Thursday, 29 March 2012


Hey folks,

it is Thursday morning, Iam listening to the Arrival of the Birds, and I can't wait to post this text. What I will be writing, and to see how you will respond to this.
There are so many things out there, so many suits and dresses, which one should I pick?

Shooting film is like looking behind your curtain | Nikon F80, some lense and film

My very first experience with film came when my father handed me his film camera. Aged 14, I ran into our garden and shot flowers. I still love the picture that I kept from my first shootings, because it was and is really me: Engaged in the world of living, getting everything done before light hits my film, and enjoying the results with no editing time spent.. Useless to say that CDs and photoshops were not present yet in the days I started photographing, Well there was CorelDraw, but that was not close to the tools of the trade a generation after us would be playing around with. I started photographing when the Game Boy screen was nothing but different types of green :D

What made me change my suit then if it was fitting so perfectly? A nuckle head breaking my camera! What happened was that I changed for another suit. I was so comfotable shooting film, I should have never left it! But the flow the world went forced me to, and with my camera broken I joined the mass choir resolving in joy and plentitude everytime a camera with slightly more megapixel came to the market.

Shooting now meant spending more and more time at your desktop, as I had the ambition to fill my cards with crap and go for the diamonds while editing. Confessing that composition and a mastering use of light meant less and less to me, Photoshop and Lightroom did the job instead. As this was the go for almost everybody around me, I felt comfortable going with the flow.
It was until last year that I discovered famous Jose Villa, who really got me with his  photographs that were well composed and breathing a cohesion and comprehensive style of photography, that let me realize that I did not find peace in my work style, rather than following the taste of others and jumping into their suits.  I felt so clearly that I wanted to change for my old suit back again. Attracted by his work, I bought his book and read it over and over again. It was clear: I had to shoot film again. And I would get those results from the first click on. How disappointed was I to realize that I hated the film he used for his work in sunny California, it turned to be awful with good old German light :)

first wedding on film | Nikon F 80

first wedding candid on film | Nikon F 80

Most of his advices did not account for me. Or at least, I did not get them right. And my pictures were different than the ones I took at 14.

Do not get me wrong: I did not want to mimic his work. I wanted to create an atmosphere on my photographs that would let me have the same feelings when I glanced at his photographs. And literally the same feeling that appeals to me whenever I look at my first shots on film.
There were those shots that I really loved, but most of the time I produced nothing appealing on my films. It was until I started analysing his work and looking at his photographs as we did in school when analysing master pieces in art ( I knew this would be good for something, make some noise for my awe some teachers in Arts).

Analyzing his work made me ask myself what I really liked. I extended that analysis to my bookmarks and realised that I liked work that really fascinated me, but that this was not me. I was not the Californain photographer that had awesome light all day long. My work was reflecting what I felt, what I thought, and what I saw when I looked through my camera. And that was the only thing that was valuable.

Taking this into account I stepped back and started from the beginning: If I wanted to be a better photographer, I needed to become a better person. In other words. Something in the recent years had changed so dramatically that I did not fit in that suit again. Nameless to say that I got some extra weight I am trying to get rid of right now :D

Whenever I wished my clients to fall in love with my work, I had to love my work by myself. I had to love the life that I lived until then, otherwise any other feeling would reflect throughout my work.
My sister always told me that my photographs were too dark. Until I analysed my feelings I did not know what she meant: The time I started shooting weddings was the time I started taking responsability for my own life. I wanted to do everything on my own and to be able to tell my parents that I am grown up. That started short after my film camera was broken. What came with this was that I was becoming "Ernst", that is a German word that goes way beyond "being serious". I wasn't enjoying life as a whole any more.

ma latest fashion shooting on film | Nikon F 80, Kodak Portra 400

Nowadays I really relaxed. And I started a hard process of finding out who I really am. This is somewhat painful, especially when you were heading the wrong direction for a looong time. But in the pain, change and ease will rise. Thank God I started it, it hurts, but after pain comes relief. And what comes after that is invaluable experience!

Be awesome,



  1. Feels like we went through some similar life changing times....but I am not yet there where I want to be..still some miles to go.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. You are so welcome. Honestly spoken, I realized last weekend that there is still a trip ahead, and I love every step I am about to make.