If Clemens Ascher Can Imagine It, He Can Photograph It

If Clemens Ascher Can Imagine It, He Can Photograph It

Clemens Ascher is a world-builder. The photographer was born into a family of photographers, but his style—blending conceptual and fine art approaches—is all his own, shaped by a degree in advertising photography, an illustrious freelance career with clients the likes of BMW, and a “painterly” desire to let his imagination guide him. “The wish to create something new is the strongest force behind my work,” Clemens said when we dialed him in his home country of Austria, adding that he ignores trends and avoids doing what’s easy.

Rather, he conjures a location in his mind and then creates it, painstakingly collecting architectural elements and composing them together in post. Often his process involves working with agency creatives and other artists to build physical or CGI sets, style wardrobes, code VR worlds, design games, or compose music. 

“Collaboration is the future for commercial photography as well as for exploring new media,” he said. Within his worlds, he—along with the brand or the product, and ultimately its user—can move freely. Once it is made, “you can shoot video, make photos, create VR; it can really spread out…and, the more personality you manage to give to your product.”

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