vita / about me

about me:

Sometimes I must close my eyes and bury my head under my arms. Not because I’m depressed or tired, just because the amount of images around me are overwhelming and overloading my inner eye and camera.

When I was seven I took my brothers stamps put them in my stamp book, sold the whole thing to an older scholar to buy my first camera. It had icons of a cloud, a sun, a group of animals and one cow on it. The first years of my photographic career I focused on legs testing the sun, the cloud, the group and the single option of my real cool little best friend. My family and friends were not amused when I showed them my artworks and surely never even thought of the possibility that I might one day earn money with a camera.

Now legs are not my favourite anymore. It’s the faces, expressions, atmosphere and emotions that interest me as well as transferring thousands of inner images to the outside. Lack of imaginary was never a problem in my head. And sometimes those images must come out. A dress, a person, a shoe, a building, food, a story or what ever can set free a whole series of inner pictures. There is hardly a minute in my life where I don’t constantly take pictures, even though I do not have a camera with me.
I make image campaigns for cities and festivals, fashion labels and businesses. Those who love my style will just tell me what its about and wait for the series to emerge. Especially creative fashion designers, some with a touch of craziness love my work. But also serious people like those working for German municipalities rely on my imagination. So it happened with the international Music festival “Klangvokal” that for the first time took place 2010 in Germany. No matter how unusual and for the strict eye of a German Major very provoking images – the complete campaign was build and created around my pictures. Next to spilling out my own ideas I also love to creep into other peoples head try and see with their eyes and then manage to get the pictures out of the customers imagination into my camera – very fulfilling moments!
The first time I took pictures for a chef was an eye opener for him and for me. During the briefing I quickly realised that this man was not interested in destroying his creations in order to make them look super artificial and ‘so called’ pretty. He loved his food as much as I like eating. After an hour this grumpy and angry chef was laughing, joking and cooking up a storm. Knowing that all dishes will survive the shoot still warm enough to eat and with just as beautiful results as if it had taken hours setting the light and prettying the food up. Since then I have met many different chefs and stood in the strangest kitchens always enjoying the most interesting, delicious and joyful shoots. Very often other food photographers ask me where and with which lighting I took this or that picture. If I tell them it was e.g. in a tiny yellow kitchen with just two windows for natural light, they simply very often do not believe me. Therefore it’s quite easy: I just concentrate on the beauty of a dish and the light. There is hardly ever too little or wrong light especially if it has a natural source. Light creates atmosphere and photographs live from atmosphere and yes light is the most important tool for me.
With people I keep it similar as with the food: The less complicated and the more fun the better the images. I only scream at a model if I want an interesting change of face. And that stunned look that appears if you see a jumping and screaming photographer in front of you can be very interesting plus what ever happens after that is far more interesting then it was before. When I make portraits, documentations, events, weddings or work with models you will never hear me say: “cheese” and very seldom “smile”. If a child does not want to smile leave it to me, it will after a while. In fact if no one interferes it normally will be laughing its head off quite soon. Fashion models get involved in to the “story” I want to tell and are part of the creation of the image. Nobody or nothing who is involved with my photography is just a mere subject. It´s always a communication between me and the subject. And believe me a stone can have a lot to share.
Keeping things uncomplicated does not mean that I avoid studio work involving different light sources and complicated settings. Quite the opposite: It’s wonderful to have the complete power of where and how the light will fall. I do it to get the result I want. I just do not do it to impress a customer.
So keeping things short: I am a photographer and I am quite good at it. I was born in South Africa, spent most my live in Germany where I studied photography, moved back to the country I love and take pictures that can make people cry. OK I can also take pictures that make people laugh.