This is a love story. A love story about how my greatest hobby allows me to learn about life and about myself. A love story that started traveling. And remained.
My first camera I got when I was 7 years old. We moved to Vienna and I had the first school excursion. Discovering Vienna!
My mom put in a new film for me because I wanted to take the camera on this city excursion.
I remember being so amazed by this new city and how different it looked than where I come from. I was pulling the film and pressing the shutter at every little detail I liked along the way.
No thinking, just doing. Following my desire to memorize those moments of joy and discovery.
At the end of the city trip I went home with the full film. I remember my moms angry face because I had finished the whole film …
After some time we developed the film. 36 frames. My first roll.
The pictures weren’t anything special (my mom must have them somewhere in her photo albums, need to look after them next time I visit her). They were quite boring I’d say.
But what was truly changing and incredibly beautiful for me, was that I was able to express. As through language I couldn’t because I didn’t speak German at that time (and for many years after).
I could create memories of how I saw the world. It allowed me to show what I felt. And still does.
Since then photography has remained a very important and beautiful companion for me. It followed me through all the beautiful times and the not so beautiful ones and through it I could express all the emotions that came along while life was happening …
Trying to capture a feeling in space and time, the feeling that makes you feel alive and present.
Shoot the world to learn about yourself!
We’ve become a visual culture and photography is a powerful form of visual expression, available to everyone.
What can we learn through the act of making?
It allows us a glimpse into our own mind – both its surface and its depths. In Zen tradition, practitioners make a distinction between the thinking mind and the observing mind — the mind’s witness.
The mind, in other words, can observe itself. The mind is associative, constantly making connections to past experiences, previous understandings, and its backlog of impressions from direct perception.
Aprox. 75-80% (at least) of the mind’s contents are unconscious, usually unavailable to conscious reasoning. Art can help you bring up content from your sub-conscious mind.
We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us. – Ralph Hattersley, Discover Your Self Through Photography
To observe the chaotic contents of our own mind, we sometimes need help. Art can give you the assistance you need. Keeping a daily journal of thoughts and impressions, writing freely, can help shake loose the wild mind.
Uncover your being through art/photography
Taking photographs daily of everything that catches your attention can uncover your sympathies, antipathies, your unconscious complexes expressed in metaphor and symbol, as well as the seeds of your genuine being.
Try it. Photograph daily for a month or two and observe the stream of consciousness found in those activities. NO judging, just observing!
Over time, you will find patterns and connections and understandings previously unavailable to the surface mind.
Enjoy the journey to YOUrself.
Photographs by me since 2007
As some of you know I worked as a hotel photographer in Mallorca the past two months. It may sound easy to some but the reality is: it wasn’t! Working 9 hours a day, at temperatures of 40°C at 80% air humidity, shooting families with small children who don’t want to be photographed can be really exhausting. In fact I was doing what I love but working together with so many different types of people messed up with my mood some days. + the heat made me feel exhausted all the time.
I’m writing this article to sum up my whole hotel photographer experience. Here are some things I’ve learned:
It’s about quantity not quality.
What? Yeah, you’ve read it! In a company which runs a whole business with photography it’s about the numbers not the image quality. So sadly those people are in fact business people with great animation skills, not photographers. Photography still is art and should be seen as an act of creating a great piece of art. At least for me it is. No matter if I already took family portraits for 1000 families. I get the point that with a higher number of photos it’s more likely to sell more but STILL it has to be a specific quality in my opinion.
Everybody can be a photographer (that being said after point #1).
I mean everybody sees himself as a photographer today. Almost everybody I know takes pictures with their phones. Which is not a bad thing but don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t make you a photographer. There is so much about this to learn and even me myself would say that I’m photographing for 7 years now but I would call myself a professional photographer only after my experience in Mallorca. I’m constantly learning new things, start to see new angles, compositions and more and more I see photography for more than just capturing a moment it’s about telling stories through it.
Just because you have a great, expensive camera doesn’t mean you know how to use it.
Haha, how many times I believed that some people with great cameras I see must be really great photographers. Truth is: they have money but not the skills. I talked to some of the guests which had cameras about photography and gear but more than half of them told me they use it only in automatic mode. Appearances can feint. Which leads me to the next point:
People are never as they seem at first, give everybody a try.
They may seem to be photographers at first but when you get to talk to them you realize they’re not. Kidding, why I’m writing this point is about giving people a chance in order to change your first impression about them. I stumbled upon some nasty clients who were unfriendly when I was asking if I can take a picture of them who later turned out to be really nice and even wanted me to take some pictures of them. Another really freaky looking family (everyone was looking at them in the hotel) turned out to be the nicest people I’ve met in this time.
Conclusion: Normal people with ordinary life stories, try to understand and you will see the world different.
