Street Photography in Germany: Who is out there? Meet 19 German street photographers with an outstanding body of work, 3 street photography collectives and 1 street photography journal.
The dominant criterion for German street photographer was “lives and works in Germany and does street photography”. Nationality was of lesser importance.
19 Street Photographers
Every photographer featured in this list has contributed an image and a short text about his or her street photography vision and their street photography activities. I asked all contributing photographers to suggest photographers who should be featured in this list. These suggestions helped tremendously in shaping this list.
It is the nature of these kind of lists to be both subjective and incomplete. And this list of German street photographers is no exception.
3 Street Photography Collectives and one Street Photography Magazin
Many thanks to Bernd Schäfers, Christian Reister, Enrico Essl, Fabian Schreyer, Frank Silberbach, Holger Biermann, Kay von Aspern, Kuba Jasionek, Marco Larousse, Marga van den Meydenberg, Mario Cuic, Max Slobodda, Michael “Monty” May, Paulus Ponizak, Rainer Nowotny, Siegfried Hansen, Steffi Löffler, Torsten Schumann, Ying Tang, Chris “Candid” Schirrmacher (berlin1020), Daniel Nide (Soul of Hamburg), Torsten Köster (streetlab0711) und Reiner Girsch (Soul of Street) for their contribution and support.
Editorial note: The list of German street photographers is in alphabetical order (first names). The original article and most contributions were in German language. So all language hiccups are on me.
“Photography is some sort of meditation for me. Being with the moment as it unfolds, just observing, not judging. I try to shoot anything that catches my interest, either emotionally or intellectually. I like to document these moments discretely without interfering or changing them.
I prefer to work alone or with one or two good friends. The buzz and hype about street photography is rather a turn off for me.”
“In recent years I have mostly done night photography. Black and white, blurry, grainy, raw. The Berlin nightlife and and what remains of the night. Very direct without any fuzz. Sometimes I go out on purpose to shoot or I just have my little cam with me when roaming the streets, cruising bars and clubs.”
“I see myself as a photographer with a clear focus on street photography. My personal objective is to make street photography more popular by producing high quality work. I’m currently working on a photobook in Berlin, which will be published in 2018.”
Enrico Essl manages the Flickr group Communication Breakdown.
„Life is the best storyteller. These stories can be found in the streets, waiting to be discovered and retold in an artistic and skillful way. Driven by light and a lust for life, fascinated by humor, poetry and the surrealism of the ordinary, I try to catch those moments that I feel to be worth preserving.“
Fabian Schreyer is a founding member of the international street photography collective „The Street Collective“, curator of the Italian German street photography project Via!, curator of the Flickr group Street Sequence and curator of the facebook group TSC Public projects
“Life is absurd at times. With my camera I catch those moments where the absurdity reveals itself. As a street photographer I work very much alone.”
“The city is my studio. Here I walk and take pictures. Not exactly sure what I’m doing.“
Kay von Aspern
“I’m an observer. I try to make images out of what I perceive to be special moments – usually from a little distance. These special moments happen most of the time in public spaces. That is why my work is considered to be street photography. I like it when elements in my pictures are communicating. These elements can repel or attract each other, or can have a balanced relationship. Initially, I do not work on particular themes. Yet I do sequence my work in series.”
Kay von Aspern was a member of the street photography collective Seconds2Real. He offers a street photography workshop in Vienna together with Siegfried Hansen.
“Street photography to me is freedom. All you need is a camera, everything else just happens. I see street photography as a very open genre with ties to landscape, portraiture and documentary photography. Street photography does not have to happen in the streets.
When on the streets, I’m attracted to many things. Moments, stories, gestures, people. I look for light, colors, patterns, lines, animals – in short everything that I feel to be interesting. Combining and linking elements, creating surreal scenes, playfully arranging an image, that is what I’m going for. Over time I started to work more in series and projects.”
