Los Angeles-based photographer Sven Doornkaat has been shooting for more than twenty years, most of those years as a photojournalist. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Photography from the Academy of Photography in Germany.
In the early 90's Sven worked for several newspapers, before he was hired by Germany's leading photo and news agency. Within the next 10 years Sven would cover news and events all over Europe before becoming the Managing Director of action press in 2001.
In 2004, Doornkaat moved to Los Angeles where he and his wife Tina started their own photo agency while continuing to shoot for assignment and on his own. He specializes in shooting portraits (most often celebrities) and night photography, where long exposures are required.
Sven's outstanding lighting skills, his variety of styles and a unique vision to create striking and powerful images is what drives his various clients to choose him again and again.
His photos published in more than 50 countries and magazines around the globe such as Hello, OK Magazine, People, 7 Days, Semana, and many, many more. Sven is available for editorial and corporate assignments in the Los Angeles area and abroad.
2015: LPWA exhibition “Light Painted World”, dedicated to UNESCO’s International Year Of Light 2015 in Paris, France
2015: RAW Los Angeles presents PARAMOUNT at Exchange LA
2015: Art Show at The Canby in LA
May 26 - May 28, 2015 in Santa Fe, NM
Printed Fine Art:
Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
7039 E. Main St #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
All original photography and materials contained on this site are ©Sven Doornkaat and protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.
For further information and licensing, please contact Sven Doornkaat directly at email@example.com
From an interview with Megadeluxe
When did it become apparent that photography was your calling?
I remember exactly the day I fell in love with photography. I was 17 years old and had landed an internship at a weekly newspaper in Vienna, Austria. I had no idea about photography whatsoever before a seasoned photo editor took me under his wing and showed me how to develop films and make prints. The moment the piece of Ilford paper was entered into the developer tray, I was blown away. That moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! Two years later I moved to Hamburg, Germany, where I studied photography.
How have you evolved as a photographer from your first days at this craft?
When I look at my earlier work today I shake my head in disbelief. They are technically okay, in focus, correct exposed and nicely framed but they lack of a signature, a personal style.
Best piece of advice you ever received about photography?
One of my first mentors once said: If you are able to shoot a decent photo during a pitch black night you understand exposure.
From your experience, have your best shots come from perfect planning or accidents?
Planning is actually a big part of a successful shoot. I scout the location, check the weather and plan on how to illuminate a scene and what equipment to bring.
If you could shoot any event in the world – what would that be?
There are no events on my bucket list really, but I have a very short list of people I would never presume I have the opportunity to photograph. On top of the list are Jeff Bridges and the retired actor Gene Hackman, who lives in Santa Fe. And of course there a many places where I would like to do light paintings. Detroit comes to mind but also a couple of places in Texas.
Photographer and or artist that has inspired you the most?
Gregory Heisler, Art Streiber, Kurt Iswarienko, Frank Ockenfels to name just a few. These photographers are true masters when it comes to lighting.
Best thing about being a photographer?
That you never stop learning. Even after more than 25 years in the business I still learn new things all the time.
What has photography taught you?
The toughest part is maybe to find a partner that understands how crazy life with a photographer can be. I am blessed with a wife who is very, very understanding…
Favorite mantra or saying while you’re working?
When you photograph you have to be prepared to fail, perhaps fail many times.