I proudly present: Silvia Spechenhauser, clown and comedian. With Silvia, I had the most versatile and spontaneous shooting. On a stunning September day, cycling through Vienna, exploring the best locations, Silvia gave me a vast amount of poses, moods and vibes. Just love my job!
Have a look at the pictures here…
“How does the food taste in your country?” was the theme of the following photography series taking place in Vienna. Four Syrian woman were invited to cook for Austrian women and they created a wonderful menu full of warm aromas and interesting, delicious combinations! I had the honour of documenting this cooking event for an Austrian magazine. I love doing reportage works as they give me the opportunity to immerse myself into new cultures, connect with diverse people and explore new and different stories. For more pics please click on the following link.
A few weeks before my trip to Sri Lanka an article in the “vormagazin”, an Austrian railway magazine, caught my attention: It was about all I need, a beverage based on green tea, produced with fair trade ingredients, one of which is aromatic Sri Lankan ginger! Back home I started doing some internet research and found out that besides a clear commitment to organic cultivation and fair trade, the company also supports education of children and adolescents in Sri Lanka, Tibet and Nepal! This is a great thing! I decided to offer my services and received an immediate answer: the company commissioned me to photograph a home story in Sri Lanka! A few days before departure I also met Michaela and Claudia, the founders of the organisation Ahnagathaya who built a school offering additional mentoring which accommodates more than 100 students.
In Sri Lanka I visited the school, had talks with the teachers and the sweet students and got to know Sampath, one of the most dedicated Sri Lankans I have ever met before! Such a great experience! Have a look at Chammy’s story, one of the English teachers in the school, and a girl who I was really impressed by!
In Sri Lanka I met the wonderful yoga teacher Moni and her great family. She booked me for a yoga shoot and I was really glad to have a project on this amazing island full of stunning sceneries. I started the location scouting and found lots of suitable places, not easy to take a decision though. But then I discovered this colourful market in Weligama, which at evening time turns into a quiet, beautiful place and it was clear. I absolutely wanted to integrate local people into this shooting and it worked out well! Sri Lankans’ are always very curious! I think the results are great, for more pics please have a look here:
Teaching photography, especially to students is always a great inspiration and a lot of fun! I love sharing my knowledge and experiences and to see the results afterwards! For several years now, I have been organizing photography workshops in high schools. Based on a specially chosen topic, we start out by elaborating on a concept at school. In the second part the students realize their ideas in a professional photography studio. Have a look at the short video of the last workshop in October with 22 students of Borg 15.
I love practicing yoga, its just great! During a walk through a lovely forest in Vienna, I was so impressed by the wonderful colours of autumn and the beauty of nature. It was kind of magic and I decided to do a yoga shooting with Sophia who I met in my yoga class! Enjoy the yoga series!
…is to go to places where I have never been
During my trip through the south of India in January, once again I experienced that going around with my camera is so much more than just capturing special moments, faces or beautiful colours. I met Mohan, a very charming and charismatic old Indian man with warm eyes. Accompanying me during my excursion through the colourful little fishing village, he opened me up to a deeper insight into a completely new world. As I wanted to leave a memory to the people, I printed the best shots in the evening. The next day I was looking for Mohan, so he could give the pictures to the people, but he disappeared. I started to ask people, and they asked other people, and they again asked other people and so on and so on, finally, there he was! A great experience, a little adventure, a beautiful insight.
Writing about this country is not easy – I can say that I have lived some of my best experiences in life in Sri Lanka, amongst this unbelievable natural beauty, on this island full of contradictions, with a heavy history, and characterized by religious traditions and what feels at times a constant army presence. What captured my interest was the families and their constellations. The way families live together is so much different than everything we experience in Europe at the moment. The family has a much higher value based on respect towards elderly people, but at the same time there are many constraints and taboos, arranged marriages are common. In Sri Lanka I witnessed the saddest bride ever and I assisted a menstruation party with a very insecure adolescent, with many very drunk men around.
Not easy at all and so far from everything I’ve lived before. Nevertheless, when I arrive at Colombo airport my heart smiles, it feels like coming home somehow.
In January I started a new photography class in the One World Foundation education unit, Ahungalla, Sri Lanka. My 20 students, all between 17 and 24 years old, were open minded to photography and new ideas. On Friday, 15th of March we had a very successful final exhibition of all the works.
Enjoy the video about the class!
In November 2012 for the third time I took part in the European month of photography in Vienna.
In the group exhibition “aus.gelöst”, I presented my recent work gaining ground, about girls trying to recover
from eating disorders.
place: Hotel Altstadt / the hall – Kirchengasse 41, 1070 Vienna
duration: 16 – 23. November 2012
Deine Perspektive zählt is a pilot workshop based in Vienna with the objective to offer homeless young people the possibility to tell their own life stories. In June 2012 we handed out pocket cameras to the participants and asked them to record their social environment and matters of importance to their everyday life. We met up twice a week to support the creative process. The project aims to give marginalized youngsters the possibility to express themselves, to increase their self-esteem and to make them visible in our society. In November 2012 as part of eyes on – monat der photographie the best works will be shown in public space. The project is incited by paint for life in collaboration with caritas Vienna and erste foundation.
From October to December 15th, I was teaching photography in the free education unit of the One world Foundation (OWF) in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka. The ngo Paint for life, located in Vienna, awarded me the residence. I designed my classes ike workshops, where the students had the opportunity to create their own work, receive critical feedback and exchange experiences and skills. After learning all technical aspects, the students had to develop their own projects and to define and complete them. The classes aimed to strengthen the students’ life skills, encourage them to realize their own ideas and visions and last but not least having fun to explore their world in a new way: through photography!