I was born into a family where craft and art was a part of life. I took my first steps around
furniture made by my mom, I played hide and seek in my grandfather’s atelier - who was a
silversmith, my funky clothes were often made by my mom or grandmother and I used to
fall asleep watching my aunts surrealist paintings hanging next to my bed.
Retrospectively looking, I started searching for my personal creative field already back
then for which I could start dedicating time and craft.
At the age of 19 I started design school although I was dreaming of becoming a rockstar
and a tattoo artist - which faded after two years in school when product design gave my
creative potential a senses of purpose and a place where I could channel it.
I was a terrible student but best in class. One made up design assignment after the other,
gave me creative claustrophobia.
After a trip to New York in 2012 I tried hard to level up my photography skills but all I could
think off was the fact that the camera as a tool made no sense to me.
So the coming two months I skipped school designing a camera concept which I would
make sense to me. This became one of the most important projects in my life, not because
it gave me the opportunity to design the Leica Q but because I trusted my instinct and
followed up my dream with hard work.
Design made me understand photography. I didn’t know how to attack the concept of
photography as an art form and make it a part of my creative palette before designing my
first camera. With the Leica Q in my hands I started chasing light for the first time with the
world as my canvas. Subconsciously I never saw myself as a photographer since I was a
designer. It allowed me to be free on my journey when searching for my visual expression.
It allowed me to see the world as my canvas and this is where design brought me..........
There's a certain flow of honesty and appreciation that goes hand in hand with street photography. At least for me. With honesty I mean that nothing is staged or planned when that specific moment occurs - it is just a combination of appreciating shadows, light, people, architecture, culture and your own curiosity. As cliche as it might sound, there is always a bit of self exploration involved as well, trusting your gut. No matter where you are or who you include in the frame, treating everyone with respect and being humble is one of the main ingredients in all my street photos. Sometimes the interaction is a second, sometimes minutes and but many cases no words are exchanged, yet there is a vulnerability that has to be flipped - to a feeling of trust. And many times that moment is actually more worth than the frame. I guess it is hard to describe and maybe this sounds completely insane but a good frame is actually more about that split second interaction than any photographic technique or other skill set.
I fell in love with photography through Leica and my years working there and retrospectively looking back I believe the strong heritage of photo journalism connected to the brand shaped my interest in the beauty of non staged or planned frames, but rather coincidences and being at the right place at the right time or even waiting for something to happen. Having said that, of course the great Magnum photographers influenced me to certain degree.
When I edit my work, I kind of see the file from my camera as a canvas - because there is so much interpretation, expression and creativity left for that part of the process. And I don't mean full on manipulation and hard core photoshopping. It is more about chasing that right feeling for the frame. Often my street frames tend to gravitate towards a melancholic, rich contrast look with a few dominant signature hues. For some reason that naturally resonates with me and regardless if I use a preset or start from scratch, that's where I will end up.
Charge and get charged
I try to keep money out of the equation, because I don't see my photography as being my profession but rather an expression. An expression which is extremely important to me on a personal level. I can't jeopardise losing my own curiosity for the sake of fulfilling someone else's expectations. Being completely free is strongly linked with my relation to photography in that sense.
Life is just fucking amazing when you have a couple charged of batteries in your pocket, hopefully some gigabytes on your SD card, a camera hanging around your neck, going somewhere you have never been and just letting everything else be secondary. It centers me, it allows me to breathe. It is almost flirting with the definition of meditation.
Charge, chase light and get charged.