As a photographer I focus on people, no matter if in street photography, reportage or portraiture. And nearly every assignment starts with a conversation: I’m interested in body language, in the way somebody laughs, talks and behaves. A similar »wavelength«, mutual respect and confidence are fundamental for my work. I look at facial expressions and gestures, the small changes in faces during those conversations – in order to feel and experience what a person’s character and personality are about. Essentials of my photography, which always begin with the human being; prior to any photography work, my personal perceptions become ideas and a visual concept.
Quite a number of people I’ve worked with considered themselves as unphotogenic, even unattractive. I completely disagree with these self-concepts: Yvel Hyppolite, my former teacher in portraiture, used to say »There aren’t any unphotogenic people – but plenty of awkward photographers!« I remember and appreciate his wise words very much; what I once considered to be a rather idealistic perspective, reflects today – after years in photography – my personal experiences. I completely agree to Yvel’s concept and could tell a lot of stories about very personal encounters. In fact, they are too personal to be told publicly; it’s a matter of respect for the individual in front of my camera. But many of these situations were very touching and sometimes so intense that I had tears in my eyes.
What could be more impressing than the moment somebody discovers him- or herself in my photographs, completely perplexed by an unknown, new perspective, asking me: »…is that really me? But I’m beautiful?!« Frankly, I’m sure that everybody is beautiful; not in the common sense of a completely mistaken ideal of beauty, but in his or her individual, special way. Beyond that stupid »brainwash« (Dustin Hoffman), all you need to do is to feel and see it.