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My first interview

Published December 12th, 2011

This is a interview published 4 weeks ago on


I was born in Weiden, Germany, in 1985. I studied in Zittau where I am still living. I work for a software company, so I am no full time photographer.

Q: When or why did you decide to start taking pictures? Did someone influence you?

I started taking street pictures not long time ago. I think it was in March 2011 I took the first shot, please don´t ask about the quality of this one. I always liked to watch people when I was sitting anywhere drinking a coffee for example. I found it always interesting to see how they interact with each other, their faces when they talk. I imagined who they are, what dreams and fears they might have.Then I watched a video of Joel Meyerowitz talking about his work, his thoughts and showing how he take his pictures. This was the moment I decided for me to go out on the street with my camera.

Q: Can you recall the first photo you took (or saw) that made you go WOW!?

I saw a lot of very good pictures until now, I also hope I took a few too. But if you ask about a picture which made go wow, I must say that I don´t have taken one yet. Because it would be a perfect picture and if I had taken this one, I already quitted to go out, seeking for this picture. But the first picture I can remember which was deep going for me was a portrait taken by James Nachtwey. He took this picture in Rwanda in 1994. It shows a man whose face is scarred, but it is at the same time a very beautiful portrait of a young man. I looked at it a quite long time and that was such a wow moment.

Q: Do you have any formal training in photography?

No, not really. I attended for one year a small course in school, but it was no real lesson more like learning by doing. We shot on film and developed the pictures by ourself. The best training and practice is only taking pictures, thinking about them and talking about them to other photographers.

Q: What is your favorite gear for shooting on the street?

I use a small but nice Canon 400D and most of the time my 50mm 1.4 lense. It is just fun to take portraits with it. But sometimes I take my RICOH GR Digital when I want to get very close to the subject.

Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?

I would not call me an artist, because an artist creates something new, something which is not visible before the process of creation is not finished. And this is in my opinion completely different to street photography. In every second there is a interesting situation, there is a interesting story telling face passing by. The big question is only if I am able to notice, see and capture it, but not to create it.

Q: What has been the single biggest obstacle for you growing as a street photographer?

I was a little bit shy, I think, at the beginning. It was a unknown feeling to take pictures of strangers. But I got used to it and now the biggest obstacle is my reaction time.

Q: Describe a typical day for you as a street photographer?

There are two different ways I spend time to take pictures. First I carry my camera always with me. When I go shopping, or on the way to work and back home again. I also spend 90 % of my lunch break walking around for a while, trying to take a few pictures. So I try to take at least a handful of photos every day in my daily life. But I also spend complete days for taking pictures. I live in a very small city, you could even say village, so I go to bigger cities at the weekend. At those days I am out for more than ten hours, walking and shooting. Trying to take this one picture which let me say wow.

Q: How do you describe your style as a street photographer?

Do I have one? I look for interesting situations, gesticulations when people talk to each other, but to take portraits of strangers is my favourite section. Therefore I very often ask for a shot, because I want to get so close as I can to the person who, I want to photograph and not only in a physical way. More in the interpersonal way. I try to show the people how they really are, to show their feelings, their hopes, dreams and of course their fears. To get into a interaction with the person, to get to know her a little bit, is very important for my way, for my development as a street photographer. I take also portraits without permission, but then I try to communicate with the person afterwards. I talk to them, explaining what I do and why I do this, show them their pictures. But sometimes it is not possible to talk to someone, so I smile at the person and look her in the eyes, I just try that they feel well, that they are not going angry or something like this. So you see communication is very important for me, when I am out on the street, because there is always a time after taking the picture and I think everyone who takes pictures of persons has certain responsibility to them.

Q: What inspires you to be a street photographer

Life itself inspires me, my everyday surrounding, the people I meet day for day. Street photography is for me also a good way to share my daily life with others, to let them make the same experiences I made. To tell stories with my pictures, to show the world how the people I meet really are. But there a also lot of very good photographers out there which are pushing me with their pictures.

Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …

… I watched a few episodes of “Sex and the City”.

Johannes Kick

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