Again and again I am asked questions about what I want to express with my pictures, what meaning this or that picture element has. In the beginning, I also asked myself these questions and tried to "put together" my pictures in a completely thought-out and planned way. However, I soon realised that this is not my approach to art and that I can also access works of art by other artists only with great difficulty or not at all in this way. Either I feel them or I don’t feel them, I don’t have to understand everything. On the contrary, I love secrets and mysteries, things that make me linger with the piece of art for a while.
The same is true for me with my pictures. And the more I open my pictures to impulses, feelings and spontaneous impressions when they are being created, the more absurd this constant yearning of others to give everything an intellectual superstructure seems to me. I don’t want to answer anything with my pictures and they don’t have to explain anything either. I have to be able to feel the image in the brief moment before it is created, it has to catch my interest, my curiosity and make me want to press the shutter. This also applies to ideas that I have been carrying around with me for a while, like using this rabbit mask for "something". These ideas and concepts also have to prove themselves in the viewfinder.
Especially in the collaborations with the people in front of my camera, it is an important and great experience for me to often give up a lot of the control when creating and go on a truly shared and equal journey. With plenty of freedom for everyone involved to contribute their ideas, thoughts, moods and feelings. This is also what makes it so difficult to answer a "why?" for many images, in most cases there is not one person with one idea behind them. Most pictures are the result of a collaborative, open process and for me this process is the essential thing about my pictures, not the final image. In the last few years I have become more and more involved in this process and I am happy that at least I myself can see this development in my pictures. And maybe you see that change too.
It has been an exciting experience for me over the last few years to shift my focus in photography more and more "from head to heart and belly", i.e. to create a safe space for moods and feelings in the process of creative work. And to allow this to be reflected in the images. This development means a lot to me, as it brings the whole person (not just the surface) in front of the camera and the collaboration itself more and more into focus. In this way, most collaborations become a short journey, often with an as yet uncertain destination at the start. The images taken together thus become more of a memory of the journey, but are no longer the primary goal. It’s a great feeling for me to be able to say it was a wonderful, exciting journey, a worthwhile time spent together, regardless of whether the final pictures will turn out good or bad in the end.
This shift in focus makes me very happy as it also corresponds to my personal development outside of photography. I try to pay much more attention to what is good for me and what is not, what hinders my development and what takes me further. And this kind of photography supports this a lot, because the personal and creative exchange with the wonderful people in front of my camera is an enrichment for me every time. Moreover, these very personal collaborations are a nice reason for me to overcome my general shyness and reclusiveness, at least for a while.
To return to the initial thought, I cannot and do not want to explain every picture or even every element. It’s enough for me to have felt it in that moment and pressed the shutter. For me, it is much more exciting and worthwhile to think about why I do photography in the first place and what I want to achieve creatively in general. Apart from the creative process described above, it is more and more important to me to open up spaces for thoughts and feelings through my pictures, without any guidelines or instructions. A way to escape from everyday life and the real world with all its "head things" for a while. Photography has always been, at its core, a retreat and a form of escapism for me. And in the meantime I escape more and more often in company.