Interview with Stephan Creutzburg- Dutch pin-up photographer
Stephan and I met during the Rockabilly Day Belgium. He was there with his photobooth as the only one. Next to the hairdressers and make up stands. We had a long chat, exchanged business cards and decided that we will meet on a set and create something together.
Stephan is, luckely, quite busy, so the first available slot I could book was in October.
After coming back home I decided, typical me, to do my research and see what kind of pictures I can find online from Stephan. You can imagine how surprised and excited I was when I saw on one of the pictures Acid Doll! I should have taken a picture of my face at that time I was really looking forward to this shoot!
We decided that the shooting will take place in the garage full of vintage cars and the main theme will be: glam pin-up and Halloween.
There was nothing more for me than start collecting the clothing and find a make up artist
Both tasks turned out to be quite easy to accomplish. Make up artist was, one and the only- Cathy De Neve. We worked together before, so I knew she will be perfect for this.
So one rainy,cold October’s afternoon we met and the beautiful shots came out of the garage You can see them ‘decorating’ this article.
After the shooting Stephan said ‘yes’ to a short interview, so you can see below who is behind the lenses.
Cherry Bee: I am sure our readers would like to know who stands behind those beautiful photos. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
Stephan Creutzburg: I am Stephan Creutzburg, a Dutch Nationality and I was born in Amsterdam. I am living in Belgium since a long time. So just an ordinary guy who is enjoying life, good food and who loves the Classic style and art of photography.
ChB:When did your passion for photography start?
SC:My interest for photography started late. When I was younger I was experimenting with my dad’s analogue camera but at that time with film rolls and no own dark room, it was no match for my pocket money :p Then the digital age begun. I remember my first digital 8 megabit low resolution camera, of course the pictures were not at today’s high quality but then it was a huge revelation for me. With the arrival of the compact -and half frame cameras, that I could afford, it started for me. First by taking pictures of my friends at parties & events. But soon I photographed the whole party and event scene, as well as rock concerts. Friends and the audience were pleased with my pictures. I became ‘their photographer’. However I was not satisfied with the quality of the noisy and blurry pictures. Therefore I started following photography studies in order to develop my skills & techniques with an increasing passion for the photography art and the portraying of persons and models. That’s what I do and what I like the most.
ChB: Which school did you attend?
SC: I finished photography studies at the Schoonheidsschool – Media School at Antwerp. I loved to follow it especially and besides the theory you learn how to handle the camera. But finally it’s the photographer’s eye and creative mind that will do a lot to a picture.
ChB: On your website and FB page I can see that there is a lot of beautiful women in the Pin-up style. Is this your favorite subject to shoot?
SC: Yes! It’s my favorite style of shooting women. Love to let them feel like the glamour star in my photo scenery. As mentioned in a previous interview with Rockabilly Online:
‚Many pinups are reflecting the poses and looks of the first classic celebrity pinups, like for example: Betty Grable, Bettie Page, or the pinup art of Gil Elvgren. That’s what I love: the classic retro looks of a pinup and the challenge of photographing them in the correct atmosphere, their beautiful (naughty) dresses, their red cherry lips and the sensual poses to fit them in the whole classic retro scene of a picture.
In World War II on most of the US fighter and bomber planes you had hand painted pin up art on the nose of an aircraft and on the the A2 flight jacket of a crew member. If I mention the Memphis Belle then everyone knows, or should know to what I am pointing at. Not the beauty of B17 or the movie only but the ‘wonderful pinup art’ on the bomber. The pinup was hand painted by US Corporal Tony Scarcer who was assigned to the 91st bomb group in World War II. That’s what I am trying to reflect too on my photos. All my models are ‘live beauty Memphis Belles’’.
Besides Pinup shoots I love to shoot Rock Bands….
ChB:Do you do wedding photos as well? What is your offer?
