View Behind the Lens: Interview with Marco Justus Schöler

We recently reported on the exhibition “Faces Behind The Voices,” which is currently touring around Germany. We spoke to the photographer Marco Justus Schöler so we could find out more about the creation of the pictures and the creative process behind the special project.

Editors: How did you get the idea for the special photo series?
Marco Schöler: Three years ago, I was watching “Shutter Island” – featuring Leonardo DiCaprio – with my partner. I should mention that I had already seen the movie several times before, and could have almost said every line. This was one reason why I was slightly distracted by my smartphone. There’s a long monologue by Leonardo near the end of the film. This was the part where I listened very intensely to the dubbed voice of Leonardo and noticed for the first time how remarkable it is. Because I already had my phone in my hand, I immediately googled “Leonardo DiCaprio dubbing voice.” And then I was very surprised: 1) that I’d never give much thought to the voices, and 2) that I had pictured the man behind Leo’s voice completely differently. Voila: the project “Faces Behind the Voices” was born, because I knew I wouldn’t be the only one who’d be interested.

Editors: What was the most fun thing about the photo shooting?
Marco Schöler: The diversity of the voices, of course. For example, when in the set you suddenly notice that the voice of Daniel Craig / James Bond, is also the one for Adam Sandler… and it was just as diverse with all 30 voices.

Editors: Which challenges did you have to overcome when producing the pictures?
Marco Schöler: The portraits were, in fact, the easiest part of the whole exhibition. The most difficult thing at the beginning was winning the trust of the speakers. Many of them are nearly invisible online, and I had to fall back on old telephone methods. In other words, the fact that many of them were consciously hiding behind the camera was a large obstacle. If it had been any easier, I wouldn’t have been the first photographer with such a large-scale project.

Editors: What are generally the greatest challenges with a photo shooting?
Marco Schöler: As a portrait photographer, I work very intensely with various people and characters. Whether the CEO of a large company, creative musicians, all the way to world-famous actors. The goal of ever portrait is to describe the person with a single picture – in other words, that the person opens up in front of the camera, and in that way, show them as they actually are. And that’s exactly where the greatest challenge lies (especially under time pressure).

Editors: Thank for the interesting interview!

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