Dear friends, strangers, future friends, fashion lovers, haters, fellow artists and lovers,
to those that have known me, please forgive me for starting this new portfolio without the usual omens. You know I am a person fond of writing and talking but even I grow older and – at least I’d like to think so – more mature. A lot of things have happened in the past months. More than I dared to imagine in my already imaginative mind and I am very grateful for support from all sides, even people that I never thought would care.
For everyone to understand my motives and why I do what I do, allow me to quickly rewind the whole story, approximately 27 years. You have to know, I grew up with the seemingly unquenchable thirst to explore things. I think I was around nine or ten when I made my back then biggest purchase. Small boy, little pocket money, but it had to be a camera. I even remember the brand. It was a 35mm point and shoot Fuji FZ-5, containing, well, a roll of Fujifilm. I was instantly hooked and shot away.
About a year later I experienced a tiny moment of being more curious than reasonable when I triggered the flash at point blank range to my right eye. Do not try this. Needless to say I was still hooked and kept shooting as many films as my pocket money allowed. I still have the photographs in a dry box. I stopped using the camera ca. 1996 and got some cheap digital toy. What a stupid thing to do.
2002 saw a little rennaissance when I purchased my next Fuji, this time a Finepix 4900 (the german Chip Magazine referred to it as a pro-camera, which makes me chuckle because I never thought it was “Pro”, anyway, here’s the article). The following years where more or less active, I got more small cameras but other than being an occasional shooter there wasn’t a very big drive. Now it gets interesting. I believe that part of the reason I am so active today is because I started surrounding myself with more photographers beginning in 2008. I recall at least three persons that I found inspiring because they shared the same interest, albeit in a different fashion. I have asked myself the question many times if all I did was copy other peoples behavior – after all copying is a form of admiration. It was probably a bit of this but then again not, because in the end I wanted to be creative and photography allowed me to be creative, even if the results looked terrible.
I started shooting DSLR cameras in 2009 and quickly gained interest into the whole strobist “thing” (I did not know it was called that for years). Back then it wasn’t so common and I felt my position somewhere between the guys that do hot-shoe flash and the ones that had a studio. I always hated light that came from the center + it’s harsh shadows so OCF (short for off camera flash) with light shapers was the way to go. I felt quite “cool” to be able to have lighting close to a studio-environment but the problem that I had for a long time was me being focussed too much on the technical aspects: No TTL, all full manual on camera/flash + lots of trial and error. Many valuable lessons where learned during this phase but at the cost of being open to developing a personal style.
In 2012, after a lot of contemplating and my dear wife encouraging me (thanks for this) I started the photography side business. This goes back to an argument in early 2010 when she said that all this photography is using up too much time and that she would have less of an issue if I did it for money. 2012 was also the year I started my home studio and it quickly became clear that this was not a long term solution. Tidy the house whenever a client would come? Not my thing. So in 2014 I moved the studio into a collaborative space and completely redesigned my website. From there things started to take off. In October 2015 I needed to move the studio to another location because the Balawa Rama – our co-working community had to find other premises and the new rooms had no space for a photostudio (we’re still friends). Since 2015 I am operating the studio in the old train-station at Trier-Ehrang – a beautiful loft-style place with 4m ceilings and enough space to work, sleep, cook and so on. At the end of 2016 I decided to go from being a part-time photographer to being full-time and quit my job in Luxembourg after nine years.
What does all of that have to do with this website? Thanks for staying with me. When you do photography for a living (and wedding photography, portraits, family photography etc.) there are basically two things you can do: One is to specialize in a niche and try to be the king – the other is to do all sorts of photography and hope to be able to somehow pursue or develop your style. There is not so much in between. It’s usually either mass or class and neither is bad if the quality is right (some people associate mass with being of poor quality, which is only true for chinese products, haha). It also depends on the type of person you are. If you’re like me then tastes do not last a lifetime. At some point I figured that I needed a place to pursue whatever was the hot shit but also a way of keeping for myself the magic of photography — without stuffing my commercial website to the likes of a convenience store. Out of this need, a new site was born and believe me, a lot of time and thought went into it. If you think its shit then that is your personal view and it may not affect me (smiley appended). If you feel offended because you think I am copying something you do, let me remind you that everything is a remix, including the stuff you produce (btw feel free to copy the shit out of me). If you like what you see then I am happy. At the moment there are only a handful of projects, some of which may eventually disappear… but I have some more unpublished stuff that I am going to edit and publish some time soon. As a consequence, everything related to fashion photography, lookbook-stuff, semi-nude and all experimental stuff will disappear from my commercial website, leaving it with only people-, wedding- and PR photography. Another reason for the separation is that family-related photographs tend to be more “conservative” and not quite kinky. I simply want to be cautious by not mixing incompatible content.
If you have read this far you either have a lot of time or you are actually interested – in both cases accept a big THANK YOU. As always, if you’d like to talk: pick up the phone, text me or go to the Kliewer Photography facebook page (and like it ;). Have a nice day. All you need is love.