Home EdizioneEd. 12 Peter Müller: the shot is beautiful when you see the reality behind the photograph

Peter Müller: the shot is beautiful when you see the reality behind the photograph

Written by Gianmarco Almici

The purpose of the shot for Peter Müller acquires value when a person recognizes himself in that photo and loves it. When reality comes through a photograph. Peter Müller likes to convey a confident and strong person in life, who may have suffered blows from fate but emerged strengthened. Physical beauty can fade and so true beauty is found in dignity, values, and social skills.o see the reality behind the photograph.

What interests me is the reality behind the facade.

Peter Lindbergh’s phrase stands out on the home page of Peter Müller’s website. The German photographer’s introspective vocation comes through loud and clear, especially when meeting the words “I want to show people how they really see themselves, how they feel in the moment of the shot”.

Peter, almost everyone has a mask: is photography really able to take it off?
Everyone tries to look good when they have evidence of being photographed. It happens to anyone in front of the camera or even when constructing their own ‘socially desired’ picture. Photographers such as Avedon, Lindbergh, Albert Watson, Stefan Moses were able to build a basis of trust with the subject during the work, so much so that people would open up completely and drop the facade. They were ready to get involved. These are the photos that stand out, because they are other than the image we know, they reveal a different reality. This is what I try to do when I work: it is not always successful, but often it is.

It is an illusion that photos are taken with the camera…in reality they are taken with the eyes, the heart and the head,” said Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Every photographer conveys his or her vision of life: what is yours? What would you like to convey to those who look at one of your photographs?
Generally speaking, I am a positive thinker, even in dark times I know from experience -but equally hope- that it will somehow work out. Likewise, I would like to live in a society that places men and women on an equal status, both at work and in civil rights as well as in life in general. I therefore try to bring this vision into all my pictures: the conscious, strong person who stands up straight in life after suffering the blows of fate and coming out of it.

Here I would like to show women in this way above all, representing not sweetened dolls but precisely women who know what they want and take it.

Helmut Newton showed, for example, that naked women are not equally sexy, but always dominate the scene in a strong and dominant manner. It is important that the dignity of the person in front of the lens is maintained, regardless of the type of image we construct.


The concept of giving people back their true feeling at the moment of the shot is beautiful, it seems almost psychoanalytic! What is the real meaning of photography for you?
When you have the talent for photography, you should use it to create something beautiful, regardless of whether the person is young, not so young, strong or weak. It would be desirable if everyone could find themselves beautiful in the photo taken.

A person should recognise himself in the photo and love it. When we achieve this, we have achieved the true purpose of photography.

Do you think that excessive technology can pauperise photography? Can an advanced smartphone replace the photographic genesis process?Technological progress has a double impact, on the one hand it has led to an overproduction of images and on the other it has opened the door to many new talents by giving them the opportunity to measure themselves against an art they would otherwise not have had access to. Cartier-Bresson’s phrase makes it clear how a photo is the product of the interaction between two or more human beings at that moment.

I believe that artificial intelligence, although it comes very close to representing reality and has so much potential in advertising photography, is not able to create a portrait with soul.

Why are all subjects always beautiful?  Does what is ugly have to stay away from the lens?

What does ugly mean?  What I do not find beautiful may be beautiful to another.

There are photos of people full of imperfections, I myself have been photographing women who have had breast cancer for years, with their scars and their stories. Not everything is beautiful in an aesthetic sense, but that is life. Unfortunately, the problem is rooted in the media, especially social media, which are not interested in representing the above images: in their world everything has to be beautiful, the algorithm is designed for people to relax, to dwell on just a few images.

I have seen beautiful images of male nudes in your portfolio: why is it so rare?
The same discourse is valid here as for faults. Men make up the majority of the followers of a female profile, but the opposite is not the case. I started two accounts at the same time, one related to colour and another to male photography. After three years, the first had more than 50,000 followers and the second 2,500…I think my way of photographing is the same.

What do you like to express through nude images, the plasticity of the body, eroticism, the power of nature….
In general I am struck by the beauty of the human body, the ability of shadows and light in shaping forms, individuality. Clients demand a lot more eroticism, which I try to express in a Newtonian sense.

How did your passion for photography start? How did you get started?
It all started with a gift from my father, who gave me a camera when I was 7 years old. I worked 35 years in analogue, with a darkroom and since 2006 I have been creating digitally. I love working with people,

Instead, I hate spending time on the computer editing. That’s why I try to build the image digitally as I did with analogue.

That’s why I try to take the final photo and in Lightroom I correct the shot on highlights, shadows, contrast. Many of my photos are monochrome JPG images taken directly from the camera.

What is beauty?
As I have already said, beauty is relative. Everyone has a different perception of beauty. For me, a person’s beauty lies in his or her dignity, values, social skills and intelligence. All this develops with age through learning and life experiences, while our physical beauty can fade. 

Therefore, this beauty is timeless and can also be influenced by us humans, while visual beauty (if not altered by surgery) is a given and we should love it and live with it.

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