I’m a photographer. However, you have a wrong picture of me, if you think that almost everyone who has a camera can say that by now. And who doesn’t? – What do I do differently? I see something that my customers see, but don’t perceive until I show it to them. My picture of it is taken in the camera, and preferably not on the screen. Because I see it that way, because I miss the one tiny moment and surprise even chance, I call it the daily search for the one, the precise image.
You may know or have heard of this documentary film about the Japanese sushi master Jiro. Although Jiro has mastered his lifelong activity to perfection, at the end of the day he says he is constantly on the lookout for the even more perfect sushi. At first I found this statement arrogant, then half-baked, I admit. As a reminder: raw fish underlaid with cold rice, a fast food nowadays. What does the old man want to improve every day?
Time passed. I no longer thought of the sushi cook and his crazy life task. Then, on a set – a modern detached house before the first occupation, no lawn yet, the trees as small as toys, the garage as empty as the pond and the exposed concrete walls in the kitchen – we looked at the pictures on the screen with the client. Everyone was highly satisfied, except one. Obviously my sceptical worry lines caused great astonishment. What is the matter with you, the architect wanted to know. This evening, my gaze wandered in all seriousness over the generously distributed trees, before the sun is at its lowest here, I come here again and try a few photographs. Sometimes you feel that something is still possible. Then not to stop is always rewarded. Even if, as with this job, it only turns out that the cool objectivity lacked a touch of warmth. I can’t describe the fascination of architecture, I have to show it.
If the search for the best picture for today was successful, that makes me proud. It’s only a picture, but it contains everything about me, besides the object and the light.
After my training as a photographer, I worked as a web designer for a few years, but then found out that my love of photography was the better way for me to get together with people and show them my ideas. Since then I’ve been working in my Basel studio, loving to photograph people, their faces, fashion and products. If you can’t find me there, I’m outdoors with my mobile studio, on construction sites, talking to architects, what matters to them, what purpose my picture should serve for the customer and how an impressive construction on a picture makes a little more impression. With sushi, I’ve become choosy, although I don’t really know anything about it, as you know, I’m a photographer.
Photo: Christian Schneider