As a photographer, I was born in New York on September 11, 2001. I was only a few blocks away when the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed after the attack. All of downtown Manhattan was subsequently evacuated by the police and I, like tens of thousands of others, left the borough via the Brooklyn Bridge. It was an oppressive atmosphere. We walked across the bridge in silence as the column of smoke grew behind us. I held onto my camera, which I had with me. It was that moment that made me realize how short life can be and that from now on, I’d best live it that way, by doing what I like.
What I mean when I talk about street photography are snapshots. Pictures in which the big mess of life is brought to the point compositionally. It’s not the showing of the chaos, but the ordering of the chaos that makes a picture a good one. For me, therefore, it is never about the image, but always about the symbol. When the composition – foreground, middle ground, background – when movement, expression, gesture, contrast, doubling, detail and color underline and enhance the content, a picture gains meaning. Here, street photography has tremendous power because of its great instantaneousness. You see it in the image of the girl who wants to burst the soap bubbles. For me, the soap bubble with the enclosed adults also symbolizes all the constraints of society that oppress the child.
I take photos wherever I am. On the way to the supermarket, in the subway, in the pub or on a trip to the airfield.
Whenever I see something. On the streets of Berlin especially from March to November.
It’s my way of expressing myself. It comes closest to the feeling of being truly free. No goal, no expectations, just wandering, observing, following intuition and photographing.