Need to Know: Klinko and Indrani

6.21.2010

By Dustin Fitzharris

Where do you see Lady Gaga's career heading? Will she have some legs in the business or is she a passing fancy?
Reid: I think she's got a lot of evolving to do. She's going to continue to grow. I don't think she's going to always be as outrageous as she is now.
Indrani: I think she is a genius. She doesn't let a set of standards define her. She creates her own, and I think other artists are struggling to keep up with her.

What was it like working with Naomi Campbell?
Indrani: She's pretty terrifying.

Were you nervous every time she took out her cell phone?
Indrani: Yes.
Klinko: This was actually an interesting experience because we were all really excited to work with her and obviously everyone had read the stories. It's a challenge photographing someone who has been photographed for the last 20 years by the best of the very best. What happens a lot of times, people we work with gravitate to one of us, and oftentimes it's to Indrani because she is cute and sweet, and I'm a little more obnoxious. In this particular case with Naomi, she was very sweet with me and listened to everything I said, but there was an electrical energy with her and Indrani that didn't quite gel.
Indrani: I was quite terrified. She's a very powerful person. It was just tense for me.

Let's go back to the beginning. How did you two meet?
Indrani: I started modeling when I was 14. I was really drawn to fashion images. When you're 14 and a nerdy school girl, it's very hard to learn about photography. Fortunately I was able to become a model and be in the center of the creative process. I got to learn from the inside out. When I met Markus I had been doing my own photography for years, but I never had the confidence to pursue it as a career. My family was very traditional, and they wanted me to be a politician or a lawyer.

And then you studied anthropology at Princeton.
Indrani: I did. That was actually after I met Markus. I met Markus on a casting and immediately we started working together. Right after we began working together I got accepted into Princeton, but kept doing photography with Markus. I had this dual life for four years.

Eventually the working relationship turned romantic, but was it actually love at first sight?
Klinko: I'd say so.
Indrani: I actually went to my friends and told them that I met someone that I thought would always be my best friend. It was weird because he was twice my age.
Klinko: Let's not exaggerate. I am not twice your age. I'm 13 years older.

Markus, you started off as a classical musician, and then in 1994 you discovered your passion for taking photos. How did that come about?
Klinko: I was a classical concert harpist. My father was a symphony musician, so I discovered music very early on in life. I was 3 when I started piano lessons. I gave my first concert when I was about 10. I had always loved photography. I looked at photo magazines, but I never took pictures. I was in front of the camera quite often as a musician for album covers and articles. Then about 16 years ago I had this sudden injury to my hand, which today remains unclear as to what it was.
Indrani: It was psychosomatic.
Klinko: No it wasn't. But to make a long story short, it prohibited me to continue my career, which at that time was at its height. I had a contract with EMI/Virgin and was touring the world. I made a quick, snap decision where to said to myself and managers, 'I want to become a photographer.' I never went to school. I just bought a book and started experimenting. Then I met Indrani on the very first casting that I put together for a portfolio. She became my creative partner, my boss, and my lover for eight years.
Indrani: The reason I said Markus's injury was psychosomatic is because he had wanted to do so much more, and until he couldn't play the harp anymore, I think doing something else was impossible for him. He sold all his harps and bought all this lighting and camera equipment that he didn't know how to use.

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