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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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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