Kuba Jasionek is a member of the WorldSP.co (worldstreetphotography) blog on tumblr. In 2016 he was a juror of the Bruxelles Street Photography Festival.
“Telling a story in a single photograph is the challenge that motivates me. Beyond the artistic value of digital and analogue street photography, preserving and documenting the day to day life for future generations is for me of extreme importance.”
Marco Larousse is a curator and founder of “Street Photo & Photographer” of the week für Photofocus, he also produces the podcasts “Photography Inspiration” and “Mirrorless”. He is an admin and founder of the The Analog Street Photography Group on Flickr.
Marga van den Meydenberg
“Since I live in Berlin I notice that everyday life offers much more strange and funny situations than I ever could imagine myself. I just have to go outside, be 100% focused and catch the absurdity of daily life.
I try to isolate these situations or combine them with a weird background.
As a photographer I’m a little bit of an Einzelgänger, only then I can totally focus on my work.
But being part of the VIA project; meeting other ‘streetfreaks’ and being challenged by them was a great experience!
Most of the time I like to go outside or work on projects, that’s why I’m not so active in groups etc.”
“I leave it to the audience to evaluate my work. The viewer’s ability to read my images certainly depends on his and her visual education.”
Mario Cuic is an ex-member of the Seconds2Real collective.
“There is this special feeling when I know that I need to take exactly this shot. And I give in to his feeling. Ideally it is a situation where man, object and environment blend into one. I care for a clean composition without distracting elements.
Humour and the visual absurd matter to me and play a decisive role whether or not I choose to take an image.”
Max Slobobba is admin of the Flickr group “Street Photography Now”
Michael “Monty” May
“Working for more than 25 years as a staff photographer for a German newspaper, I am obviously not a pure-blooded street shooter, more a crosser between street and documentary photography with the focus on social documentation.
Referring to SP I generally believe, if you put reality just a little bit aside, you will find a lot of absurdities and….humour.”
Michael “Monty” May is a founding member of the international Observe Collective, member of the Italian German street photography project VIA and organizer of the street photography festival “Observations 2017” in Iserlohn, Germany.
“For me street photography is a passion. Observe people and making photography out of these special moments fascinates me. My work relies heavily on contrast and the playful interaction of light and shadows.”
“My street photography reflects my interior life. What matters to me, what I feel, like or dislike everything finds its way into my work.
The streets are the ideal playground for me. The human factor clearly matters to me most. My work is about humans, characters, clothing stories and so on.
I’m drawn to many different styles in street photography which is why I avoid working with a typical and repeating set of subjects.”
Rainer Nowotny was an admin of the Urban Street Photography group on facebook.
“With my images I want to transport emotions and evoke questions.”
“I photograph scenes and things in an urban environment. I often ask myself how these things came to be and what is happening on the streets.”
Torsten Schumann’s photobook “More Cars, Clothes and Cabbages” was published with Peperoni Books in 2016.
“I am always interested in life, how people living in the different cultures, what they do on the street fascinates me. Any situation which involves people I like to take pictures.”
berlin1020 street photography collective
street photography collective by the berlin based photographers: Chris “Candid” Schirrmacher (image), Oliver Krumes, Sebastian Jacobitz, Roland Groebe and Martin U Waltz
Soul of Hamburg street photography collective
“We Nino Vela and Daniel Nide (image) are working the international concrete jungle of Hamburg with its paradox moments.”
streetlab0711 street photography collective
streetlab0711 is a collaboration of 5 photographers in the Stuttgart area: Hans-Bernhard Sickler, Elias Just, Markus Kühne, Martin Hemm and Torsten Köster (image).
streetlab0711 is an open group with an emphasis on local street photography networking.
Soul of Street street photography journal
We think that street photography is the most honest and truthful form of photography. Showing the unfiltered raw emotions of the street, street photography reaches people in their core without having to bend or twist reality.
Our goal is to help establishing street photography in Germany, to support and inspire German street photographers and to promote networking within the german street photography scene.