“Anyone can love
a rose, but it takes
a great deal to love a leaf.
It’s ordinary to love the beautiful,
but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.”
Highly active international Fine Art Photographer focused on Street Photography from Germany who is currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is founder of NEOPRIME International Fine Arts Label and also owner and publisher of his own magazine called NEOPRIME Contemporary Fine Art Photography. He also writes books about street photography and finding your creative soul, has won 21 international photographic awards so far such as: Urban Photographer Of The Year 2014
Winner Germany Yahoo & Flickr Street Photography Contest
Silver Camera For Young Photographers At The Fep
Sony World Photography Awards Finalist 2015.
THE STORY OF HOW I UNLEASHED MY CREATIVE SOUL
Here’s the story of how I started with nothing, didn’t feel photography for two years, almost gave up, did a 365 project, discovered street photography, gave it my all and finally quit my safe 9-5 job to live my dream:
Travel around the world, start my own international fine arts label, win international awards, sell my art worldwide and write books about how you can live your dream as well.
When I look back on my photographic journey, I can say that I never expected it to turn into something so meaningful to me. To be honest, the most exciting part of my 1000 mile journey almost never happened. So let me take you back to where it all started.
Back in 2011 I bought my first camera to keep some nice memories from my travels. I soon realized how much fun it was to play around with the cam and captured everything around me. It was a great way of expressing myself and I was happy about having a new creative outlet. After a while I felt that I had to take it to the next level. To find out what I was truly passionate about, I tried all sorts of genres only to discover that there is nothing I wanted to pursue any further. I clearly remember how I wanted to become a portrait photographer so badly, but it always felt awkward and still does. Although it really bothered me how I couldn’t feel photography on a deeper level, I kept going and eventually ended up in a photographic rut at the end of 2012. I began giving in to the idea that maybe this whole photography thing wasn’t meant for me.
I knew I had something in me, but I just couldn’t really set if free. I decided to give it one more try with something bigger than I’ve ever done before. A couple of days before New Year’s Eve I decided to start a “365 days 365 photos” project like so many other photographers before me. It felt like a great idea, and so I just went for it. What could possibly happen?
I signed up for Flickr on January 1st 2013. I wanted to have some sort of diary of the process, and the chance to maybe build an audience. I will never forget the moment when I got my first favorite, and then my first comment. It was amazing to see that there were others out there that seemed to like what I was seeing, feeling and capturing. Still, as the days and weeks passed by, I still wasn’t too sure about what I wanted to shoot. As you can see, my first uploads don’t really have a common theme or idea. It was great that way, but after a while I lacked the fuel that kept my machine running. I didn’t really have a driving force behind my work. The one thing that fascinated me more than anything else during my photo walks, however, was how incredibly atmospheric everyday life on the streets could be. Sure, it felt weird at first to take photos of random strangers, but capturing real moments instead of set up shots immediately mesmerized me.
Although no one knew I was taking photos of them to keep everything authentic, I somehow found a way to become the director of candid scenes on the stage of life. I either followed people till they reached interesting sceneries, waited for people to appear at a great spot or just captured a great moment right in front of me. For the first time in my photographic journey I was able to truly pour my heart and soul into my photos. I felt as though I had broken my chains for the first time!
“Urban Lights” (Right) which I took on the 39th day of the project, changed everything. As a huge fan of Reddit, I submitted the photo to the Reddit & WideAngle Photo contest just for the fun of it. I’ll never forget the moment when they told me that I won 1st prize in this contest packed full of amazing contestants. This was one of the first moments where I realized that maybe my photography might be better than I thought. Although awards don’t really mean that much to me, it felt amazing to know that even judges liked what I was doing. Over the course of the project, I won 10 more awards around the world and made it to 6 shortlists. These awards made me happy, but they didn’t compare to the first time someone told me that they started out with photography because of me… that I was their inspiration. This still puts a smile on my face that no award or prize money could ever give me.