You are quit the known tattoo artist under the name Raphael Verlan. It occurred to me that not many people know you as a photographer as well. You seem to keep those two disciplines separated on purpose. Is there a specific reason behind it? And what did you start out with?
Tattooing is one of the most beautiful things on earth to me and I am currently still tattooing every single day and I will most likely be tattooing for the rest of my life. However, tattooing stands in hard contrast to my photography. Tattooing is a very strict profession, there’s no mistakes allowed. In photography or at least in the way I approach photography, I’m able to do more experimental stuff. If the outcome doesn’t turn out as expected, no one gets hurt.
Although I do have to say… although it’s not that obvious, both my tattoo- and photography-work have many things in common. Especially since the last years in which my vision got more clear started to create my “voice”.
We see you shoot a lot of beautiful women…
Can you tell us a little more about what you find interesting about your models?
What is really interesting to me is the thing behind the beauty. I like the concept of exposed intimacy. Because it is paradoxical. How intimate can something be if everyone can look at it? I think the dialog between model and photographer is extremely important. There has to be real interest in the person or object you you make pictures of. Doesn’t matter if it’s a building, a plant or a human being. You have to be really interested in it to get the full spectrum of it’s beauty, it’s possibilities, it’s weaknesses and it’s strength. Fascination isn’t enough, there has to be real interest and passion and connection.