Beautiful women have the biggest complexes about themselves.
What the hell ladies? Learn to accept & to love yourself! I got to photograph some amazing girls, really beautiful and photogenic girls. Guess what? They weren’t able to choose few „good“ shots of them. I can tell that I liked almost all shots because a beautiful person looks beautiful from each angle. But nah, not beautiful girls/women. Seeing women all ages being unsatisfied about themselves really made me sad. It’s hard to accept yourself but in the end you’re the one you have to live with all your life, so it’s easier if you love rather than hate yourself.
„Ugly“ people tend to like most pictures of themselves.
Don’t want to say ugly because beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but let’s say random people, not the most photogenic ones tend to be happy about the results of a photo shooting. They just don’t bitch around when showing them their photos. I like those kind of people. Easy going!
Taking photos of children is awesome.
I got to love it! They are just so pure and beautiful, their souls shine through every single photograph. Hard to photograph but easy to impress. 🙂
Most of the people have no idea about photography.
People buy over exposed, blurry what so ever pictures. Says it all.
Photography still is underrated and not valued enough.
„8 € for a photograph? Are you kidding me? I can print it myself for couple of cents.“ Seriously dude? It’s worthless wasting energy about those kind of people I had to deal with. BUT:
Photography gear is worth couple of thousand euros + editing programs + huge the amount of time one is investing on learning about photography. Could you all please take one moment to think about it before you expect somebody to take (and don’t forget the post processing) some pictures of you for free or before you say „Omg, that’s so much money, it’s just some pictures.“
Every experience brings you one step further
I found out that working with people can be really hard and challenging but also amazing! I used to capture mainly landscapes and stars but I really challenged myself to take a step further to communicate, to get to know people and start to capture also faces.
Photography teaches me so much about myself and my deepest fears and I really think that what motifs you photograph the most says a lot about your personality. Me for my part learned a lot through this experience in Mallorca and I am happy that I took the chance. It showed my clearly what I want and what I’m ready to do by being a photographer but it clearly showed my what I don’t want.
AND it showed me that most people who spend one to two weeks in an all inclusive hotel are pretty boring because their lives are so random, working all day so when they’ve got some free time they just want to lay around the pool in the hotel and do nothing. Not even walking 2 minutes to the beach to swim in the sea … how sad, isn’t it?
BUT I also was lucky to meet some awesome, young families who made my time there a lot more fun. I know some of you are reading so – Thank you for supporting me and making me have a good time in the hotel. Wish you all the best. ♡
What about you? Somebody reading right now who worked as a hotel photographer? Where? How was your experience?
Would you like working as a hotel photographer?
For all the travel hungry souls out there: If you want to travel more and how you can afford it, how you can start living your dream – I’ve put together my favorite travel blogs, where I take my inspiration and daydream about the next destinations. Because gypsy souls are born for leaving and have the desire to explore. Oh, and I’m hitting the road soon again for a big Europa trip with the car, the map here, to see where the adventure is going.
„Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.“
Scroll down and get inspired!
Since my first click on this blog I absolutely love it! This guy from the UK converted his Van into his new home in which he is traveling Europe. You can download his e-book here to get tips on converting an old van into a home (If you’re in to that, for me it’s the ultimate dream). He’s got some great shots from his travels and also from some psy trance festivals in Europe. I absolutely love what he is doing and his style of telling stories. So if you’re into #vanlife, festivals and low budget travel you should check his blog out! Maybe he will make you want to buy a van and hit the road 😀
How cool is this project? Watch the video:
I’m in love with this dazzling photo blog with cool projects such building a tree house with a skate bowl in the yard, surfing, camping and #vanlife. Without doubt his photo books and projects are fascinating! LOVE
Well, another #vanlife, photography travel blog I’m totally hooked with! Mitch and his beautiful girlfriend are currently exploring Australia in their camper van, shooting brilliant pictures and sharing them with the world. Oh man … a dream!
„If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to travel cheaper, turn your dream trip into a reality, save money, or travel the world, you are in the right place! This website will give you tested tips, advice, and suggestions so you can see more for less and make your dream trip a reality.“ – Really good, structured blog on cheap travel and he has a lot of travel guides you can purchase online.
Sabine’s blog inspires me a lot about this whole blogging thing and how to be successful at it – after reading her article about how she can afford traveling I’m really into it. She has her own very cool way of telling a travel story and she has also cool videos and pictures. Her blog is really nice to read for hours! Inspirational.
This are my top 5 at the moment, but there are many other kick ass travel blogs out there on the internet. Ahhh, once the travel bug bites in there is no known antidote!
If you know some cool blogs on similar topics, please let me know.
