in english it sounds a little funny (and i’m not sure if i reached the best translation possible), but in german it’s much better: porträt im raum was our last homework, by werner’s class.
i photographed 6 people. since in the first portrait homework i didn’t challenge myself and simply photographed ricardo, whom i met 230 years ago and feel very close to, for this one i wanted to give a little effort and shoot people i would not feel as comfortable with as i felt with him.
so 3 of them are very close friends of mine, 2 were friends’ friends and the last one was a complete stranger i met on a beauty salloon.
the challenge is always the same: not being too close, not being too far. at least for me. with felipe i was lucky to just be around and watch him for some days, and at some point he gave me that moment:
werner said i could have cropped it better and take out the excessive information on the left side and a little bit of the upper part. totally agreed.
with silvia it was fast, because she is not shy and very self-confident. i like this photo, because it has kind of a movement between routine and awkwardness. while moritz is knotting his tie, in a very daily situation for him (he’s a lawyer), she sits on the head of the bed and stares at someone. as far as i remember, no comments on that picture were made.
by jörg’s portrait, werner said it is not a portrait actually, but a photo of a corridor and a kitchen with a man sitting in its end. i like the picture because i like jörg. no, lie, i really like the picture and don’t see why it ain’t a portrait.
with luis was something else. he is very charming, he could be a very easy person to photograph, but i didn’t make it. the funny thing was: as i was taking the pictures, i was really really excited about the possible results, because we had a nice flow together. besides that, the flat where he lives in is big with cool vintage furniture and beautiful light, but somehow all the pictures ended up to be so shallow – the totally opposite of what he is! that’s really the only one where i see a glimpse of personality.
with jonas i have to say i used the excuse to take his portrait to actually go to his place and get to know him better. i explain: i was first introduced to him one year ago and he was so absolutely cynical and arrogant, i felt very intimidated – and immediately obsessed. we never met again. then two weeks ago i happened to meet him on a party and was just challenged to ask him for a photo.
i went to his flat in kreuzberg and we were sitting for ages, drinking coffee and eventually i took one portrait or another, during the conversation. the only posed one is the one by the bed, which i really liked. werner said nothing about them, and no one seemed to be thrilled by them. i like them, even though something with the colors doesn’t function.
then there is cleide, a full interesting person who lives and works in berlin for 6 years now. she’s the owner 4 waxing salloons in germany. her story is totally interesting, but no matter how much time i spent with her and got closer, nothing, nothing came as result. i didn’t manage to take a picture as interesting as she is. this is the one i liked the most exactly because it feels wrong, with this lines behind her, the half-seeing rio’s photo and her smile. werner said it looks like family album pic, and i can’t disagree. sorry, my bad.
lesson learned #1
i’ll stop being oprah. i mean, it’s not a matter of spending 15 minutes or 15 hours trying to discover who’s this person, but to create an image. i’m great at interrogating people and i love it because regular people are just so crazy in the end, but it won’t do a photo. no matter how much you get charmed by a person, it doesn’t mean at all the picture will come good, no matter how deep you try to dive within.
lesseon learned #2
cheap films, yeah, i truly believe in them. but HOW cheap can one go? you know, there’s this shitty ultra shitty kodak color 100 asa that you can buy for 2 euros in sao paulo (never found them in berlin), that still gives you nice result. but this solaris one i bought for 1,80 euro, mein gott… let’s see how it works with flash. i’ll try and give you some news.