggle, a swimsuit and to hold one leg in the air.
John’s recent composition of Sensitive little Rotkapchen, takes 3-5 hours, while a complex one may take 10-20 hours. He says it is important to consider work-life balance. He is very grateful for having a wonderful family, a hobby, a regular job and that he is able to pursue his passion. He made his passion into profession and it is also his hobby.
John Wilhem is a photographer choosing an unconventional path. Having an IT background, he creates a whimsical world through his works and creates magic realism-like photographs. John uses his kid’s photographs and transforms the images into funny, surreal and bizarre environments.
Photoshop is the central for his works. John followed the footsteps of his father. He says those days everything was analog, but after his first digital camera, things got interesting. His main inspirations were the notable figures such as Calvin Hollywood and Uli Staiger. John loves photography and realizes his ideas with 3D elements. He says using the right tools requires patience, time, and talent to master it. Once mastered you get to do fantastic things.
John says creating whimsical works requires shooting elements separately. He says the key is in getting things right by keeping the same aperture, focal length, light direction and point of view. Each image takes 5 to 20 hours as per the range of complexity. All the works of John are puzzling. He presents a beautiful synthesis of his photographs by bringing together many works in Photoshop to get the desired unique outcome.
John says selling stock photography or works is luck as there are plenty in each subject. He asks fellow photographers to bring originality into their work with different things to see success. There is a need to work through humor, models, aesthetics, surprising angles, and unexpected settings. He says success also is in your promoting yourself with your works. Now, social media is a platform for everyone and works as a great motivation.
John says you can achieve anything even the impossible. He also says stock photography should carry strong messages in the future and this is his wish. He wants the images and the art to create and stir a power to change some fragments in the world.