It’s now one week that I’m back home … back to the city life, where everything is going fast, people rushing everywhere, events going on all the time, appointments, where date and time play an important role … where people don’t say hello to everybody on the street … (the first days after I arrived I wanted to say „Hola“ to everyone) and where people don’t thank the bus driver for driving them to their destinations …
… and where it’s cold as fuck, running with winter clothes and boots – from nudist beach to winter time, hell … thought it will be almost summer when I get back :-))
I feel very happy to meet my friends again, share my stories, listen to what happened in their lives while I was traveling. But at the same time it was very strange in the first 3-4 days to be in a big city again … well, it still is and will be but I think I just don’t like big cities anymore, haha.
Now I’m walking differently through the city, I’m actually walking more than taking the public transport, I’m paying more attention to the surroundings, the buildings, look into people faces while they are busy to look at their phones or anywhere else to avoid eye contact. Actually I’m aware of a lot more details.
In a couple of days I start working because I need some money for traveling again in two months, where the next trip is waiting for me. I can’t wait for that to happen, because the city life and the people (not all of course) at the moment are a bit too strange for me. Luckily I live almost outside the city so I have a forest and the danube nearby … I’m close to nature somehow, but still, I miss being ONE with nature all the time. I miss the clear view of the stars at night, being able to follow the cycles of the moon … all this simple things that make me being balanced and connected to myself! Still my soul and body are full of energy and positive vibrations I’ve loaded while my travel. I’m still holding the smile, calmness, love, good thoughts and faith I’ve experienced there. Although I’m waking up in my bed, looking at the ceiling and not on the sky, I’m visualizing the breathtaking view I had every morning when waking up in nature and the days start good as well – no more „bad days“ starting with waking up … just like I had it before a lot of times. It’s always a good day!
The moment I arrived back, I started to sort out my wardrobe, to sell some of the furniture standing in my room and now I’m planning to sell my bed … the mattress should be enough! I feel that I don’t need all that stuff anymore, at least not everything. The power of having less material stuff is priceless!
Building myself a blanket tent and arranging an altar, where I can meditate, connect to myself and do my crystal rituals, hehe.
Well, this is how I feel now. But there are far more lessons I took with me, ideas that changed my mind, opened and stretched it. Though I was an open person before, I changed my mind about things that I had not imagined to see them the way I do now.
I want to share some of the ideas/lessons with you here.
Think about it, take them as an advice, encourage, or take them however you want :-))
*Spiritual lesson starts here* :-)))
- You have to trust yourself! You are capable of far more than you think. You are brave. Have no fears.
- Leave your comfort zone! There is where magic happens.
- Enjoy the journey.
- Spend time alone! Some people really don’t know how to enjoy their own company.
- Appreciate the little things in life. The ordinary little things that are far too often undervalued, but have great significance!
- Be thankful for everything.
- Try not to have expectations.
- Life is so much more than money. You don’t have to be rich to travel well.
- Love yourself first! Love others unconditionally for the beautiful souls they are.
- See the beauty in the people around you.
- We are not as different as you think.
- Let your friends know that you love them. Tell them more often.
- LOVE MORE.
- HUG MORE.
- Trust the universe. It’s the way to become ONE with it!
- Everything that happens to you, everything you do and everyone you meet is put on your path for one reason. The timing it happens is always perfect! In the end it all makes sense, why it happened when it did and why some persons appeared into (or left) your life when they did.
- Every loss is a win too! When life takes something away from you, it gives you something else.
- Always give your whole attention while talking to somebody else.
- Don’t take everything personally! Sometimes when people act the way they do or say things they say, it has to do with their own journey, experiences, disappointments, fears and so on.
- Try to understand why some people are the way they are or why they do the things they do!
- Start paying more attention to what you feel in different situations. What makes you happy, sad, angry, etc. and why. Try to find out why and how you can change it.
- Observe your thoughts and your actions.
- SMILE MORE
- Be aware of your thoughts. Keep them positive and kind.
- Let go of thoughts and actions that don’t make your soul rise.
- Be honest and say what you feel. And if somebody can not handle your honesty it’s their problem, not yours.
- Stay true to yourself and the people around you.
- Be more present in the moment! Pay more attention to what you are doing at the moment rather than thinking about some other stuff.
- Pay more attention to your body and what it has to tell you. Eat slow, chew more and be aware of how good it feels to just observe this.
- We have the great power to heal our body.
This is more a list to remind myself of the thoughts that came in my mind while I was in Tenerife and which I want to keep. I feel that I’ve grown a lot spiritually and that I want to share some of my thoughts with you, in order to make you think about it, even if some things may not be new for some of you.
I’m so calm and full of love, FULL POWER! So receive some of it, souls, phew phew! 😉
Blessings & a lot of many LOVE, A.
(a lot of many – Valentin, I’ll keep this saying forever I guess 🙂 )