Virtual Exhibition: NOCTURNAL

At night, when everything is seemingly sleeping and quiescent – in the darkest moments – the elegy of our souls is keeping us awake. It is a quiet piano song, so heart-breaking, yet sweet and just composed for us – unbearable and welcome at the same time as it reveals the sorrow we drowned throughout the rushing day. For centuries, this horrible, yet romantic atmosphere has been orbited in the arts, e.g. painterly, musically, and poetically, all having in common the vision of the night as the breeding ground for the coincident of lament and beauty.
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Talking to Elisa Bouchon

When the world was still in order, one day, Elisa Bouchon’s work caught my eye on Instagram. I couldn’t help but reach out and tell her how much I admired her imagery. The sets she creates are so interesting, organic, and sensitive – you actually want to grasp them. So we exchanged numbers and talked a bit but didn’t have the chance to meet and chat in person yet. Facing the lockdowns caused by COVID-19 the work of many artists transformed and so did Elisa’s – again I was impressed, and this time by her striking self-portraits. So I asked her for a video call as opposed to my previous interviews when I used to emphasise physical meetings. Necessity is the mother of invention and like in any crisis people surpass themselves.
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Interview with photographer Dale Grant photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Dale Grant

The first time I met Dale Grant it was summer and we were at a dinner party ’chez Norbert Cheminel’, a mutual friend of ours. It’s hard to describe what a lovely evening we had – with good wines, French homemade food, one loveable dog, and ten beautiful human souls sitting and eventually dancing together. While Dale was claiming that he and Hercules were just invited in order to bring ’Blitz’ (the dog) he revealed himself as a joyful and entertaining person who at the next moment conjured his new photo book ’Fading Beauty’ up as a present for the hosts. I could just catch a glimpse at it that evening but I was listening carefully when he mentioned that he switched genres from fashion to fine art flower photography with great success. Very interesting – by this, he made it on my ’photographers to interview’ list! A good while after that evening I reached out to talk to him a little more and we met at Café Berio in Berlin-Schöneberg. I realised we had much more in common than just our photography… And finally, I received my own signed copy of ’Fading Beauty’.
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Interview with light painter Gunnar Heilmann photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Gunnar Heilmann

I know Gunnar Heilmann for a year now. We met at Soho house during the very first edition of Photofuture and we immediately got along with each other. Back then he had a little presentation on how he paints a portrait with light. It was the first time that I’ve seen someone do that so I got curious. We stayed in touch and finally had a little session at his place where I could try light painting on him and he did some portraits with me. On October 5th this year his light painting festival LIGHT UP BERLIN took place at MONOPOL for the very first time and I was invited to come and see the workshops, talks, and exhibition. On this occasion, I’m meeting up with Gunnar a few days later for a retrospect and to listen to his funny stories and experiences with light painting. I just love to listen and see him talking very energetically and with sparkling eyes. Internationally his works are well known among light painters – one of the reasons why many big names showed up at LIGHT UP BERLIN. 
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Interview with photographer Colleen Mescole photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Colleen Mescole

It’s a late Sunday afternoon on September 29th and I’m meeting up with photographer and artist Colleen Mescole at Mauerwinzer in Berlin. Colleen and I first met in June to talk and have a portrait session later on. I get to know her as a resolute and strong woman who has no fear of saying what she thinks or feels. While I’m setting up my tripod to film our conversation we realize: Colleen is matching the nice interior of the wine bar – a perfect start! Over a glass of wine, I’m listening to what she has to say on the importance of a good work-life balance, especially for her art. I’m also curious to know more about the differences between America and Europe and how it is to live and work in New York City where she’s from, originally.
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Interview with photographer Arai Moleri photographed by Heidi Rondak

Talking to Araí Moleri

On September 28th I’m meeting photographer and retoucher Araí Moleri at Café Tasso in Berlin. Coming from Montevideo, Uruguay, and having a degree in product design she’s been working in very diverse fields of photography including fashion, portraiture, beauty, architecture, product, post-production, and even in stop motion films. I’m admiring the lightness in her work. She’s managing to capture interesting perspectives and postures showing off-beat aspects of people. Her retouching is extra-ordinary and it helps to really understand her subjects. I can feel that she’s a caring person who has a voice and I want to talk to her about her views.
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Title photo for Journal entry "Starting Still Life Photography"

Starting Still Life Photography

I’ve been thinking about shooting stills for a long time already and now I’ve started doing so. I enjoy images reminding of old paintings and Vanitas imagery and couldn’t help but growing the desire to make some own works in this direction. Firstly I love arranging things and make them look good together. That’s why I’ve often created the whole set design when shooting fashion by myself. The problem here is that you need to focus on too many different things and also spend a lot of budgets when you rent a studio AND all the props (given that it is a free project). So you have to be quick and it kind of gets dirty through that.
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Title photo for Journal entry "A Merry Christmas Time"

Heidi’s Christmas Calendar

I really love Christmas time, even more than the holidays. It’s a time when everything is illuminated, the first snow comes and you keep meeting your friends at Christmas markets. You start thinking about how you can make other people happy and you get plenty of chances to do so. There is the tradition of giving gifts which we do on Christmas eve in Germany. There is St. Nicolas’ Day on 6th December and there is the possibility of making someone a little present every day during the advent season – with an Advent calendar. I came up with the idea to do so with a photographic calendar in November 2016 already. Unfortunately for the Christmas season of that year, there wasn’t enough time left to make it happen. So I started the new year of 2017 with the early intent to make an Advent calendar for the next season. And so I started with the first shooting in March already.
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Title photo for Journal entry "(Per)mission to Shoot"

(Per)mission to Shoot

I’m going to tell this in a short and funny way because somehow it really is funny. It’s a matter of permissions to shoot at certain locations. Usually, it’s a legal gray area or it depends on how you interpret stuff. E.g. there is a law called „Panoramarecht (§59 UrhG)“ in Germany. It says that you are allowed to take pictures of art and buildings when they are situated in public areas, because the artist (or architect), by displaying it that way, must be meaning to devote his work to the community. The ones who take pictures have a copyright on their images and may distribute them as they like, as long as they don’t infringe anyone else’s rights.
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Title photo for Journal entry "Shooting at the golf course" for Solstice Magazine"

Shooting at the Golf Course

Shooting at a golf course was the best! A little dream came true thanks to charming stylist Neesha Meusch who managed the permission at Golf Club München Riem, just as she had done before with the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München for our shooting with Caro Daur. She has the sweetest voice and everyone is at her feet when she friendly asks for something. She was a great bonus for the shooting. Not only because of the amazing styling but also because the golf players weren’t very happy about us walking around and she was the one to calm them down a little bit. In fact, they were right: being there was quite dangerous. When a golf ball hits your head you can actually die from the consequences. Luckily we all survived, so we have a great series now with talented new face Verena from PARS Management which is now published at Solstice Magazine.
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The 10th GreenTec Awards 2017

I’m a little late with this entry as it’s already about three weeks ago, but the GreenTec Awards are still fresh in my mind. I’d met a lovely menswear designer, Joyce Darkoh, and we worked on a little Lookbook with sustainable fashion by DARKOH. The label is all about suits, mostly bespoke. The wool e.g. comes from English sheep and is eco-friendly. I fell in love with the idea and really enjoyed working with Joyce. The suits and pictures were then presented at the GreenTec Awards’ exhibition, May, 12th.
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Braids Test: Lady of the Flowers for Trend Privé Magazine

This is a little test on braids and fishbone braids with Model Ania P. from Most Wanted Models hair styled by Isabell Schwan. It’s a commercial-like story, very female, very light. I tried to have fewer shadows and soft light, the colors very fresh but earthly with some colourful touches that come with the floral styling and foreground. This is a series where I tried to style the model myself. I enjoy doing the styling sometimes when it’s an easy-going shooting with fewer people. Here we were only three persons in a very private atmosphere, nice and personal. I’m aware that styling is a thing much more complex than choosing some dresses and shirts and combining them. Stylists have to follow complicated rules when it comes to the seasons, trends, crediting, etc. which I admire. A thing that I intentionally didn’t mind in this case. Once in a while you just have to do your thing (; But this is why I like to say that this is just a test shooting that doesn’t make it into my actual portfolio.
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Remove the Fences!

I don’t want to sound like a guerrilla person, but sometimes I’d just like to go to forbidden places and/or do shootings on other people’s private property. Don’t get me wrong, I would never try to invade someone’s privacy. But you can find lots of abandoned and lost places (which usually are private property) or public spaces that are not accessible with a camera. In a time when everyone can take a photo with his or her smartphone camera and no one seems to care, a photographer’s DSLR seems to be seen as a weapon, a danger that has to be removed immediately. But why?
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The best shooting mishaps

Sometimes shit happens. We all know that and as long as you can laugh about the past, you clearly have learned something from the situation. That’s the essence of growing with your job. I’d love to share my best and/or funniest shooting breakdowns with you. As you might have already read in the other article (Why I name my editorials after songs or lyrics) I had some troubles when shooting editorial “Trouble”. If you haven’t read it yet, you are welcome to click on the link in brackets and read about that cold and rainy shooting night.
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The Special Editions QUIZ

Editing is a great part of a photographer’s work. A one day shooting automatically implies several days of retouching work. Of course, the amount of time that is necessary depends on the shooting and images themselves and it can vary a lot. Editing can be fun, at least when you start doing the first pictures and see the result. After a while, it can surely get exhausting as your back and eyes get stressed from sitting and staring as well as your hand starts hurting.
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