Blog 1701 Bastian Thiery 08

Talking photography by Bastian Thiery

Model turned photographer Bastian Thiery, is piecing together a picture of stories in a very cinematic way.

He is most inter­est­ed in scene, loca­tion, and feel. He likes to puz­zle things togeth­er…. Things he finds in every­day life, street or any oth­er loca­tion that inspires him and gives him a cer­tain feel.

Bas­t­ian got into pho­tog­ra­phy while he was liv­ing in NY, as at the time bore­dom got the best of him, so he just start­ed to won­der the streets, and while doing so, he start­ed to pho­to­graph peo­ple, objects etc…. Pho­tog­ra­phy has now proven to be his own way to inves­ti­gate life and what is it all about. He is cre­at­ing pic­tures that in some way col­lide real­i­ty and fan­ta­sy (fan­ta­sy because not every­thing is as it seems, and some­times com­plete strangers may be por­trayed as lovers’ due to being in the right place at the right time, with Bas­t­ian some­where near to cap­ture the ran­dom encounter). His work is a com­bi­na­tion of still life, land­scapes, and por­traits that sim­ply show his per­son­al jour­ney, lit­er­al­ly and figuratively.

Where are you from and where are you based at the moment?
I’m from a small town in the Ger­man south­west but have been liv­ing in Berlin for almost sev­en years now.

When peo­ple ask what do you do?’, what is your answer?
I say I mod­el and study pho­tog­ra­phy, and the order can change.

What is your pho­tog­ra­phy about?
It’s about tex­ture, geom­e­try, eyes, a strange feel­ing or con­nec­tion. Maybe some­times try­ing to con­nect things that weren’t in the three-dimen­sion­al world.

What kind of pho­tog­ra­phy inter­ests you the most?
I think I am inter­est­ed in all types of pho­tog­ra­phy. I real­ly like fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy just for what it is. The imag­i­na­tion and cre­at­ing some­thing… But I am also inter­est­ed in doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy. I don’t have a box yet. I mean, I real­ly like pho­tog­ra­phers who can con­nect cer­tain gen­res and make them work all together.

Pho­tog­ra­phers like…
Philip-Lor­ca diCor­cia let say. I real­ly like his book Hus­tlers’. It was made dur­ing AIDS pan­dem­ic in the late 1980s and ear­ly 90s in LA. I also real­ly like works of Eugene Richards, Alec Soth. And I’m obsessed with Gre­go­ry Halpern and Lars Tun­björk at the moment.

What about fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phers?
Jamie Hawkesworth is the one that stands out for me at the moment. I real­ly like how he has no bound­aries nor for trav­el sto­ries nor fash­ion stories…

How has your rela­tion­ship to edi­to­r­i­al (mod­el) work changed from the time you were not per­su­ing this career and not study­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, to today, when you are becom­ing one of them’ pho­tog­ra­phers? Do you now find it hard­er, eas­i­er?
I think it has def­i­nite­ly changed, in a pos­i­tive and a neg­a­tive way. I’m more crit­i­cal with the final images and also the way they get pro­duced. There are fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phers who don’t care about the mod­el at all, not even intro­duce them­selves on a shoot for exam­ple. Before I start­ed tak­ing pic­tures of peo­ple I wouldn’t have cared much about that. Now it makes me rather sad to see some­one who’s at a point in their career where they don’t even want to engage with their sub­ject any­more. On the oth­er hand I’m very hap­py to work as a mod­el with pho­tog­ra­phers who want to real­ly cre­ate some­thing beau­ti­ful and who share their artis­tic vision with the team they’re work­ing with. I can appre­ci­ate this more than before. I think what’s so spe­cial about fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy is the col­lab­o­ra­tion between all the dif­fer­ent par­ties involved, like hair & make-up, styling, pho­tog­ra­phy, art direc­tion, and with some edi­to­ri­als it can be very open where the jour­ney leads to.

Ok now back to your pho­tog­ra­phy — are you impul­sive while tak­ing pic­tures or do you take your time and wait for the right moment?
When I start­ed explor­ing pho­tog­ra­phy I used to take pic­tures on the street in New York. I’d see an inter­est­ing look­ing per­son approach­ing, would stop and pho­to­graph them, very quick. But I’m way too impa­tient to stay in one place and wait for things to unfold like many street pho­tog­ra­phers. I feel more like a fla­neur. At the moment I most­ly use medi­um for­mat film, which slows me down a lot more than 35mm film, but I still have to walk all the time.

What aspect of pho­tog­ra­phy do you find the most chal­leng­ing?
I think my biggest strug­gle is some­times to stay hun­gry, to do things or forc­ing myself to go out there con­stant­ly. I think a big strug­gle is also the whole social media thing, which I don’t hate on but I think the likes and fol­low­ers dis­tract some­times. And in gen­er­al, a big chal­lenge for me is to get out of my com­fort zone. I think the best pic­tures are made out­side the com­fort zone.

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Blog 1701 Bastian Thiery 09

Is there any work out there that you wish you’d come up with first?
Joel Sternfeld’s Amer­i­can Prospects’ — I wish I could have done exact­ly that trip.

When you are not mod­el­ing or tak­ing pho­tos, what do you do?
A few years ago I would have replied par­ty­ing’, now it’s more long break­fasts, walks with my friend’s dog, going to the muse­um… I’m con­stant­ly lis­ten­ing to music. I try to go to the dark­room and print some pic­tures once a week when I don’t travel.

What is your favorite city so far?
I don’t have one par­tic­u­lar favorite. I like the ener­gy of New York, the art and youth cul­ture in Lon­don, parks and clubs in Berlin. I’d say New York is my favorite as it sparked a lot of inter­ests in me.

What are your fave spots in Berlin?
I love :/​/​about blank in the sum­mer time. Then there’s this calm for­est at the end of Son­nenallee, Königshei­de’ which is kind of close to my house. Just Berlin in Sum­mer in gen­er­al, in Win­ter I feel like a her­mit. On Tem­pel­hofer Feld is also one spot that I like, it’s where the old shoot­ing range is, nature fights its way back there in a beau­ti­ful way.

Favorite pho­to…

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Bas­t­ian Thiery

30 Jan 2017 · neubau eyewear