Taxi Cab with Helmut Lang advertisement on the roof drives over a bridge

Photographer Philipp Paulus Stays Fashion Forward with Blackmagic Design

“Motion is what makes potential customers stop scrolling,” noted photographer and director Philipp Paulus.

“Since the introduction of DSLR filmmaking and the rise of Instagram, which coincidentally happened at the same time, photographers have been experimenting with video. At a slower rate at first, but to a point that now in 2024, no fashion campaign is stills only. It actually feels the opposite, as a lot of campaigns have a film as their hero and supplement with photos. Which if you think about it is just natural for fashion, as you want to see the collection moving and in motion to imagine what it would be like to wear the clothes,” he added.

Paulus assisted three photographers full time for 10 years before making the step to build his own portfolio in 2022. His clients now include luxury fashion and jewelry brands such as Helmut Lang, Peter Do, Banana Republic, Bergdorf Goodman and Cartier.

“My background was in photography, but while building up my portfolio, I noticed that video was becoming more and more sought after by clients,” he explained. “Picking up a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K back then was my way of trying video out without being intimidated by the big camera builds. Blackmagic has stuck with me ever since.”

In addition to the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Paulus’ workflow now includes Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film cameras and DaVinci Resolve Studio, which he uses for editing, color grading, VFX and audio post production, along with a DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and a DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor.

Photo and Film Unite

“Blackmagic Design has a very unique setup that’s beneficial to the continuing merger between photography and videography that the fashion industry is experiencing,” noted Paulus. “For example, clients, who used to book photographers and now need videographers, don’t know that something needs to be edited and picture locked before it gets graded. They want to see a look preview with the first draft they receive, which I fully understand. Since I use Resolve end to end, I’m able to cater to my clients’ needs because I can efficiently do it all in one program.

“While I now use Resolve for all post production, I learned on other systems and would only use Resolve for grading; a workflow unnecessarily complicated but still common in the industry. When I noticed how much more efficient my workflow became once I made the switch to edit, grade, VFX and sound in one app, it blew my mind.”

According to Paulus, the same is true when it comes to Blackmagic Design’s cameras. “The Pocket Cinema Camera line and Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K are unique because you can treat them like a still photo camera. You can grab them, shoot a film, and they have everything you need on board, while creating beautiful images,” he said.

After purchasing a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K years ago at the beginning of his career, Paulus eventually secured bigger jobs and started renting bigger and more expensive cameras because that’s what he thought he had to do.

“With other cameras, I often ran into technical problems that are not tolerable,” he said. “Also, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is fast and efficient. Other cameras require a larger team which makes your workflow slow. Long story short, while larger cameras can produce a great image, you might literally miss some shots because the camera isn’t ready. Since the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K also produces beautiful images, with some good grading and a beautiful lens, you can barely tell the difference between cameras.”

“Having gone through both learning experiences over the years, I came to the point where it only made sense to fully commit to a Blackmagic Design hardware and software workflow. The fashion and advertising industries are going through major changes, and Blackmagic Design is catering to those needs,” he continued. “Funny enough, one of the recent Helmut Lang projects I worked on was also live switched and streamed to YouTube with a Blackmagic Design workflow.”


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From the Street to the Runway

For Helmut Lang’s pre fall 2024 campaign, Paulus was tasked with a standard fashion show recording, but he stretched the possibilities, creating an extended fashion campaign film that spanned the street to the runway.

“Helmut Lang has a very forward thinking approach to its campaigns and advertising and was one of the early brands to recognize how important it is to have a motion film campaign,” he said. “Instead of just filming a fashion show as a live event, we wanted to document the protagonist, who was our model opening the show, in the hours before the show via a short film.”

Shot with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro in Blackmagic RAW and posted in DaVinci Resolve Studio with a DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor, Paulus noted that there were extra scenes that had to be shot and edited in hectic last minute settings.

“We had to wait to shoot one scene until the day before the fashion show as the dress wasn’t ready before then. There was also a transition scene in the film where she walks from the Lower East Side into the venue and through the backstage areas where the live show was taking place. We wanted to create this scene to connect the film with the live show, but since we only had access to the location and hair and makeup stations the morning of the show, we had to film and edit the scene an hour before the film was shown,” he explained.

“Being able to shoot with compact cameras like the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K Pro made these challenges easy. When I only have 10 minutes to edit, then I appreciate the streamlined DaVinci Resolve workflow even more. Edit, mix, grade, and deliver in no time. And if I get any revisions from the client, then I don’t lose valuable time importing and exporting between applications,” Paulus added.

The film was screened up until the moment the model hit the runway, at which point the live fashion show began, with the live stream helmed by NYC based production company Essay Video. The fashion show was live streamed to Helmut Lang’s website, YouTube channel and Instagram and was powered by Blackmagic Design cameras, ATEM 4 M/E Constellation HD and ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K live production switchers, ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel 10, Blackmagic Videohub 20×20 12G router and ATEM Talkback Converter 4K.

“When I transitioned from just a photographer to also a director, filmmaker and videographer, I picked up my Blackmagic Design camera, and it changed the way I worked drastically,” concluded Paulus. “Fast forward a few years, and I’m not only using the 6K Pro and Cinema Camera 6K, but I’m also working end to end in DaVinci Resolve and running into Blackmagic on the live production side. No matter how the industry continues to evolve, Blackmagic Design will be there to support it.”


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