SC: Yes, I do wedding photography. A couple can choose different formula which I offer to them. But it will always contain a pre-love shoot (engagement shoot) and then the actual shoot on the day of the wedding. The Love shoot is what I always do before the actual wedding day. It’s a way to know each other, to discuss the wedding and plan things ahead. But the most important issue of that Love shoot is to make them comfortable and to make them relax in front of my lens.
ChB:You have been working with the internationally known model- Acid Doll. Are there other international models you have worked with? Where were they from?
SC: Most of my models are just like you, no professionals. I don’t work often with professional models as such but people who do value my photo work and who like to be photographed either as a surprise for their husband, boyfriend, family or just for their own pleasure. Usually it’s a dream they want to come true in the form of a frame. But yes, I do know and photographed some known models like Acid Doll (Bosnia), Tina von Nekro (France), Liz Chérie (France), Candy Kayne (Corse)…and recently I shot Bonnie van Deville, an Australian Pinup who was on honeymoon in Europe. She contacted me for booking a photo shoot. What a honor that someone from the other end of this Globe did wish to be photographed by me…I am a happy man!
ChB: We met at the Rockabilly Day Belgium. Is rockabilly music/style something that interests you as well?
SC: Hell Yeah! Love the Rock ‚n roll scenery! It’s also a typical life style which I do adore! Don’t understand me wrong, but besides Rock’n’Roll, I have other typical alternative music that I like very much such as Dark wave, New wave, Lounge music…I am still a big fan of Joy Division, a cult band of the eighties but as well a big fan of Elvis in his Rock ‚n’ Roll years. So I have a variety of music choices which is a good thing for my photography, as I don’t focus only on one kind of scenery. You have to be open for other environments.
ChB:Do you have any other passions that are related with the retro style? Do you collect old vinyls or radios/cars?
SC: wow..I have so many passions that I have lost count. I am lacking time for handling all of my passions but yes I collect old toy cars, vintage stuff, old camera’s, old fifties turntables and Old Skool Vinyl…
I bought recently a Cadillac from 1948, a car that needs restoration and a refreshing paint but it rides. I named the Caddy my ‚Lucky Lucy’…called her after my favourite WWII B-17, Flying Fortress I could have called it Memphis Belle but that was too obvious. So the alternative was Lucky Lucy, a pin-up nose art on the B-17 from the US 396th Bomb group. The engine rumbles..so I drive a Caddy but I love the car. I am also a reenactor in a World War II group. I am acting mostly as a war photographer in a typical WWII US battle dress, uniform and my camera as my weapon.
ChB: What type of places do you like to shoot the most?
SC: Old garages, with classic cars! Vintage houses, Art Deco houses, Old gasoil stations, Vintage hotels, Old Warbirds on airfields…etc…Every location that resembles like the 30, 40, 50 ties looks..
ChB: What can we expect during a photo shooting with you?
SC: A day with fun but as well a professional that takes his photography work serious. I plan always different sceneries. People who never posed before will be guided by me during the shoot. And what I do see happening is that after a while the model has such a fun, she becomes so comfortable that she start their own poses, give their own ideas how she like to be photographed. I see the twinkles in their eyes, a happy smile and that is what counts the most. It means my mission is successful ….they have become ‚My Star for one day!’
ChB: Your plans for the future? Maybe shooting in Las Vegas during the Vintage shows?;)
SC: yes, I hope shooting more outside Belgium..I am not sure if I will succeed in that mission, but like they say ‚ Carpe Diem’. Yes I would love to shoot in the US of A! as well as in the UK and Australia. So many places I still like to go and my shooting
ChB: Would you like to say something to our Pin-up fans to encourage them to come to Brussels and enjoy the time on a set with you?;)
SC: Well I would say, do not hesitate to book a shoot with me! You will not regret the day in front of my camera lens! Cherry Bee can testify for that..look at Cherry Bee her twinkling eyes on my photos. Do I need to say more?
Shoot you soon.
Stephan’s website and i FB page below: