A Passion for Make up and Photography

Hello, I am Irina Tübbecke, a German make-up artist and photographer, born and raised in Berlin. From 1993 to 2005 I lived in Cologne before I was drawn back to Berlin in 2005.

It all started with my mother’s hair curlers. I spent my time coiling her hair in them, or my own, and then my friends’. My first lipstick was orange, a fasionable colour back in the seventies. Not only that, it also went well with the hairpieces I occasionally borrowed from my mum. They didn’t match the colour of my own hair in the least, but for a brief moment they gave me that gorgeous feeling of having long hair.

Around the same time I had my first encounter with a camera. A strange, angular shaped cardboard box, an Agfa Box, that belonged to my grandmother. With my mum’s Zeiss Ikon Contina I took my first pictures. She explained exposure time and f-stops to me – still helpful advice if, as I do, you like using an analogue camera. My first travel camera was an Agfa Pocket Camera, a popular companion back then.

When I turned sixteen I started a hairdresser apprenticeship with a well-known Berlin hairstylist. Jason’s Hairpower was the absolutely hippest hair salon in West Berlin in the 1980s. I captured our crazy hairdos of that period on film with my Leica mini zoom. By the time I’d completed my three-year training I already had jobs in two other salons, but I knew there had to be more to life than that. That was just the beginning!

In 1988 I wound up in London at Greasepaint School where for a year I learned everything and anything to do with make-up. Just one year later, in 1990, I got my first offer – to work for three weeks as an additional make-up artist in a major American film production, and with a fully-fledged Hollywood cast to boot. Despite my initial trepidation one thing was certain ­– this was the life for me!

In 1992 I joined the world tour of the theatre production “Doctor Faustus lights the Lights” by Robert Wilson. I was given free hand to supervise and carry out the make-up designs by Cornelia Wentzel, and in the end they even put me in charge of overall costume supervision.

Over the following years I became familiar with various film genres, and as the films changed, so did my cameras. But it wasn’t until my return to Berlin in 2005 that I decided to put my second passion on a stronger footing. For one year I studied photography at “Fotografie am Schiffbauerdamm”, now called the Neue Schule für Fotografie. Then, in 2007, I switched to the Berlin “Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie” and took seminars led by Michael Trippel, Rudi Meisel, joining Arno Fischer’s master class in 2011. I took Workshop classes in Berlin, NYC and Italy.  In 2017 i decided to go back to Ostkreuzschule to join another year into the class of Ludwig Rauch. On my webpage www.irinadabo.com i share my work to the public.

Today I enjoy the great privilege of being able to combine both passions in one and the same place – on the film set. Nowhere else can people be portrayed so remarkably in all their depth, strength and fragility.

In 2010 I became a member of the German Movie Academy.

Please feel free to read and download my online filmography or to contact me directly if you are interested in collaborating with me.