Reflections 2019

Inspired by a lecture by Andreas Jorns, I reflected again about the current state of my photography, my ideas and plans. And of course about the path that led me here. I always find it important to have a break, to look back, and to contemplate the next steps.

2018 was a year of important decisions and steps for me. Due to my sabbatical in May I had a full month off for the first time since graduating from high school and could concentrate very much on photography. I was able to realize some exciting projects and get to know new people. It was a until then unknown experience to be able to deal with my thoughts and feelings without much distraction and to think about what I really want to say with my photography, which stories I want to tell.

From my point of view I really took big steps in the right direction, the pictures and stories became more thoughtful, "deeper" and more creative. I could also resist almost all temptations to take pictures that would have led me too far away from my planned path. Somestimes this can be really hard and I still need a lot of discipline because there are so many great people and ideas that you can photograph. Since then, I have made only a few, very selected shootings, but prepared them all the more intensively together with the dedicated people in front of my camera.

In the years before I have tried out many things and techniques. That was a lot of fun for me for a long time and I was always able to learn something. Above all, all these experiences helped me to develop my preferences, to find my own way. Many of the themes I tried out during that time I would only photograph again under certain circumstances. Since my time is very limited, I have to concentrate all the more on what is essential for me. But I think I’m on the right track.

I am often asked how I got into photography or how long I have been doing this kind of artistic photography. Photography as a medium has interested me very much since my early youth, but for a long time rather as an opportunity to capture private moments (family, travel, …). It wasn’t until around 2014 that I began to gradually discover photography as a creative medium, as an opportunity to tell something, regardless of whether I capture random moments or create them myself.

Like my family, I would describe my childhood and youth as being somewhat far from art. There were few artistic influences at that time that could have affected me. So at first I hardly developed a closer, more personal relationship to any form of art. I was happy when I could capture beautiful memories on photos, but I knew no way to express myself artistically. Looking back, I think I could have needed art well back then to express the unspeakable and find a voice while enduring some hard times.

Apart from art and music lessons during school time, I never enjoyed an artistic education. I have worked out almost everything on my own in recent years. It wasn’t easy to find the time and energy to do it alongside family and work. To be honest, sometimes I look a little envious at people who grew up with art, who have an artistic education and thus much more foundation for their work, where everything seems so purposeful, meaningful and reasonable. Sometimes I feel like I’m just simulating being an artist while others are to the core.

Anyway, it is a tremendous liberation for me to suddenly have an opportunity to express thoughts and feelings for which I have rarely been able to find a language. It is up to the viewer whether it is to be regarded as art or not, for me it is in any case the language I have been looking for for more than three decades.

Note: This is a repost of two merged texts i shared in 2019 on Instagram. I think my new blog is a much better place to store my thoughts and stories that I have written down over the last few years.