The way I work is shaped by my view on photography. How I understand photography is, on the other hand, shaped by my personality, my values, by what I consider important.
I love realness. Rawness. True emotions. Authentic reactions. Therefore, I have been drawn to documentary photography from the beginning. Back then, I didn’t know that there was a word – a concept – behind the way I wanted to use photography.
Memories are dear to me. I don’t know why it is that way, but I remember little from my childhood. Even from the last years there are so many beautiful and sad moments that I have just forgotten. That’s where pictures and written words come into display. They help me remember. I believe it’s the candid pictures that help you remember best.
A lot of the pictures I have taken so far show a mixture between so called lifestyle and documentary photographs. Whereas in lifestyle photography there is mostly a harmonious setting in the best light (and some directions from my side), the idea behind documentary photography is to capture the ‘real’ character, relationships and everyday life of the people photographed without interventions.
I like to see myself documenting love and joy as well as pain and sorrow. Because all of it is part of life.
So do I believe that my pictures depict reality? No, not really. The memories we hold don’t depict the past reality either. They are shaped and often distorted by our perception as well as by our reflection on them, by following events, by our development and by our present. And yet, they shape us, our development and our present. That’s why they are so precious. It doesn’t really matter, whether everything has been exactly the way we remeber. It matters to remember. All the love shared, the hope and the pain felt.
Obviously, I am aware that my pictures are influenced by the way I see the world, by the way I see the relationship between you and your loved ones. And obviously, I have a certain sense of aestethics that also influences the way I shoot, the moments I decide to capture and the photographs that I choose after the shoot. And yet, I try to come as close as possible to what I perceive to be the reality of your big day or of one ordinary day with your family. Because I focus on the real moments.
That implies that some pictures you get might not be beautiful at first sight. They might not fit into a perfect instagram feed. And yet they will reveal hidden beauty that might only matter to you. That also implies that some pictures will be too intimate to ever leave the walls of your home. If you don’t want certain pictures to be shown online, I can totally understand. But I hope that those pictures will help you remember best. And I hope they will let you see how beautiful and loved you are and what a gift it is that you live your life.
You wonder what it means, if you decide for me to shoot you?
To be precise: I do not have a list with poses that I have to shoot on a wedding day. I will not shoot babies wrapped up in baskets. (If that’s what you want, I can recommend you talented colleagues who are able to do that way better than me.) I will not tell you to smile into my camera. Actually I will tell you not to. 🙂 It’s not even about having an all-cleaned-up house when you invite me to come into your home to document one day or a couple of hours with your family. Nor about being dressed nicely. I love to just document what I see happening without interventions. And let my pictures tell your stories.
Will I give directions? Sometimes, if necessary, I might. But I prefer not to. I prefer to just watch and anticipate the moments that I consider as valuable. Some are big and obvious, others quiet and hidden. Sometimes I catch laughter, sometimes tears. Sometimes it’s just a touch or the way you look at each other that tells stories no words could tell.
Imagine yourself years in the future. What will be left of your wedding day? Of the time your kids were young? The time your parents still lived?
Candid photographs are priceless.
You’ve wondered who took the shot of Matthias and me? It was my dear Alex – go check her stunning work!
To see some pictues that hang on the walls of our home, see here. They remind me of how blessed and showered with grace I am.