In the streets of Berlin – impressions of the Eric Kim Street photography workshop

As mentioned earlier on this blog, last November I had the chance to participate in a street photography workshop with Eric Kim in Berlin.

The whole seminar weekend was a groundbreaking blast. I met wonderful fellow photographers, I pushed my comfort zone much further than I would have expected and I had hell lot of fun !

Check out our work here:

Berlin 2017 Workshop Best Student Photos

So how did my assignment start ?

This young lady was in a conversation with a friend and felt good about being portrayed. We had a good laugh after the shooting and then she went off to work.

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Soon after I met this young Italian guy. Lorenzo. It was a pleasure talking to him and though I interrupted him during his shopping tour, I’m sure I made his day. We had a good time taking some quick portraits.

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Eric gave us following assignment: ask strangers to take a portrait of them. The goal was to receive ten rejections within the day. It was harder as you would expect. Most of the people, even the busy or non-social-conformist-looking types – are terribly friendly. It was really hard to rush for 10 rejections.

Sure, the first one was tough. Shaking knees, because I felt to stupid to ask a stranger for a portrait. But soon after I realised, that nothing bad happened and I continued my conquest on the Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

And just bumped into this young man, who turned out to be a fetish clothing designer. I really appreciated the littles stories, that everyone shared with me.

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The beautiful Kathrin. We had only a moment, but I was able to capture her beauty.

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Sometimes we photographers take ourselves all to serious.

Questions pop up, such as:

Are my photographs good? Will I make art that will make an impact one day ? Are my xyz followers enough? Am I taking this picture for social media or rather for the my own pleasure?

Hell, we’ve all asked us these questions before and we will come again to a moment where we will be stuck with numbers and concepts.

What helped here was to get out on the street and talk to strangers. Ask for their permission to be photographed.  Get rejected. Take a picture of them anyway. It was so much fun to meet these strangers, hear their stories, get in touch with human beings and create art out of all that.

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In between, my assignment-buddy Markus – check out his word here: https://streetsofnuremberg.com – and I had a walk towards Hackesche Höfe and we came across this coffee place. Look at the couple – Friends? Siblings? Or just a boring date ?

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And sometimes you only have to lift your head towards the sky and forget about street photography and portraits and photo assignments.

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And most of the time people will react with a smile when you portrait them.

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Grandmaster Eric.

Thank you so much for the work you put out there. Thank you for empowering us and pushing us out of our comfort zone on a daily basis.

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We also had some lessons in composition.

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Sneak paparazzi style? I don’t think so.

To me – and I’m fully honest here – street photography is a way of documenting our and other peoples common or not so common lives. Who else will do it, if not us – the photographers.

People will look at these picture in maybe hundred years from now and will get a little insight and some impressions of our Zeitgeist.

I can understand, if some people might get offended.

But in the end, we only show beauty, the beauty of our time.

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What was she thinking about ?

Her boyfriend? The rent she has to pay? A forgotten birthday of an old friend? A distant memory?

You tell me.

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Some people don’t want to be captured… but we both smiled after this click.

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Gustavo, resting a moment. Check out his stunning artwork on www.ojoscallejeros.com

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My favourite memory of Berlin. A grey sky and a small boy chasing pigeons.

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During our walk towards the Mauerpark, I came across Kimia Raghgozar.

We bumped into each other and I had to give her props towards this beautiful piece of machinery that she was using. Another fellow Hasselblad photographer 😉

Check out her artwork: www.kimiarahgozar.com

Hope to meet you soon in Teheran.

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An Italian macho? A humble veteran? I can’t recall but this guy was super kind and accepted without hesitation to be portrayed.

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In between, I tried to capture some impressions of the crowded flea market.

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And this young lady was the best. At first she was like:
What? why me?

The only answer I could give was:

Because your beautiful“.

Reaction: Priceless.

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Made her day. And mine.

As I’ve said. In the end it’s about empowering people, sharing positive thoughts and spread some love and good vibes.

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And sometimes it’s about trying to see little stories, that built up in one frame.

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One of our last assignments: one of us had to pose in the background, the other had to walk in front of that person to block the line of sight and to create an interesting, living frame. Barry seemed a bit doubtful, but he was a stunning and patient model.

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Someone captured the moment, where Kimi and I met. Look at us photo geeks!

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Guys, you’ve been awesome. Definitely not the last workshop for me. Keep up the spirit, always push yourself and never ever give up. I’ll do my best to do the same.

Thank you all !

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Fin.

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